Mario Party Advance (also called MPA) is the seventh game in the Mario Party series, the tenth installment overall and the second handheld installment of the series, specifically for the Game Boy Advance, after Mario Party-e for the e-Reader. The game revolves around either Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, or Yoshi travelling across Shroom City to collect the minigames and Gaddgets that fell from Party World, an area dedicated to partying high above the sky. After Bowser and Koopa Kid attack Party World, Toad tasks them with collecting everything that fell down. This can only be accomplished by helping out the city's citizens and stopping Bowser from exerting his influence. Shroom City can only be accessed with a single player; barring a few minigames, Gaddgets, and a physical Bonus Board that is played alongside the video game, the game does not focus on multiplayer and is more single-player oriented.
Mario Party Advance was released in Japan on January 13, 2005, in North America on March 28, 2005, in Europe on June 10, 2005, and in Australia on September 15, 2005. Mario Party Advance was re-released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in North America and Europe on December 25, 2014, in Australia on December 26, 2014, and in Japan on October 28, 2015.
There are four playable characters in Mario Party Advance, the least amount of any Mario Party game to date. It does, however, boast many more non-playable characters that the player helps out during the story mode, as well as other supporting characters than most other Mario Party games.
Mario Party Advance offers fifty traditional minigames and sixty-one Gaddgets, which are less-involved and smaller games that often feature little interaction. During the story, all of the minigames have a specific goal to reach and a strict time limit. During Free Play, all of the minigames change so that they become based on beating a score set by the player, whether that includes gaining a large amount of points or completing a minigame in the shortest amount of time. Some minigames go on indefinitely until the player makes a mistake. Gaddgets, on the other hand, do not have any time limit and usually do not have a goal, instead letting the player toy with the Gaddgets, however, they want. Excluding a few of the multiplayer games, none of the Gaddgets can be lost, or at the very least, they can be reset back to their starting state.
Mario Party Advance received wildly mixed reviews. A point of contention was the game's minigames and Gaddgets: while some reviewers appreciated the assortment of games, others lambasted them for being wholly uninteresting, though they generally agree that at least some of them are bland. The lack of a substantial multiplayer was also a common complaint, as it required players to either use multiple Game Link Cables or make every player use the same Game Boy. The single-player campaign, on the other hand, was more generally praised, offering a large amount of variety and unique characters.
In an IGN article ranking the Mario Party games, Mario Party Advance came in last (out of twelve games), being described as "the black sheep of the Mario Party series." It was also brought up in a review for Mario Party DS in reference to handheld Mario Party games, describing it as "one of the lamest iterations of the series."
- This is the only game in the entire Mario Party spin-off series not to feature Wario and Donkey Kong. It is also the only post-Mario Party 3 game not to feature Princess Daisy or Waluigi, as well as one of only three Mario Party games after Mario Party 4 not to feature Toad as a playable character, the others being Mario Party: The Top 100 and Super Mario Party.
- For reasons undisclosed, this game is rated as Teenage Restricted by South Korea's Korea Media Rating Board.
- This is Toad's final appearance in a GBA game.
- "Mario Party Advance". Mario Party Legacy. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
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- Reed, Kristen (July 7, 2005). EuroGamer's review of Mario Party Advance. EuroGamer. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Sanches, Joao Diniz (October 21, 2005). Pocket Gamer's review of Mario Party Advance. Pocket Gamer. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Provo, Frank (March 31, 2005). GameSpot's Mario Party Advance Review. GameSpot. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Koczwara, Micheal (March 23, 2015). The Best Mario Party Games. IGN. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Harris, Craig (November 21, 2007). Mario Party DS Review. IGN. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Guiness World Records search results. guinnessworldrecords.com. Retrieved May 22, 2017.