3DS (£34.99)

Mario Party: Island Tour for 3DS review: Mario's party spirit isn't flagging yet

3.00

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 and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
News
Ireland will not find out whether gay couples have won the right to marry until Saturday afternoon
news
News
Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-chol
news
News
Manchester city skyline as seen from Oldham above the streets of terraced houses in North West England on 7 April 2015.
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?