Since video games became popular in the 1980s, my wife and I have played countless games such as Fortnites that also featured today’s Fortnite item shop. Technology advancements make games so much more action-packed and realistic now than back then. However, we now prefer more laid-back family-oriented games. Nintendo’s Mario Party suits us perfectly, and it has become our favorite video game series.
Mario Party is a family-friendly series of which we approve for our pre-teen son. We look for games that have an ESRB rating of E10 or lower. Mario Party games are rated E. We have never seen anything that we deem inappropriate in any of the seven Mario Party games that we have played since 2006.
Characters race in board-game fashion obtaining gold stars. The player who obtains the most wins. Collecting stars takes both luck and skill. Dice rolls determine the number of spaces to move, and where the road splits, players must choose the correct path to the star. Players must have enough coins – usually twenty — to purchase the stars. To get the coins, players can win minigames between turns, land on special coin bonus spaces, or take them from other players. Players can lose coins by losing duels, landing on certain spaces, buying stars and power orbs, or having the evil dragon Bowser take them.
Players roll the dice and move toward the stars. After all four players roll and move, they compete in minigames for coins. The minigames feature many different types of competition: races, memory, sports, chance, fights, and more. The winner gets ten coins in most cases, but variations occur. We each have a specialty. I normally win the quick reaction games, my wife is best with the fighting games, and our son almost always wins the skill games. We never know which will pop up, so we cannot predict the winner in advance.
Equal chances of winning
Our son will completely destroy us at most fast-paced games, but we can compete with him at any Mario Party game. The games mix fast-paced minigames with slow-moving turns. Winning or losing every time makes a game tedious for us, but since any of us can win Mario Party, we stay interested. Success can turn sour quickly, and special chance spaces can cause players to exchange fortunes at any time. We have all had our low star count turn high – and high to low – by landing on a chance space within the last few turns of a game.
One final quality makes the Mario Party series our favorite. We can visit as a family while we play. We can talk casually about our day or our son’s last baseball game, or we can discuss more serious issues such as bills due, family concerns, or important upcoming tasks and events. We will even bring our Nintendo Gamecube with us on vacations so we can play Mario Party 4 through 7 in our resort rooms.
Looking for more
We really enjoy the Mario Party series. The games allow us to spend time together, and we all have an equal chance of winning. We own seven of the nine versions available, and if/when versions 1 and 3 become downloadable for Wii, we will get them. We always look forward to the next version, and we hope that Nintendo will put out Mario Party 10 before too long.