pax west 2016

Making The Most Of Mini Games In Mario Party: Star Rush

by Daniel Tack on Sep 03, 2016 at 06:28 AM

At PAX West 2016, I went hands-on with the upcoming 3DS title Mario Party: Star Rush. As a huge fan of the old-school Mario Party titles, I was intrigued by the game modes on display: fast, fun takes that center around the mini games that make Mario Party great without all of the dice rolling and waiting around for turns to complete. Mario Party: Star Rush has options for all styles of play, but doing mini game marathons or taking simultaneous turns make the action far more fluid than the traditional board game format.

In one mode, the entire game took around five minutes as four players participated in a coin collecting race that amounts to a mini game extravaganza, with no real board to speak of. We went from mini game to mini game, with coins determining the eventual winner after several rounds of jumping, Pac-Man style maze running, and samurai hammer swinging. It's incredibly fast and distills the party down to nothing but mini games, which is great if you are looking for an experience without the dice rolling and board traveling that's featured in more tradtional board game modes.

I also played a board game style mode, but things are still kept fast and furious. Turns are taken simultaneously, so there's no waiting around for other players. Toads travel around a small map collecting coins with the eventual goal of taking on the board's boss.

You can opt to go right for the goal, or bolster your chances of winning and augment your die rolls by collecting special characters like Mario on the map. Again, the focus is really on taking the cool parts of Mario Party and distilling things down to the core - You're still doing the dice rolls and laying traps for your opponents, but it's streamlined and quick. At the end, everyone gets a shot at the boss event to win a likely game-deciding star, but if you're far away from the boss tile you'll have to mash buttons to get your character to travel and join in the fray, giving those that were closer to the boss an advantage going into the mini game.

Mario Party: Star Rush is aptly named, and I'm interested in checking out more quick matches and Mario Party fun when it lands on November 4.