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Review: Mario Party Island Tour (Nintendo 3DS)

Visit Mario Party Island. Picture: Contribution

Mario Party Island Tour (Nintendo 3DS)

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Even so, his observation is a sharp summary of the long collection of minigames.

Visit Mario Party Island. Picture: Contribution

Remarkably, a franchise built around fun and colorful bite-sized gameplay is getting closer to adulthood. Now in its 16th year, the Mario Party brand has stubbornly refused to mature quietly, with each installment delivering the same frenzied array of games and challenges that captivated Nintendo 64 owners when it debuted in 1998.

At the heart of it all, there was a nice balance, not always achieved. On the one hand, Nintendo knows it needs to reward players for their skill; but also, he must ensure that the less capable competitors have enough luck to remain in the competition. Continuing that tradition, the latest release sees the series debut on the 3DS which is bright and airy if at times unnerving.

Well-designed, skill-based mini-games are entertaining and instantly playable. Instructions are kept to a minimum, and the vast majority of chases are fast-paced. While most games use basic controls, some show a thoughtful take on the 3DS’ gyro capabilities, like Point ‘n’ Shoot, a Where’s Wally? hidden character hunt style.

Several of the offers require little skill, but at best are still frivolous fun. Wind Me Up, for example, asks players to frantically wield the console controller to propel their character through the air as far as possible. However, charm alone does not save all games in the collection.

Deals where luck is the only factor, like the Spin and Bear it-inspired wheel of fortune – with a hammer that will crush a player every turn – tend to drag on, especially in single-player where the lack of jump function means you are forced to watch the AI ​​follow the movements.

Luck, of course, has always been a factor in the Mario Party series, but its influence is paramount in Island Tour, as any rewards or progress achieved through wise and well-judged play seems arbitrary; at any time, a player’s success can be thwarted by chance, especially if an opponent has received a Switch Kamek, instantly taking your pole position.

Getting stung like this after half an hour of play sticks to your throat and undermines the colorful, inventive, and entertaining board game sections. No matter how well you play in the myriad of contests, sometimes it seems like your fate depends entirely on how the die rolls. As a result, the main game modes have little replay value, despite some enjoyable mini-games.