What is Mario Party 10?
Mario Party 10 is a board game/minigame collection for the Wii U. Letting up to four people play through the game's traditional board games, or up to five in the new Bowser Party mode, it's a game that emphasises accessibility and getting the whole family involved, regardless of their gaming experience.
How do you play Mario Party 10?
After choosing a character from the familiar Mario line-up, your group will hop aboard a vehicle together, and set out on a journey across a board game map, as you take it in turns to roll the dice, and move the vehicle from the one end of the board to the other. With stars scattered at various points across the board, it's up to you to make sure you're the one who's in control when you pass through the stars, so you get to collect them - although actually managing to do this is mostly a game of chance.
Every now and then, you'll be thrown into a quick-fire mini-game, which is where the real fun begins. Whether you're leaping to collect as many fish as possible, trying to dodge a spiky ball that's swinging across in front of you, or zipping left and right in a boat race to dodge the obstacles, there's a huge variety of mini-games on offer here, each with an emphasis on pick up and play fun.
Bowser Party, meanwhile, is a new mode, and a similar idea to the above - only this time, you get to add an extra player who plays as Bowser. Chasing the other team of four around the board, it's a game of cat and mouse - should he catch up to you, it'll trigger a Bowser vs The Rest mini-game, where the odds are stacked thoroughly in his favour. Should Bowser manage to damage you in the mini-game, you'll lose a star each time - lose all six, and you'll be out altogether.
How easy is Mario Party 10 to pick up and play?
In terms of accessibility, Mario Party 10 is pretty easy to pick up and play, although it's a little bit more complex than earlier instalments. The mini-games aren't explained quite as clearly as before, but if you're playing in a group with someone who knows their way around games, they should be able to tell the novices what they need to do. There's also less in the way of prompts than before, so younger players (and those who don't regularly play games) may need a bit of nudge to remind them when to press A/shake the Wii Remote when exploring the board. Other than that, this is pretty easy to get the hang of, and should be OK for younger children.
As a Mario themed board game/minigame collection, there's nothing for parents to worry about here, with no violence, swearing, gore or sex to be seen.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Wii U