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The Best (and Worst) Mario Party Superstars Minigames

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best mario party superstars minigames

Mario Party Superstars’ minigames come from the ten numbered releases in the series, making the game a celebration of classic eras past. But with a hundred included, some are better than others! Here’s our guide to the best and worst of the new Nintendo release.

The most exciting minigames

Bumper Balls is simply a classic, but it doesn’t actually shine that much when you actually play it. There are some games, though, that are fun to play and watch when you’re eliminated. At the top of our list? Hot Rope Jump. The Mario Party 2 creation is simple enough, but watching someone go for a long streak of jumps as the rope speeds up is a simple joy.

Similarly, the frantic Booksquirm offers a similar experience, adding the sort of jostling and tactics of many classic Mario Party minigames to the speedy reflex challenge.

Revisiting these best Mario Party minigames in 2021, it’s clear just how much Fall Guys owes to the franchise. Games like Pushy Penguins and Mushroom Mix-Up are clear progenitors.

best mario party superstars minigames block star

The deepest minigames

A small but devoted following has grown around the Mario Party franchise’s falling-block puzzlers. None of them are of the level of Puzzle League or Tetris, sure. But they can be fun! That’s definitely true of the two included in Mario Party Superstars.

Mario’s Puzzle Party uses Thwomps to create half-height blocks, matching Columns-style by placing sets of two vertical squares. The controls are a bit less precise than we’d like, but it’s still fun.

Block Star is our personal favorite. Nominally, the game’s about grabbing blocks from the stack and moving them around into position to connect five of a color, but the action speeds up considerably when you adopt a play style of quick-grabbing something to move it to the top of the stack. This one deserves a larger treatment sometime.

Mario Party Superstars seems to understand that the sports and puzzle games are the most fleshed-out, with the appropriately-named “Sports and Puzzles” section in Mt. Minigames offering score attack and ranked versus play.

best mario party superstars minigames

The best-designed minigames

There’s always been randomness to a Mario Party play, but some games are crafted with a surprising amount of thought. Face-Lift, for example, now has visible manipulation points! This lets you know where to grab to stretch the face into position. The challenge is still there! But you blame the controls less.

If you do want to stick to skill-focused games, there’s an option for that! The menu lets you choose specific minigame packs, like N64-era ones or easier-to-control ones, but the “Skill” pack is particularly utilitarian.

In terms of visual design, Superstars is spot-on. The horsepower of the Switch doesn’t hold anything back, as the faithful presentation of N64-era boards and classic games is polished up real nice. And there’s a lot of work here to speed up the gameplay! Sadly, the board pacing does tend to slow it down again, with too many item shops and lucky spaces. Trimming down the number of those would both make game sessions speedier and make those spaces feel more special.

waluigi doing a sick snowboard trick online

The worst minigames

This is a “best-of” collection, but some Mario Party Superstars minigames are more memorable than they are fun. The swing timing in Dinger Derby isn’t intuitive, so playing it is a frustrating affair. Cast Aways features similarly finicky timing. If you don’t nail your accuracy, you’ll miss your target with your fishing pole and end up empty-handed.

Clearly, though, the weakness still lies, after all these years, in the one-on-three events. It’s hard to balance these, we know! But in a best-of collection, it feels like we’d see more hits than misses. Piranha’s Pursuit feels particularly devoid of skill for the team of three, as you have little control over Petey and your cloud’s rain direction to grow him. The appropriately-named GOOOOOOOAL!! is a nightmare for the one goalie, as any decently competent team is guaranteed to pull it out.

Mario Party Superstars is out now on Nintendo Switch.

Graham Russell
Graham Russell has been writing about games for various sites and publications since 2007. He’s a fan of streamlined strategy games, local multiplayer and upbeat aesthetics. He joined Siliconera in February 2020, and served as its Managing Editor until July 2022. When he’s not writing about games, he’s a graphic designer, web developer, card/board game designer and editor.