Mario Party Superstars was recently released on October 29, 2021. Superstars marks the first in the franchise made for the Nintendo Switch. The Mario Party series is a mixture of a board game with the goal is to get as man superstars within the turn limit. As you travel around the board you will be met with difficult choices, sabotage, chances to increase your odds, and mini-games! Each iteration of the game features different game boards, characters, and mini-games! Superstars is the amalgamation of over decades of fun.
Unlike previous incarnations of Mario Party, this one doesn’t have much of a story. Mario and his pals travel down a green pipe to a world that looks like a lakeside camping area. This area is our menu selection, offering players different ways to party. You can play the classic party mode, head to Mt. Minigame to play all the games without the party, there are 100 minigames for you to choose from, and you can also play online against players near or far!
I am a big fan of all things Mario. I love the characters, the worlds, the spin-offs, and I have the tattoos to prove it. I quickly ran to my nearest store to get the game and rounded up my family to play. After several fun hours of playing the game, I feel comfortable giving my review of Superstars.
The best part of Mario Party Superstars is in the 100 minigames you get to play. This iteration of the game includes classic games from the previous versions and the game tells you which version each minigame originated from. Not only does this create a bit of nostalgia but it also creates this sense of pride. “Shy Guy Says, this is my signature level. No one can beat me on this,” says a friend I was playing with. The nostalgia created new stakes for older players but a chance for new players to 1up their veteran competition. Whether this effect was created by design or is a happy accident added another level of competitiveness and enjoyment. And a few petty arguments.
In addition, the online play feels different than playing with family and friends at home. You’re playing with strangers. You have your strategy and they have their own, the simple dice-rolling board game, now becomes a game of chess. Trying to outsmart your opponents to win.
I also have to applaud the AI or CPUs in Superstars. They are far more capable than they were in the older games. Before it felt as though even if you had the CPU settings to hard mode, they weren’t a real challenge. This time the CPUs are here to play and crush your spirits. If you are someone who enjoys a challenge, you’ll love playing alone against all CPUs.
I can not do a review without highlighting how beautiful the game looks! Everything has a hyper-glossy and realistic look that is breathtaking, while still honoring the Mario esthetics we all know and love.
I actually have nothing bad to say about Mario Party Superstars. However, I do think some elements could have been improved on.
Firstly, there is not enough world/boards to play. You can quickly get through them all if you play each world with the shortest amount of turns. This has been an issue many fans, including myself, have had. Yes, Mario Party is fun, but you can only play each board so many times before it loses its allure. Nintendo has been putting more stock into DLCs and it is possible that Mario Party could receive them. However, out of the many IPs Nintendo owns, they have never updated a Mario Party game.
If Superstars doesn’t receive any updates and it becomes a “you get what you get” game, then I can see Mario Party losing its replayability. Even the online play mode can suffer from the lack of board selection. They should take the lesson they learned from Animal Crossing: New Horizon, which is to keep giving the players more to do! This isn’t the early 2000s when we had to wait 6-12 months for a new game to release. Now, games come out every week thanks to sites like Steam, and there are more indie studios that can produce games faster than larger companies can.
You’ve got our attention Mario Party, but now what will you do to keep it?
I give Mario Party Superstars an A
Mario Party Superstars is a greatest hits album but in video game form. It honors what fans loved about the franchise and elevates it for a new generation. The solo modes are just as enjoyable as the co-op modes. The game offers varying degrees of difficulty to cater to beginners and veterans. The nostalgia factor adds an extra dose of competitiveness that other Mario Parties don’t have. This is the perfect game to play with friends, family, on a date, or even with strangers through online mode. And trust me when I say, you WILL get into several arguments with your family while you play. It’s part of the experience.