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Review: Mario Party 10 (Wii U)



Game Length: N/A
Developer(s): Nintendo
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform(s): Wii U
Release Date: 20 March




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Bowser mode is fun if you have enough players


amiibo party sucks | Not enough boards | It's Mario Party 9.5 | Wii Remotes Essential to play

Bottom Line

Decline the invitation

Posted March 16, 2015 by

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When you think of a party it’s all about cake, drinks, sweets, creepy clowns and all forms of fun and entertainment. It’s this very formula that’s made the Mario Party series such a joy with friends over the years. It’s now the Wii U’s turn to receive it’s first Mario Party. Should you accept or decline the invitation?


Mario Party 9.5

As you would expect Mario Party 10 starts up with a delightful soundtrack that sets you in the mood for all forms of multiplayer mayhem. It’s in essence a glorified electronic board game that comes with three modes – amiibo Party, Bowser Party and Mario Party. Mario Party follows the tried and tested recipe that has you making your way from point A to B via a roll of the dice. As before there are all forms of hazards, rewards and mini-games along the way. Your objective is to collect the most mini stars to be victorious. Does it sound like Mario Party 9 to you? It’s because it’s exactly that, minus the entertainment and creativity.


Seeing as it’s following the Mario Party 9 style you’re once again stuck in one vehicle, though the whole ‘Captain’ idea, which brought something new to the series, died along with Mario Party 9. There are some great mini games, and one or two decent boss battles, but it’s nowhere near as good as anything prior to this. The games are made up of simple button presses or motion controls and requires you to play using a Wii Remote. Got 4 players playing? You each need a Wii remote to play. Unfortunately there’s more that spoils the party.


Shake, rattle, roll all the dice

There is an abundance of hidden special dice blocks (that’s either a high number, low number, double dice or slow dice block). It makes the experience far too easy. The new boards are not all that different from before either. You’ll get to play on Mushroom Park, Haunted Trail, Whimsical Waters, Airship Central, and Chaos Castle, which brings it to a mere five board variations. There’s nothing extra to buy in the shop (using in-game Mario Party points), though you’ll be able to buy extra characters in the form of Toadette and Spike, which increases the character selection count to 12. It feels as if it’s been rushed to ensure that there was Gamepad and amiibo support in time for launch, and in the Mario Party mode there’s barely any use of it at all. Bowser is supposedly trapped inside a cage (displayed on the Gamepad). It has several locks on it numbered 1-6. You guessed it. Every time your dice lands on a number it’ll break a lock. Break all 6 locks and Bowser comes out to spoil the party by changing regular spaces to Bowser spaces. You don’t use the Gamepad once for anything else in the Mario Party mode.


Bowser Party will have one player playing against a maximum of four other competitors. Your aim, as Bowser, is to catch and deplete the health of the four other players before they reach the end of the board, whereby they’re rewarded with a golden star. Catch them and you’ll all take part in a unique Gamepad mini-game battle. The player playing as Bowser will play from the Gamepad perspective, while the rest follow the on-screen actions on the television. It’s feels like another Nintendoland showcase that shows off the capabilities of the Gamepad that includes the touch screen, microphone (to blow fire, which is quite cool) and gyroscope. It’s fun at first, but as there’s a maximum of 10 Bowser mini-games it gets stale quickly. Worse off is that you only have three boards to play on, all copied from Mario Party mode. So what about amiibo Party?



The following amiibo’s are supported: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Wario, Rosalina and Donkey Kong. Scanning in either amiibo will launch a unique board for each character, though the board is square in shape and hosts items unique to each character. For example, Yoshi will have eggs you can collect (filled with dice – DICE EVERYWHERE!) and Mario can eat a mushroom and stomp competitors to steal their coins. Coins? Yes, it’s the classic Gold Star formula we all loved before Mario Party 9 broke everything. 20 coins buys you a Gold Star, and then moves to another position on the board.  It could have been a great addition was it not for one moronic decision. Every time you roll the dice, select or confirm anything on the board you have to scan your amiibo on the Gamepad. When playing it by yourself it’s not an issue, but play it with three other friends and you’re constantly moving the Gamepad around or standing up to get to it. “SCAN – Dice roll, SCAN – accept special dice, SCAN – accept new board token; next players turn!” It just makes no sense at all and completely destroys what could have been. Why Nintendo? We have buttons on the Wii Remote that’s sitting in the palm of our hands. Scanning once would have made this addition something worth being a bit more excited for.


There are bonus games (Badminton Bash, Jewel Drop, Bowser Jr. Challenges, Minigame Tournament and Bowser Challenge) that tries to extend the time you’ll spend with the game, but there’s just not enough in this lucky party packet to compete with other titles, or any Mario Party game before this. You’ll find a Challenge List (similar to achievements and trophies) in Toad’s Room, as well as a music room and photo studio, but it feels exceptionally shallow. Mario Party 10 is a bit of a disappointment, especially considering that the Mario Party 9 formula with mini stars was not enjoyed by players. It’s okay for fans of the series, but be well aware that it feels rushed, can be a bit boring and annoying at times and that the lack of innovation makes this a party pooper.


Dawid Venter

Married to a gamer wife who kicks my ass at most shooters. If it's got analogue thingies, with buttons that's connected to a big box I'll play it no matter the format.

  • Blatz_ztalB

    Nice review! Not sure if I should get this now :/

    • dawid22

      Yeah, I was really disappointed. I love the series, and expected this to be a decent jump.

  • Jarred

    Was pretty keen to pick this up at some stage, even with hearing that it isn’t that great, but that reliance on Wiimotes is a deal breaker for me. I only have one control so don’t see the point. Pity.

    • Cautious Observer

      Warning, mini rant…

      See, that kinda confuses me. How do you expect to play any party games without enough controllers?
      Yeah, I guess you can have a “pass the controller” system, or something on mobile phones like the YDKJ games have begun doing (which, imo is freaking brilliant), but for the majority(?) of party games you need a set of controllers.

      Maybe if you’ve never played a Mario Party game before? I think it could be fair to say that most people how have purchased and enjoyed previous Mario Party games enough to purchase this one either have a full compliment of Wii remotes from their Wii, or know people with Wii’s (they’re out there, I swear).

      So yeah, it strikes me as strange, but perhaps I’m missing the intended meaning.

      The rest of the review seems to gel with other reviews; that MP 10 is a “safe bet” middle of the road edition, but pointing out that you need a full set of controllers seems more like it should be a buyer beware note and not something that should negatively affect the score? (There’s enough other issues to do that, by the look of things.)

      • Jarred

        The problem I am referring to isn’t about having enough controls, it’s making it specific to Wiimotes. Why not make it compatible with the gamepad and pro controller too as options. The Wii U primary control isn’t a Wiimote. The lack of options makes it inaccessible for many I think.
        For eg. I thought maybe I would get this as my wife would quite enjoy it and we could play 2 player even. Thought I could play it with the gamepad while she uses the Wiimote or other control, but that’s not the case sadly.
        Hope that makes a bit more sense.

        • Cautious Observer

          Yeah, it does.
          But I guess Motion Controls ™.

          • Jarred

            Yeah, motion controls… ugh

        • Cautious Observer

          Random afterhought:

          You still require multiple controllers, and I guess it could be argued that it’s easier to obtain Wii remotes than pro controllers.
          Plus you would need to cater the minigames to the controllers used. So motion for Wii remotes and analogue stick shenanigans for pro controllers. So either you would have to have each minigame work with both motion and analogue stick shenanigans, or lock out certain games based on which controllers are connected. (So what happens when you have a mix.) No solution sound truly ideal.

          Forgive or ignore me, I seem to be in an ornery mood today.

          • Jarred

            Ignore you? NEVER.
            It’s a more than fair question.
            In my mind, most people have at least one Wiimote to start with and the Wii U obviously comes with the gamepad, so that’s two controls already which is perfect in my situation. Yes, it would mean they would have to be smart around the different ways you play certain mini games, or have sections where it takes out those fully depending on motion controls, but I would think it is doable.
            I mean, a game like child of eden for eg allowed motion controls and standard controls.

          • Cautious Observer

            One does not simply ignore the internet.

            I fully agree that it is an absolute crying shame that what essentially amounts to a flagship title for Nintendo does not make full use of the Wii Pad. I got my hands on Nintendo Land literally last night (thank you PnP milk run and bargain bin!) and the ideas and implementations in there are truly fun. So in that regard it is quite tragic. It also sounds like more Wii pad use would alleviate your situation. (And, to be fair, a large portion of other people’s.)

            == I had another 5 paragraphs of ranting about control schemes after this, but in hindsight it seemed to miss the point and just descend into full retard. ===

          • Jarred

            Yeah, that’s just it, it seems a bit lazy for them to bring out a new game on a new system but require old controls. It assumes people have the controls already which is silly imo. I mean, I don’t think many Wii U games require that you MUST have a Wiimote so I am almost certain many people just have the gamepad and a Pro controller and maybe at most one Wiimote, but having to buy more and more controls for just one game makes no sense to me.

          • Cautious Observer

            Rockband says hi…

            I guess I’m just more privileged than I realized, controller wise. I come from a group of friends where party games were pretty big. We had full sets of Rockband (on 360, and PS3) kit, BUZZ! (two, in fact for Buzz to cover all the people), Scene It, Mario Party etc.

            So for me it just seems natural that party game = controller investment. (Which is one reason I’m so thankful for the move to smart phone integration these days.)

          • Jarred

            You just mentioned some of my favourite games.
            Buzz is amazing, love it, but I paid R350 for the game and all the controllers. So if Mario Party was R500 with a control I would happily get it, but it’s not.
            Rockband is damn pricey BUT 2 guitars and you are set, and the new versions will let you use old instruments and new, which is like the opposite of Mario Party.

          • Cautious Observer

            2 guitars, 1 keyboard, 1 mic (I think it actually supported more, but don’t quote me), 1 drum set, 1 cymbal set… Or a new television, your choice. But anyway.

            To be fair, MP 8, 9 and now 10 all use the same controllers so you do get to re-use your old kit (assuming you had it in the first place etc etc etc).

            I will agree that it is a high price for entry for new people though. Would be much better if they did offer a bundle of some kind (more than the Amiibo ed).

          • Jarred

            Yeah, music games were different level of BUY ALL THE ACCESSORIES.
            Thing is with MP, is that this is the first one on the new console, so why not utilize the new console rather than making it a Mario Party 9.5 which still uses the exact same controls as the previous system. That is where the issue lies for me.

          • Cautious Observer

            I can at least agree with that. And you pointing out that it’s the first one on the new console does make it a bit harder to assume that everybody who owns a Wii U previously owned both a Wii and a MP game.

            I don’t think it will change for the foreseeable future though. The Wii U gamepad may be the primary controller for the system, but like it or not, the Wii remote is the accepted secondary controller.

  • Cautious Observer

    Good read. Could you perhaps elaborate on the Amiibo game mode? I’ve read in other places that you can pretty much control everything using the Wii remotes, and that all the scanning is optional? If you really can’t use the remotes, it’s gonna be incredibly annoying.

    • dawid22

      When it’s your turn to roll the dice you press the A button to select your dice, scan the amiibo to roll it. If you happen to land on a dice/token space you scan your amiibo to accept it. The only time there’s not scanning involves is when you buy a gold star. Then you can simply press A, but that only happens once in a while. You’re mostly scanning.

      • Cautious Observer

        Thanks, that is truly worrying though.

        • dawid22

          I went to double-check to make 100%, but it’s the case unfortunately. I had 3 other buddies joining me two weeks ago and we generally could not stop scanning. It was highly annoying. So, you’d sit there with a Wii Remote, amiibo and, when it’s your turn, the Gamepad in your hands. It’s overkill.

          • Choffel

            Yeah, annoying as hell – “amehbo” nailed it Dawid

  • Dave

    Wow this sounds disappointing. Will probably still be worth picking up one day just because it’s a nice game to play with the kids, and they don’t seem to mind the repetitiveness. But this time they had so many options to make awesome minigames with the amiibos, gamepad (including built in camera and mic), and motion tracking and it seems like they dropped the ball a bit.

  • Anthea Hercules

    kids aged 6 will enjoy it 🙂