Review: Mario Party 10

Mario Party is back for it's 10th instalment (excluding handheld versions) and is the first to arrive on Wii U. Whilst new Mario Party games used to be as regular as Wario's bowel movements, the series has taken a step back in recent years, so a new iteration is actually a rather big deal. So, with masses of new mini-games, Amiibo support and GamePad usage, what can you expect from Mario's first HD party?

You'll be greeted with three main modes: Amiibo Party, Bowser Party and Mario Party. The main mode, Mario Party, has each player grab a Wii Remote and get stuck in and much like in Mario Party 9, players travel the boards together in a vehicle instead of individually which kicks up the pace. Boards also no longer have an endless design but instead a start and finish line, with a mini-boss and end-boss to complete the game.

WiiU MP10 Screens E3 01

Stars and coins are also abolished and instead replaced with mini-stars – Whoever collects the most mini-stars by winning minigames, collecting on the board or just outright stealing will be crowned Mario Party champion, a feat that every person secretly aspires to. All of these changes really ramp up the notoriously slow pace of Mario Party titles and give it a completely fresh feel.

The boards are also quite fun, with plenty of stage hazards and branching paths. In this title, you'll sometimes be awarded with different dice, such as ones that only have the numbers 1-3 or a slow dice block that lets you choose any number from 1 to 6 and you can store up to three of these special dice each, so there is some strategy involved instead of the usual complete randomness we've come to expect from the series (though that is still handed out in spades).

But it's the mini-games where you'll be having the most fun and you'll be pleased to hear that there's plenty on offer and they're all a blast to play. As far as minigame designs go, this is one of the most inventive Mario Party games since the GameCube days, as you'll be tossing bob-ombs into crowds trying to get the biggest chain-reaction, or jumping for your life on an ever-moving cliff side.

WiiU MP10 Screens E3 03The controls are also great, when you're not using the Wii Remote sideways as a NES controller, the motion-controls are all very well refined and any mistake will purely be down to you and not the technology – something that couldn't be said for 50% of the minigames in Mario Party 8. That said, there are still masses of games that rely completely on luck, something that casual party players may not mind and will probably find quite fun, but something that can rub people up the wrong way.

With a decent amount of boards available and a slew of minigames, there is plenty of content on offer in the Mario Party section alone.

Moving onto Amiibo Party, this mode actually plays a lot more like traditional Mario Party games. First off, you need to choose your Amiibo, certain existing Smash Bros. ones work but only with Characters from the Mario series such as Rosalina and Wario, so sadly you won't be be able to prounce around the board as our lustful Shulk or ravishing Ike.

The Amiibo you place on the GamePad will act as your character and each one will also have it's own theme. The boards are a lot less exciting than in 'Mario Party' mode and instead are presented as a fairly small square, much like a Monopoly board, but each theme does have different shops or events to visit, such as the Mario themed board having a mushroom shop that turns your on-screen Amiibo gigantic and has you walk around the board flattening the other Amiibos.

Amiibo mode is like the Mario Party games of yore in that you'll all be moving separately from one another and have to pay 20 coins for each star that is placed on the map, with the player ending with the most stars winning the game. Minigames also work in the same way as older titles, with one cropping up after each player has taken a roll of the dice.

Traditional Mario Party players will be thankful for this mode but the inclusion of Amiibo's does seem more of a gimmick than anything else. It's a fun mode but may get overlooked as the accessories required for a full player game include 4 Wii Remotes and 4 Amiibo which is slightly excessive.WiiU MP10 Screens E3 06Finally we have Bowser Party which seems to be the one Nintendo are pushing the most with this new game. Bowser Party allows up to 5 players, one player with the GamePad as Bowser and the other 4 running away from said beast, trying to get to the finish line without being caught.

It's very much a cat and mouse game, with the result of each minigame deciding whether the players move away from our loveable beast, or whether bowser gets to move forward and devour our famous crew.

The mini-games in this mode are inventive and fun, with the four players facing off against Bowser playing on the TV screen and the Bowser player controlling with the GamePad. Games range from a big pinball table, with players running for their lives and bowser being in control of the balls to Bowser being in control of lines of fire, trying to trap players between each line to win the game. The GamePad games are novel and fun but there aren't nearly as many on offer as the traditional 4-player mini-games, so whilst this mode is fresh, it does feel slightly lacking in content.

So, Bowser party is a nice distraction from the main game, especially in short bursts, but one negative is that a lot of the time Bowser has the upper hand as the minigames always seem slightly easier for the GamePad player.

That's the main meat of this new title, but there are also a few stand-alone games in the Bonus Game section featuring fleshed out mini-games, there's also the option to play single mini-games from the title in any order you wish. There's another mode that randomly selects 5 minigames and crowns the winner based on their final coin score, which are good additions for people that enjoy the games Mario Party has to offer but aren't fans of the board game concept.

In the end, the new modes are good but short-lived, Bowser Party is interesting but doesn't have enough content and Amiibo Party is novel but requires a lot to simply take part. The main 'Mario Party' is as good as ever (take that as you will) and has improved over Mario Party 7 and 8, games that got so stale the series went on a 4 year hiatus, but still doesn't do much to differentiate this Mario Party from the series bad reputation. It still has all the Mario Party tropes, such as Bowser's sudden decision to swap everyones stars around or half your coins at the end. It still has bonus stars that can ensure even the worst player ends up in first place and whilst the mini-games are the most fun and inventive we've had in a while – It's still Mario Party and you know what to expect.

This title has the usual set of characters to select, as well as Donkey Kong, who hasn't been playable since Mario Party 4. Despite this, Nintendo have commit the ultimate sin and not included Birdo, rendering the character list a disgusting and terribly disappointing effort.

WiiU MP10 Screens E3 04The music is also passable but nothing special, it fits the Mario Party requirement but given Nintendo's fantastic sound-tracks as of late from Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8, this comes nothing close.

Mario Party 9 had great graphics for a Wii title and this game seems to have pretty much the same engine but in HD – So it looks fine but again, doesn't come close to the quality we have started to expect on Wii U from titles such as Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8.

And this also goes without saying (sadly) but Mario Party 10 has no online mode, and in this day and age, that really does feel like the next step for the series.

All in all, it's a good effort for a Mario Party title, but even with it's new improvements, still feels like a series stuck in the early noughties. Had this have come out 10 years ago it would have passed as a decent party game but we've come a long way since then, and whilst it's certainly a lot better than any Mario Party since Mario Party 5, titles such as Wii Party U and Bumpie's Party seem a lot more modern and fresh.

Mario is still a great icon and has some fantastic games but if you ever recieve a party invitation, you'd best let him know you're washing your hair. 

N-Europe Final Verdict

If you haven’t played a Mario Party in a good while and feel like re-living the old days, this is certainly the best Mario Party title you can get from the last 10 years but if you’re simply after a decent party title there are plenty more on Wii U that are worthy of your time.

  • Gameplay3
  • Playability3
  • Visuals3
  • Audio2
  • Lifespan2
Final Score



- New board designs are a breath of fresh air
- Minigames are the best the series has seen for quite some time
- Motion controls are very responsive


- Still has those Mario Party tropes, if you didn't like the series previously, this won't change your mind
- No online
- No Birdo

© Copyright 2024 - Independent Nintendo Coverage Back to the Top