Hour 1: I arrived with my friend on the island and began to contemplate what exactly to do. Ideally, I would have loved to get two more friends so we could all fully explore the island, but that sadly was not in the cards. It was just him and I. There were six possible locations that we could go to, so we started off on the one that looked the simplest and most easiest to navigate, ironically titled the Perilous Palace Path. Upon leaving for the palace, I couldn't help but notice how nice the island looked. Everything was lush and serene, and had a sense of life to it. There were Mario characters aplomb there, and all of them looked so cartoonish and fun. It was once we reached the path did we realize exactly what we had gotten ourselves into.
The path was a very linear board game! We were stuck just moving in a straight line to the same goal! There were no stars, no coins, or even any boos that we could come across! It was just a straight line to the goal. To say I was confused and disappointed was an understatement. This was an island with the title of Mario Party, yet it had no traces of its genetics in it? The one thing we discovered about the path was that after each of our respective "turns" to move (this was a very weird island), we were forced to compete against each other in outlandish minigames. I shall return to the minigames momentarily, once I have played more and can fully describe them.
|A Thwomp in its native, luck-based habitat|
From there, we landed in a location called Kamek's Carpet Ride and were thrown a rather pleasant little twist. Yes, it was another linear board, but we moved by playing cards! The cards could either roll dice, move and exact number of spaces,or have you move forward while everyone moved back. I'm actually quite surprised to say this, but it was a legitimately good idea. Strategy was needed in order to win, and after each minigame, players were able to collect a card of their choosing from a set of four. Depending on your position in the minigame, you were able to get first dibs i.e, first place chose first and last place got whatever was leftover. Analysis on minigames to follow soon. The board ended relatively fast, about a half hour or so, but it was the most fun I had with the island so far.
|Our trip along Rocket Road was not exactly a pleasant one|
In all honesty, this is growing tedious. Describing each location and its unique challenges are proving to be taxing. Our next board, Star-Crossed Skyway, is an exact repeat of what the false prophet, Mario Party 9, used for its entertainment. Anything relating to the heinous 9 was a strike against me. Mini stars were used as points, and whoever has the most mini stars by the end of the board wins. My companion actually was winning fro a while, but that changed rather quickly. Not based on luck mind you, but because mini ztars could reduce your overall total of mini stars. He got several mini stars by the end.
By now, I've been able to play a majority of the minigames and I feel prepared to document them. This island takes the idea of minigames and uses them in a weird, but somewhat nice way. There are only four player minigames, disregarding the previous 2v2 or 3v1 games, and instead places to focus solely on 4 player games. Each of them are very well designed, and do offer a lot of fun to be had. There's variety in each game and only a few stood out as being underwhelming. Also, to compensate for a lack of coins, whoever ranked the highest in each minigame would receive a better reward, as I began to illustrate with Kamek's Carpet Ride. Each board played the idea differently, like moving turn order, giving first choice at items, or even changing mini star amounts. The mini games, I'm shocked to say, were damned good and some of the best minigames the series has produced in years. When I return, I'll have to put further study into this.
|Minigames of all types were included and done very, very well!|
I'm writing from the comfort of my fireplace now. I do not know where my friend is, for he is still likely on the island. I left the island because I was unfortunately the first person to meet Bowser, so he shot me off the island in a grand and infinitely painful fashion. And so, here I am recounting my tale. My breif, very brief, 4 hour adventure on the island. Sadly to say, in those four hours, I saw almost everything the island had to offer. There was one location that I couldn't get to though, because I could only gain admittence if I had a party of three or four for some reason. As it stands now, my time with the island was a brief, but overall, decent one. While the damage from the false prophet has left an impact on the series, the island tour could be deemed as an apprentice to the heinous 9; taking many of the same cues from it, and ignoring previous descendents in the family. I wished beyond all belief that the island tour could recapture the same glory as its predecessors, but it instead takes mostly from the heinous 9. There are element to it that work out beautifully, but this is the end of the Mario Party we all know and love. Reflect on your memories and former conquests, because that is all you have now. The series is stuck in its present footing, and there's no signs of changing. I give my experience on the island a 3 out of 5.