Logo of Mario Party
|Developers||Hudson Soft (1998–2007)
Capcom (arcade release)
Nd Cube (2012–present)
|First release||Mario Party
December 18, 1998
|Latest release||Mario Party 10
20 March 2015
Mario Party (Japanese: マリオパーティ Hepburn: Mario Pāti?) is a party video game series featuring Mario franchise characters in which four human- or computer-controlled characters compete in a board game interspersed with minigames. The series was developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo; the arcade version was developed by Capcom. The series is known for its party game elements, including the often-unpredictable multiplayer modes that allow play with up to four (and sometimes eight) human players.
After the development of Mario Party 8, several of Hudson Soft's key designers left to work for Nintendo subsidiary Nd Cube, developers of Wii Party. Starting in 2012 with Mario Party 9, Nd Cube has taken over development of the series from Hudson Soft. The latest title in the series, Mario Party 10 was released worldwide in March 2015 on Wii U.
The series currently holds the record for the longest-running minigame series. As of December 2014, Nintendo reported cumulative worldwide sales of 39.6 million game copies in the Mario Party franchise.
Over the course of the Mario Party series, gameplay has changed to suit the technology of the hardware. There are several modes available for play in each game, each of which provides its own rules and challenges.
Every game in the main series has a standard Party Mode in which up to four players play through a board, trying to collect as many stars as possible. In every turn, each player rolls a die and progresses on the board, which usually has branching paths. Coins are primarily earned by performing well in a minigame played at the end of each turn. On most boards, players earn stars by reaching a star space and purchasing a star for a certain amount of coins. The star space appears randomly on one of several pre-determined locations and moves every time a star is purchased, usually occupying a blue space.
Every Mario Party contains at least 50 to 90 minigames with a few different types. Four-player games are a free-for-all in which players compete individually. In 2-on-2 and 1-on-3 minigames, players compete as two groups, cooperating to win, even though they are still competing individually in the main game. Some minigames in Mario Party are 4-player co-op, even though it doesn't say it. In most situations, winners earn ten coins each.
Battle minigames first appeared in Mario Party 2. These games are like the 4-player games, but instead of winners earning ten coins each, each player contributes a randomly selected number of coins (or all coins if the player falls short of the pot amount). The winner of the minigame receives approximately 70% of the pot, the second-place winner receives the other 30%, and a random player occasionally gets coins left over from rounding.
Duel minigames debuted in Mario Party 2, and were omitted in Mario Party 4 (though the Story minigames are all duels), but return again in Mario Party 5. Duel games pit two players against each other. In Party Mode, one player initiates the duel, wagering coins or even a star against another player. The winner of the duel receives all coins or stars wagered. Starting with Mario Party 7, the player no longer chooses the wager in a duel, rather, the duel takes place and the prize to the winner, if any, is randomly determined.
Bowser minigames are introduced in Mario Party 4 in which players try to avoid being burned by Bowser's fire breath if they lose. When that happens, players must give up coins, stars or items. In Mario Party 7, a single-player version of the games were introduced and only one person can play.
Mario Party 9 introduced a new set of minigames entitled Bowser Jr. minigames. Here, Bowser Jr. challenges two players to compete in a minigame with him. If they successfully defeat him, both players will receive five Mini Stars. If not, then Bowser Jr. will take five from each player.
At the end of the game, bonus stars can be awarded to players. Three specific stars are awarded in Mario Party through Mario Party 6. All later games have six possible bonus stars, but only three of those stars are awarded per game. These stars add to the player's overall total.
In addition to Party mode, every Mario Party has a minigame mode in which minigames are played without the board game. Minigame modes vary from game to game, but later games have many different variations. In one such example from Mario Party 5, each player tries to fill a board with as many spaces as possible in his or her color by winning minigames. In Mario Party 6 and onward, there is one game in Minigame mode intended for single-player.
|Mario Party||1998||Nintendo 64||53||First entry in the series. Six characters are playable: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach (referred to as Peach), Donkey Kong (referred to as DK), Yoshi, and Wario.|
|Mario Party 2||1999||Nintendo 64||65||Introduces items to the series.|
|Mario Party 3||2000||Nintendo 64||71||Adds Daisy and Waluigi as playable characters. The only game in the Mario Party series to contain duels where two characters can battle each other using main enemies, such as Goombas and Koopa Troopas.|
|Mario Party 4||2002||GameCube||62||Last game where Donkey Kong can be fully playable until Mario Party 10. Introduces the Team Battle feature to the series.|
|Mario Party 5||2003||GameCube||75||Released in 2004 to Japanese arcades as Super Mario Fushigi no Korokoro Party (Super Mario: The Mysterious Rolling Party) by Capcom. Donkey Kong is restricted to having a special "DK Space". Koopa Kid, Toad, and Boo are now playable, bringing the total number of playable characters to ten.|
|Mario Party 6||2004||GameCube||82||First game to make use of GameCube's microphone peripheral, packaged with the game. Adds Toadette as an unlockable playable character, making this the first game in the series to have unlockable characters.|
|Mario Party 7||2005||GameCube||88||Support for up to eight players with eight-player joystick only game. Continues use of microphone peripheral. Adds Birdo and Dry Bones as unlockable playable characters.|
|Mario Party 8||2007||Wii||81||Minigames utilize Wii Remote's capabilities. Adds Blooper and Hammer Bro. as unlockable playable characters.|
|Mario Party 9||2012||Wii||82||Introduces two new types of stars called Mini Stars and Mini Ztars. Players do not travel around the board individually but instead in one vehicle. Adds Koopa as a default playable character, and Shy Guy and Kamek (Magikoopa in NA regions) as unlockable playable characters.|
|Mario Party 10||2015||Wii U||73||Introduces two new modes of play: Bowser Party and Amiibo Party. Adds Rosalina as a default playable character, Spike as an unlockable playable character, Bowser as a playable character (only in Bowser Party and Amiibo Party), and Donkey Kong returns as a playable character since Mario Party 4.|
Mario Party-e is a card game that makes optional use of the Nintendo e-Reader and was released on February 7, 2003. Many of these cards contain "dot-codes" that, when scanned into the e-Reader, allow players to play minigames similar to those found in the regular Mario Party series. The Mario Party-e contains a Play Mat, an instruction book and a pre-constructed deck consisting of sixty-four cards. An extra card was included as a promotion in an issue of GamePro.
Mario Party Advance
Mario Party Advance was released for the Game Boy Advance on March 28, 2005. It is the first Mario Party game on a handheld gaming system.
Mario Party DS
Mario Party DS was released on November 19, 2007 for the Nintendo DS in North America. Many of the 74 minigames featured utilize the capabilities of the DS's touch screen and microphone, in addition to traditional minigames using the directional pad and control buttons.
Mario Party: Island Tour
Mario Party: Island Tour is an iteration of Mario Party for the Nintendo 3DS that was announced via Nintendo Direct on April 17, 2013 and was released in North America on November 22, 2013.  In addition to traditional controls, many of the game's 81 minigames utilize the touch screen and other unique features of the system. It adds Bowser Jr. as an unlockable playable character.
- ^ Is an unlockable character.
- ^ Is only playable in Party Mode.
- ^ Is only playable in the Beach Volley Folley minigame in 4.
- ^ Is only playable in the Super Duel Mode in 5.
- ^ Is only playable in the Extra mode in 8.
- ^ Is only playable in the Bowser Party, Bowser Challenge, and amiibo Party modes in 10.
- ^ In NA regions, Kamek is called "Magikoopa".
- ^ In PAL regions, Koopa Kid is called "Mini Bowser".
|Mario Party 2||74%||76/100|
|Mario Party 3||76%||74/100|
|Mario Party 4||73%||70/100|
|Mario Party 5||70%||69/100|
|Mario Party 6||73%||71/100|
|Mario Party Advance||57%||54/100|
|Mario Party 7||65%||64/100|
|Mario Party 8||63%||62/100|
|Mario Party DS||72%||72/100|
|Mario Party 9||75%||74/100|
|Mario Party: Island Tour||63%||60/100|
|Mario Party 10||65%||67/100|
In Mario Party, certain minigames required players to rotate the controller's analog stick, including one in which the player is challenged to wind up Fly-Guy at the minigame house. Some players used the palms of their hands, rather than their thumbs, to rotate the analog stick. As a result, they would often endure blisters. In an act of contrition, Nintendo gave away free gaming gloves to the victims of these blisters. Some wore away the stick because it was not very durable. The analog stick rotation has no longer been used since Mario Party 2. The exceptions are the mini-game in Mario Party 5 in which the player only needs to rotate it once and the mini-game in Mario Party 3 in which players throw Bowser in a manner similar to Super Mario 64 and do not need to use the palm of their hand to move the analog stick. Mario Party: Island Tour resumed using these types of minigames because players can spin the Nintendo 3DS' analog stick safely.
In July 2007, Mario Party 8 for the Wii was withdrawn from United Kingdom game stores shortly after its release date. This was allegedly caused by Kamek using the word "spastic." Complaints were raised from consumers because the term is used to refer to an intellectually disabled person and is considered offensive in the United Kingdom. In August 2007, Nintendo re-released the game, replacing "spastic" with the word "erratic".
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