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3DS  header logo

 3DS PREVIEW

We went hands on with the reinvented board game, Mario Party: Star Rush

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Product: Mario Party: Star Rush | Publisher: Nintendo | Genre: Party/ mini- games
For: 3DS
 
Star Rush

Here's a weird fact. The box art for Mario Party: Star Rush is a lightly modified piece of artwork that was previously used on a can of Mario-themed Spaghettios.

You might think that this implies that Nintendo isn't really trying with this one. Chuck something together quickly. Slap on a picture from a tin of meatballs. Make a few quid.

But having played the game, I don't think that read is entirely fair, as the game seeks to reinvent the Mario Party format in almost every way.

Mario Party

For example. you no longer have to wait for each person to roll the dice and make their move. Everyone rolls and moves at the same time, and the events play out simultaneously on screen.

And then there's the game board which is no longer a big long looping line like in Monopoly. Instead, it's a huge grid and you can move in any direction. Maybe you want to pick up a power up, like a poison mushroom that screw with your rival's die roll.

Maybe you want to start a mini game. These no longer show a tutorial or instructions: instead they're designed to be simple to pick up and understand with nothing more than the name of the game.

Mario Party

Or perhaps you want to pick up an ally. You see, while everyone plays as Toad (in the main game type, Toad Scramble, that is), you can find characters like Peach and Donkey Kong and recruit them as your pal.

They have special abilities that can affect your die roll, or the way you explore the grid like map. And they're super handy in boss battles. You see, the stars you need to collect to win are guarded by boss monsters that must be defeated in quickfire mini games.

In one I played, we all had to pick up apples from a tree and bring them down - sneaking between goombas - to the bottom of the screen. Anyone with an ally had a huge advantage as Mario and Peach came along to help out that player.

Mario Party

I'm not sure that Mario Party: Star Rush is going to win over anyone that's bored of this surprisingly hardy franchise. But, hey, at least it's a bit different - and slightly more inventive than its spaghetti-stained box art implies.

And if nothing else, it lead to a Waluigi amiibo. So, it's basically the game of the year.
 

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 29 June 2016
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