Mario Party: Island Tour for 3DS review: Mario's party spirit isn't flagging yet
The latest iteration in the mini-game 'Party' series has players compete against three friends in a series of bite-sized challenges
Mario loves to throw a party, it’s his 10th, in fact (counting his official titles in the series). As with all party games (and the real-life kind, of course) it’s better with more friends. Fortunately, Mario Party: Island Tour features Download Play which means others can join in without purchasing the game themselves – but without an online multiplayer option you’ll need three friends each with a 3DS, and unless you met your chums at Nintendo club that might be a struggle.
Playing a party game on a portable device naturally creates a different dynamic to sharing a console and a screen. For one, you won’t be able to shout and swear if Kamek swaps your position on the board from first to last while you’re sitting on the bus. Ultimately, it's this sense of shared competition that makes the interactive board game so enjoyable - the combination of skill and revenge, with a sprinkling of luck thrown in.
Though Mario Party: Island Tour doesn’t work as well when playing against computer controlled characters, it’s still a solid game for on the move. On a ‘Normal’ difficulty level rivals will offer absolutely no contest, and you’ll rarely lose. It’s better to up the difficulty, but do practice before changing to ‘Master’ level, as - shockingly - coming in last place every time can get tedious.
Playing with friends on the 3DS isn't the same as sharing a big TV - and the computer is a bit of a wimp at lower difficulty levels.
The different board games are categorised by length of play, and how much you want to rely on luck or skill. Presumably the luck-based levels are aimed at younger players, as these games (based purely based on random choices and hoping for the best) aren’t any fun at all.
All of the boards could do with adding more minigames throughout; everyone knows waiting for someone else to roll the dice and move along the board is the tiresome part of any game, virtual or not. Sadly, some minigames also don’t really have an effect on your position on the board, which defeats the point. It would also improve the game enormously if a difficult board was added, where the games were a little longer and more complex.
'Bowser’s Tower' is more about endurance with a platform-esque edge as it includes boss levels. Although holding down the right shoulder button speeds things up, climbing the tower in-between games lasts far too long. For extended games there is also 'Time Attack', or for straight mini-gaming without interruption go for the 'Balloon Race'.
Some games can be a bit repetitive, but most are creative and engaging.
As ever with Mario Party, some games follow a similar format to before, such as 'Tile Savvy' (sliding tiles to make the picture correctly), and connecting the dots in 'Starring Artist', and yes, a couple are rubbish – I’m looking at you ‘Color Me Fast’. But most are creative, have beautiful graphics, and draw upon different skillsets: timing, speed, racing, counting, reflexes, aim, balance, rhythm…the list goes on.
Mario’s party days aren’t over just yet.
Life & Style blogs
Dating site hack reveals sexual secrets of 4 million users
Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
Near-death experiences: what it feels like to die
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Teenager tries to buy elderly homeless man breakfast at McDonald's but is told homeless people cannot be served under 'new policy'
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 3 Group of students refused entry to Leicester nightclub 'because they are black'
- 4 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 5 Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...