Mario Party (Japanese: マリオパーティ, Mario Pāti) is a game that was released on the Nintendo 64, and is the first game in the Mario Party series. In the game, players choose one of six characters and move around the board. As they go around, they collect coins and various other items that can help them or hinder others in their quest to collect Stars.
What sets this game apart from others is the mini-games that follow each round. The players will be grouped together in groups of two, three against one, or everyone for themselves. They then compete in a game that tests their reflexes, puzzle solving skills, or plain luck. The winners will be awarded coins, and in certain mini-games, the losers can lose five coins each. Mini-games also exist that allow players to steal as many coins as they can from each other. In future installments, losers no longer lose coins and players cannot steal coins from other players without a special event because these mechanics were considered too harsh. Regardless, the game is known for pioneering an iconic and renowned sub-series of the Mario franchise that has stayed to this day, and has become one of the most well-known series in gaming.
The minigames are the highlight of the game. The game has 50 minigames. Each minigame can be found here.
One day, Mario and his friends are sitting around arguing over who is the Super Star. Wario states that a Super Star must be strong, to which Donkey Kong agrees. Both get into an argument over who is stronger. Toad says that maybe Mario would make a good superstar, or Princess Peach, or even the energetic Yoshi. The gang starts to close in on Toad, who shouts out that he has an idea of what they should do. He suggests that the crew take the Warp Pipe in Mushroom Village, and find out who is the Super Star of their adventures. He warns that the road will be dangerous and that being the super star requires not only strength, but courage, wisdom and kindness. Luigi bravely agrees first to this plan and steps off to find the warp pipe. Wario follows and the group agrees to the plan and also set off to find the warp pipe and become the next Super Star.
- Donkey Kong
There are plenty of boards on the game. Six of the eight boards are based on the playable characters in the games.
- Mario's Rainbow Castle - This is set way up in the clouds. There are ? mark spaces that, when pressed, will switch the Star granting Toad with Bowser, and vice-versa.
- Yoshi's Tropical Island - An island owned by Yoshi. The object of the game board is to reunite the blue Yoshi with the pink Yoshi.
- DK's Jungle Adventure - This course is owned by Donkey Kong. Obstacles include large rolling boulders that make the character about half way around the board to the other side, and Whomps.
- Peach's Birthday Cake - A large cake with a lottery that has two faces on it - Bowser's and Toad's. If you get Bowser's, you have to go to Bowser, which isn't good. If you get Toad's, you go in the direction of the star.
- Wario's Battle Canyon - A canyon owned by Wario with multiple cannons.
- Luigi's Engine Room - A complicated maze type of level owned by Luigi.
These mini-games can also be played in Mini-Game Island.
- Balloon Burst
- Bombs Away
- Box Mountain Mayhem
- Bumper Balls
- Buried Treasure
- Cast Aways
- Coin Block Blitz
- Crazy Cutter
- Face Lift
- Grab Bag
- Hammer Drop
- Hot Bob-omb
- Hot Rope Jump
- Mario Bandstand
- Mushroom Mix-up
- Musical Mushroom
- Platform Peril
- Running of the Bulb
- Shy Guy Says
- Skateboard Scamper
- Slot Car Derby
- Tipsy Tourney
- Treasure Divers
1 vs. 3 mini-games
- Bash 'n' Crash
- Bowl Over
- Coin Block Bash
- Coin Shower Flower
- Crane Game
- Paddle Battle
- Pipe Maze
- Piranha's Pursuit
- Tightrope Treachery
- Tug o' War
2 vs. 2 mini-games
- Ghost Guess
- Ground Pound
- Knock Block Tower
- Limbo Dance
- Memory Match
- Pedal Power
- Shell Game
- Slot Machine
- Teetering Towers
|4-player||1 vs. 3||2 vs. 2||1-player|
|Ducking and Dodging||Coin Block Blitz|
Box Mountain Mayhem
|Coin Block Bash|
Bash 'n' Cash
|Coins of the World||Musical Mushroom (NTSC version)|
|Coin Shower Flower|
|Move to the Mambo||Musical Mushroom (PAL version)|
Balloon Burst (PAL version)
|Dodging Danger||Skateboard Scamper||Piranha's Pursuit||None|
|The Wide, Wide Ocean||Cast Aways|
Shy Guy Says
|None||Deep Sea Divers||None|
|Saving Courage||Mushroom Mix-up||Tightrope Treachery||None|
|Taking Coins||Hot Bob-omb||Bowl Over||None||Slot Machine|
Knock Block Tower
|Let's Limbo||Hot Rope Jump||Paddle Battle|
Tug o' War
|Desert Dash||Limbo Dance|
|Full of Danger||Hot Rope Jump (Mini-Game Island)|
Running of the Bulb
|The Room Underground||Key-pa-Way||Pipe Maze||Bombsketball||Whack-a-Plant|
|Can It be Done?||Face Lift||None||Ground Pound|
|Faster than All||Balloon Burst (NTSC version)|
Slot Car Derby
|None||Handcar Havoc||Bumper Ball Maze|
|Let's Go Lightly||Platform Peril||None||Bobsled Run||None|
|In the Mushroom Forest||None||Memory Match|
|Slowly, Slowly||None||Ghost Guess|
Reception and legacy
Mario Party received mostly positive reviews from critics. The most frequent criticism Mario Party received was the lack of enjoyment without multiplayer. GameSpot explains "The games that are enjoyable to play in multiplayer are nowhere near as good in single player mode. Really it's that multiplayer competitive spark of screaming at and/or cheering for your friends that injects life into those often-simple little games and without it, they're just simple little games." IGN took a similar line, saying that it was the interaction between players rather than the interaction between the game that made Mario Party fun. Another common criticism was the game's dependence on luck rather than skill, though it this was seen by many to add to the game's board game atmosphere, as players who were comfortably in the lead one turn could be losing the next.
Nintendo of America sent the gaming magazine Game Informer a sarcastic certificate over the publication's negative review of Mario Party and its sequel. From then on, Game Informer became infamous for their constantly bad reviews of the Mario Party games, which usually get positive reception from critics such as IGN and GameSpot, and their picky reputation has stuck since.
Mario Party is the 17th best selling game for the Nintendo 64, selling approximately 2.7 million copies: 1.23 million copies in North America, 870,000 copies in Japan, and 580,000 copies elsewhere .
Nintendo gave away a free Mario Party glove for a time after the game's release, the reason being that many players got blisters and other ailments on the palms of their hands due to the mini-games that involve spinning the Stick around as fast as possible, which are Tug o' War, Paddle Battle, and Pedal Power (this is also commonly thought to be the reason Mario Party wasn't released on the Virtual Console, but Mario Party 2 was). Nintendo suggested that the players should use the thumb to spin the Control Stick, but this method is a lot slower than rotating with the palm of the hand, and the thumb can slip off the joystick. Receiving the glove required proof of purchase of the first game of the series. The glove giveaway did not surface until after the release of Mario Party 2. This was because Nintendo lost a class action lawsuit that was filed by several families of the injured players and had to pay several thousands of dollars in damage reparations as a result. As a consequence of unbalanced difficulty and self-injury, as well as the Control Stick's high potential for decalibration through this method, there were no more mini-games after Mario Party that involved spinning the Stick as fast as possible until Mario Party: Island Tour was released since the analog stick on the 3DS made it safe to spin quickly without injuries.
References to other games
- Super Mario Bros. - A segment of the overworld theme was remixed and incorporated into the music for the board Peach's Birthday Cake. A remix of the overworld theme also plays during the tutorial for minigames.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 - Some songs are rearrangements of some world map themes from the game. For example, "Let's Go Lightly" is based on World 4 Giant Land, "Slowly, Slowly" is based on World 6 Iced Land, and "Dodging Danger" is based on World 8 Castle of Koopa, but with some additional rhythm.
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - The opening theme sounds similar to the Mario's Pad theme. Part of the music of Bowser's Magma Mountain is a rearrangement of the first Bowser's Keep theme.
- Super Mario 64 - Peach's Birthday Cake is based on Princess Peach's letter that she baked a cake for Mario, and the layout of the board and background surrounding it are based from the photograph after the credits. Also, Mario's Rainbow Castle board is based on the secret course Tower of the Wing Cap, and the Wing Cap is used as a prop on his board map, and finally the board game's ending cutscene is based on another secret course Wing Mario Over the Rainbow. The ending cutscene for Luigi's Engine Room has the board reveal itself to take place inside a flying ship much like the Rainbow Cruiser from the course Rainbow Ride, though however with a completely different design. The Cheep Cheep in Yoshi's Tropical Island takes its name and design from Bubba from Tiny-Huge Island. Mario's title screen (if he wins the board game under the title of being a Superstar) depicts him with the Wing Cap flying with the other playable characters. Mario's scream from this game is also reused.
- Mario Kart 64 - Some of Luigi, Peach, Wario, and Toad's voice clips from the Japanese version were reused in this game. On the other hand, some of their phrases were re-recorded (e.g. "Yeah! Peach's got it!").
References in later games
- Mario Party 2 - Twenty-one minigames from Mario Party were remade in this game. Some of the returning 4-Player minigames were reworked into 2 vs. 2 and Battle minigames.
- Mario Party: The Top 100 - Bombs Away, Face Lift, Shy Guy Says, Piranha's Pursuit, Tug o' War, and Desert Dash all return as playable minigames. Additionally, just like in this game, the player faces Toad in a round of Slot Car Derby in Minigame Island mode.
- In the Japanese version of the game, Luigi and Wario say "Oh my God" when they lose a mini-game, lose a lot of coins, or suffer other kinds of misfortune, but in other versions, Luigi howls, and Wario says "So ein mist!" This is due to Nintendo's rules regarding religious references.
- "So ein mist!" has been often misheard as "D'oh, I missed!" This quote has become a popular internet meme.
- The box art can be confusing, as it depicts Mario punching a number block. Because of the position of the block, one might mistake the game for Mario Party 3.
- This is the only Mario Party game to have a title screen that changes depending on which character wins a board, except for Mini-Game Stadium.
- If more than one character wins a mini-game, it will be shown with a grammatical error, with the singular "wins" being used instead of the plural "win" or the past tense "won". This was fixed in subsequent games.