Play the Top 100 Mario Party minigames on 3DS
Next year is Mario Party‘s 20th anniversary but that’s not stopping Nintendo from celebrating a tad bit early. Released this week on Nintendo 3DS is Mario Party: The Top 100, a compilation featuring the series’ 100 best minigames.
Minigames have always been Mario Party‘s greatest strength, and this title puts them front and centre. You get a curated list of the top 100 minigames from all ten home console releases on one game card. For veteran fans it’s a nice trip down memory lane, and for newcomers it’s the ultimate introduction to this series. Like always, make sure you grab your family and friends because this party is best enjoyed with others.
Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS
A mountain of minigames
Right from the get-go I want to make clear the “Top 100” minigames are ones chosen by Nintendo. I don’t believe there were any fan votes or community input in the selection. So are they really the top 100 of the entire series? Ultimately it impossible to say for sure, but what I do know is the minigames sure are fun.
Interestingly enough, the selection of minigames gives you insight into how Nintendo themselves views each main entry in the series. For example, only three minigames from Mario Party 8 are in the game, whereas 17 come from Mario Party 5. As well, 83 minigames belong to the N64 and GameCube entries, with the remaining 17 from the Wii and Wii U games. The general consensus among gamers is the older titles were better, so perhaps Nintendo also agrees.
Take a trip to Minigame Island
The single-player component of Mario Party games is usually thin, but this time it’s actually half decent. You get to travel through four different worlds, completing all 100 minigames along the way. COM opponents start out on Normal difficulty, then by world 2 become Hard, and even later turn Very Hard. In a nice surprise, I found the A.I. was much more intelligent compared to the previous Mario Party 3DS games. As well, the difficulty curve is very smooth, and should you fail a minigame the COM level drops by one.
For each minigame you can earn up to three Stars based on your performance. Third place nets you one, seconds gives you two, and first awards you with three. If you place fourth you’ll lose the minigame and also lose one life. To balance this, you’ll collect ten Coins for each win, and 100 of them gives you an extra life. You won’t need to worry too much about managing your lives though as the majority of minigames are fairly easy. At least easy enough to not come in last place.
Unlock more minigames
As you play through Minigame Island you’ll gradually unlock minigames to play in other modes. Sometimes you unlock minigames right after beating them, other times it’s by collecting enough Stars. There are also a few boss fights involving Donkey Kong, Wario, and Bowser that unlock minigames upon successful completion. It takes about two hours to complete this mode, after which all 100 minigames will be available.
Play 100 minigames
The main mode in Mario Party: The Top 100 is simply called 100 Minigames. To start, you choose your character from eight choices, including Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Yoshi. Next, you’ll pick the COM difficulty ranging from Normal, Hard, Very Hard, and an unlockable expert setting. From there you’re free to choose any available minigame and jump straight into the action.
I should point out there’s no game board, dice rolling, or items involved here. Once a minigame ends you’ll head right back to the selection screen to pick the next one. Load times are really fast, too, so you’ll be hopping between minigames pretty quick.
The default minigame grouping is by match type, including 4-player free-for-alls, 1-on-3, 2-on-2, and special games. You can also sort minigames by what Mario Party game they’re from, or by genres like Action, Racing, or Brainy. Finally, you can filter minigames by your favourites, and create custom Favourites Packs containing your top picks. In general, it only takes a matter of seconds to locate the exact minigames you want.
If you’re in the mood for a more traditional Mario Party experience, the game also has you covered. Minigame Match offers a simple game board and you choose to play between 10-50 turns. There is only one board layout, however, and it’s very small, which is a bit of a disappointment. This mode still provides the fun though, especially when you play with others via Local Wireless connection.
In this mode your goal is to capture as many Stars as possible, with each costing you 10 Coins. The trick is you’ll need to land on Star Balloon spaces in order to trade your Coins and purchase Stars. As well, there are item spaces that give you power-ups like Dash Mushrooms, Double Dice, and Dueling Gloves. These items provides benefits like increasing your dice roll, or helping you steal Coins and Stars from your rivals. For those who have played other Mario Party games, all this will be quite familiar.
For short competitive bursts, Mario Party: The Top 100 features Championship Battles and Decathlon. Championship Battle lets you play 3 or 5 minigames to see who can score the most amount of points. On the other hand, Decathlon gives you a set of 5 or 10 minigames where the focus is on having the fastest time. Both competitive modes provide light enjoyment and are ideal for 10-15 minute gaming sessions.
4-player Local Wireless
Playing games with others is always more fun, and this is couldn’t be truer with Mario Party. In fact, to fully enjoy this game multiplayer is necessary—it was designed to be played with others. This does mean you’ll need multiple Nintendo 3DS consoles, or have friends who own one. Here’s the good news though: only a single game card is needed for up to 4-players. One person inserts the game into their 3DS, and everyone can then download the game wirelessly.
Once everyone is connected, all game modes are at your disposal. You can hop into quick minigames matches, play the board game mode, or compete in Championship Battles and the Decathlon. Overall, the 100 minigames are quite good and they’re especially fun when playing against your family and friends. Even after nearly two decades of constant sequels, nothing quite beats the enjoyment of multiplayer Mario Party.
Mario Party: The Top 100 delivers exactly what it promises—100 fun minigames in a single game. Whether or not they’re the true Top 100 minigames is up for debate, but I did greatly enjoy the selection. This is a straight to the point entry that lets you hop in and play minigames fast and easy. The single-player content is quite good this time around, but like always Mario Party should be enjoyed with others. If you have friends or family members who also have a 3DS, this game is a total blast in multiplayer.
+ Nice selection of minigames
+ Classic minigames have updated graphics and controls
+ Catchy soundtrack
+ Excellent multiplayer game
– No online functionality
– Additional 3DS consoles required for multiplayer
– Board game mode is minimal
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5