One of video gaming’s best and most popular party game series is back with the 12th instalment of the Mario Party franchise hitting Nintendo Switch.
But does Mario Party Superstars do the series justice?
Well MPS features five boards that have been remade from the original Nintendo 64 trilogy of games.
And there are a whopping total of 100 minigames curated from previous titles. Unlike Super Mario Party, Superstars can actually be played with button controls using the Pro Controller or Joy-Con controllers, in the Switch's handheld mode or on the Nintendo Switch Lite system.
Playing in handheld on Nintendo’s new OLED Switch was a joy with the colours and graphics really popping on the markedly improved screen.
Mario Party games have been around for the best part of 25 years now. And while they are usually always fun, they have not always been great games.
But I am delighted to report that Superstars is a real love letter to some of Mario Party’s best bits over the years and that can only be a good thing.
To give an idea of just how addictive and fun Superstars is; in my house I’m the gamer. My daughter is into her arts and crafts and isn’t really much of a gamer beyond the odd go on pick up and play titles down the years - but very rarely.
I suggested to her she give Superstars a go with me. And three hours later we were on our third game. I was hooked and she was hooked. The next day - during half-term it should be noted - she had her cousin over to stay and they were playing until the early hours. The next day that cousin goes out and buys Superstars for herself and spends all day playing it. Not content with that the cousin and her two siblings then come BACK over for another sleepover with my daughter where they spend hours on it, again playing until the small hours.
They were constantly laughing and having fun with one another, instead of having their heads buried in their phones. It was lovely to see. And they’re already planning the next Mario Party party!
I think that says everything you need to know about Superstars.
There is an excellent selection of boards and minigames from the classic Mario Party titles down the years.
The balance between rewarding fun and addictive frustration is peak Nintendo and it is packed full of the usual charm as well as the added nostalgia.
Some may be disappointed that there are no motion controlled minigames and a lack of playable characters to choose from.
But Superstars is more than just a collection of boards and minigames from the past, this is a bona fide jewel in the crown for this brilliant series that gets the right blend of classic and modern. A couple more game boards may have pushed MPS’s score closer to 10 - but perhaps we will get that as DLC at some stage?
Besides that this is easily the best Mario Party has been for a long, long time. It goes without saying it is infinitely more enjoyable when playing in the same room with other players - it does lose some of the buzz when it’s just you vs the computer or even online.
But this is without doubt another must for your Switch collection.