Mario Party: Star Rush is a party game for the Nintendo 3DS. It is the second Mario Party game released for

the system after Mario Party: Island Tour, and the fourteenth game overall. The game, as with most entries of the Mario Party series, is a multiplayer-oriented party game, where up to four players compete in an interactive, digital board for the most stars. What sets this game apart from its precedents in theMario Party series is its main mode, Toad Scramble, where, instead of players using designated Mario characters from the start, take control of a color-coded member of the Toad species and collect Mario characters around the board. Also unlike otherMario Party games, all players move at one turn, streamlining the gameplay. The board designs are non-linear as well, also unlike previous boards in the Mario Party series, where players travel in a straight line around the boards. It was released on October 7, 2016 for Europe, October 8 for Australia and New Zealand, October 20 for Japan, and November 4 for North America. The game is compatible with amiibo.[5]The game uses up 3018 blocks for a digital download from the Nintendo eShop.

375px-NA MPSR boxart

Gameplay Edit

Mario Party: Star Rush's board gameplay is the main focus of the game. Players traverse around a board, using a Dice Block numbered from 1-6. Due to the nature of the boards, most spaces landed on the boards in Mario Party: Star Rush do not trigger a special effect, while there are very few spaces that do: for example, specifically landing on a ? Block space grants the player a random item for use. Minigames can be collected from playing Toad Scramble and Coinathlon, with both modes having different ways play a minigame; in Toad Scramble, for example, players need to pass a Coin Balloon to trigger a minigame.

Toad Scramble is the only mode where players cannot choose a designated Mario character, instead, starting out with a colored member of the Toad species, corresponding to a player; saidMario characters can be used only when collected in the board, set as the leader, or with a use of an amiibo. In all other modes, however, players can choose and play as a specific Mariocharacter, including Toad himself as an option if players wish to play as a Toad in other modes.

Game modes Edit

Ten game modes appear in Mario Party: Star Rush.[6] At the beginning, the Toad Scramble mode is the only mode players can play, however, players unlock other modes as they play the game.

The game features a hub for a main menu, where players can visit areas by either using touch screen controls or moving around. Toad is the default character, but players can change their hub character by visiting the Character Museum. When players reach Level Star, a giant gold Mario statue can be seen over the Character Museum.

Toad Scramble Edit

Up to four players can enjoy Toad Scramble[5], the central mode of Mario Party: Star Rush. Each player in the beginning starts out with a member of the Toad species, where their colors correspond to each player: red being Player 1, blue being Player 2, green being Player 3, and yellow being Player 4. Players are then notified of the appearance of a boss character in the map, as well as potential ally characters that the Toads can recruit. The goal of the game is to amass the most Stars, where players can retrieve Stars by placing first in boss minigames. Players can face off against bosses by landing on the space in front of them. Every time a boss minigame is completed, a new boss appears on the board on a different spot. Up to five bosses can appear on a board. When a player plays against a boss, other players need to tap  to travel to the boss space to participate as well.

When players recruit ally characters, the ally characters help out by increasing dice roll amounts with their own special Dice Blocks and helping the players earn points simultaneously in video games. Ally characters have certain field abilities unique to them as well; for example, Mario can stomp on Goombas in grass while Princess Peach can make flowers bloom. Whenever a player recruits an ally character, they can switch characters before the start of any turn in order to directly use them. Up to four ally characters can be recruited for each team, having five characters in total at play. Players can duel each others' ally characters by participating in an Ally Duel, either by landing on the same space as another player or by using a Duel Glove. When an Ally Duel is triggered, one of the several events happen. One event is a Dice Block roll: the two players roll a die; whoever rolls higher wins. Another event has players choose cards with numbers facing upside-down; whoever picks a higher numbered card wins. The last even is stopping a shown, then hidden timer for 5 seconds: whoever stops closer to 5 seconds wins. When players win the Ally Duel, they steal an ally from the losing player. If the losing player does not have an ally character, the winning player earns coins instead.

Dotted throughout the board are coins that can be collected by running through them. Players can land on special spaces as well, such as a ? Block, which gives players an item that can help players and hinder their opponents. Players can land on aLakitu space, where at a fee of one coin, players can travel to another player's space.

When a player passes through a Coin Balloon, the player earns coins, as well as starting a minigame. Similar to the Battle minigame of previous Mario Party installments, the player who landed on the space can choose a minigame out of four randomly selected, rather than traditionally letting a roulette decide which minigame to play.

Coinathlon Edit

In a mode that up to four players can play, players must collect as many coins as they can in 60-second designated coin minigames to progress three laps around a map.[7][8] As players collect coins in minigames, they proceed through the map as the minigames happen. Players can earn a variety of items via collecting coins; when characters collect enough coins, a transparent box containing an item shows up. Players can retrieve the item by touching the box, and when players press , they can momentarily use that item to stun their opponents. The items available are Coin Trio, Blooper, Lava Bubble, Lightning Bolt, Kamek, Double Medal, and Money Bag, and the frequency of these items change depending on the placement of the players.[8] Whichever player crosses the finish line first wins the game.

In longer games, Bowser can show up to force players to play Bowser's Gauntlet minigames; players first receive a warning when a Bowser's Gauntlet minigame will occur, which occurs the next minigame. Players need to survive the minigames; when players get eliminated, they get sent back a number of spaces, depending on how early they got eliminated. If players survive the minigame, they receive no penalty.

Coinathlon comes in two modes.[6] One mode is Free Play Mode, where players can choose the number of players, laps, and minigames available. The other mode, Rival Race, players can take on a series of challenges to try to earn 10 consecutive wins. The further the player gets on, the harder the challenges get.

In multiplayer versions of this mode, players cannot play against computer opponents.

Mario Shuffle Edit

Mario Shuffle is a two-player oriented game mode that focuses on amiibo functionality.[9] Players race across a linear, one-way board to a goal with amiibo. The red team tries to make it to the very right of the board, while the blue team tries to make to the left side of the board. Players roll two dice, and allow the outcome of the dice to affect two figurines. When a player crosses an opposing piece, the player jumps over the piece, making that piece unable to move for one turn. If a player lands on an opposing piece, the player knocks the piece back to the start of the board. Players can land on spaces that either make the piece continue further or moving back, depending on the directions on the space. If players do not have amiibo, a cardboard cut-out of a player character is used instead. A total amount of six characters can be used, each split into two teams of three. The first team who makes it across the board to their goal wins the game.

Balloon Bash Edit

Up to four players must collect coins and stars on a mini board with 10, 20, or 30 turns and minigames after a player touches a coin balloon.[7] The gameplay is very similar to Toad Scramble, except players navigate through smaller boards and are able to use designated Mariocharacters rather than a player Toad, and the main goal of the game is to collect the most Stars from Star Balloons that can appear in parts of the board. Players can earn Stars if they spend 10 coins on arrival with a Star Balloon. Star Balloons can come in twos or threes, and players can purchase multiple of them at once if they have the funds. When a Coin Duel is initiated, just as an Ally Duel for Toad Scramble, whichever player wins the Coin Duel earns coins.

Rhythm Recital Edit

Up to four players can cooperate and play classic Mario tunes using the touchscreen. Players can choose an instrument from an instrumental set.[7] There are ten songs in total[10]:

  • Overworld theme from Super Mario World
  • Main theme from Super Mario 3D Land
  • Overworld theme from Super Mario Bros
  • Super Bell Hill from Super Mario 3D World
  • Overworld theme from New Super Mario Bros
  • Slide from Super Mario 64
  • Castle theme from New Super Mario Bros Wii
  • Underwater theme from New Super Mario Bros U
  • Gusty Garden Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy
  • Chill from Dr. Mario

Challenge Tower Edit

A single player game where a player climbs a tower with LED spaces on it.[14] Players need to pay attention to the color of the spaces as they ascend, while also avoiding Amps on their way up the tower.[6] Blue spaces are safe to proceed in any direction, yellow means that there is an Amp in one direction, red means there are two Amps in two directions, and purple spaces mean that the space is surrounded by Amps. Black spaces are spaces not climbed on at the moment. X spaces means that space cannot be climbed on.[15] Players can mark spaces with a checkmark using A,B,X ,Y and  to help mark locations with Amps in them. Finally, Amps cannot be adjacent to each other. At first, players have the options to climb the following towers: Beginner, which has 30 floors, Intermediate which has 50 floors, and Expert, which has 70 floors. If all are played, players can unlock the 500-floor Master Tower.

Boo's Block Party Edit

A puzzle game that involves spinning sides of a number block to earn points. Points are earned when 3 or more sets of numbers match.[6] When players break enough blocks, the blocks get sent to the opponent's screen. The game ends when the blocks reach the top of the screen. In single-player mode, players can face off against Boo in an endless mode to compete for a high score.

Character Museum Edit

The character museum allows players to view characters collected in the game. The playable characters can be chosen as the hub character. amiibo options are also found here: when players use amiibo, they unlock stamps.[7][6] The quality of the stamp is dependent on how long players touch the touch screen. Players can choose to reapply stamps if the outcome is not desired. When players unlock stamps, they earn an extra set of points to increase their Party Level. If players have unlocked the Staff Credits, it can be viewed in here. Players can also play minigames from here, by viewing the minigame appearances tab for respective enemies.

Minigames Edit

For all Mario Party: Star Rush mingigames, click here.

Multiplayer Edit

Players can use the Nintendo 3DS's Download and Local Play features to play with their friends.[7] The following table illustrates which features are available in each mode, leaving out Challenge Tower, as Challenge Tower is a single-player only game.[6]

Playable Characters Edit

Playable in Toad Scramble Edit

  • Red Toad
  • Blue Toad
  • Green Toad
  • Yellow Toad

Bosses Edit

  • Mega Goomba
  • King Bob-omb
  • King Boo
  • Petey Pirhanna
  • Mega Blooper
  • Mega Dry Bones
  • Mega Monty Mole
  • Kamek
  • Bowser Jr.
  • Bowser

Boards Edit

Boards can be played in three modes: Toad Scramble, Balloon Bash, Mario Shuffle, and Coinathlon. Out of the four modes, Toad Scramble and Balloon Bash have differing selectable boards, each with their own layouts and gimmicks.

Toad Scramble Boards Edit

Mario Party: Star Rush features 15 boards in the main mode, Toad Scramble, the most boards out of any Mario Party game in the series.[12] The names of the boards are based off levels in various Mario platformers.

World 0 features a grassland theme, World 1 features a tropical island theme, World 2 features a ghost house theme, World 3 features a birthday cake theme, and World 4 features a lava theme. The latter three worlds are unlocked by finishing a game on a map from the previous world.

Reception Edit

Mario Party: Star Rush received mixed reviews after release with a 68 on Metacritic. Sean Buckley of Engadget praised the new design choice to remove the turn-based format. He wrote that Mario Party minigames were fun but that the board game format was antiquated. Chris Carter of Destructoid lauded the removal of the series' "car" mechanic, in which all players traveled in a car together on the game board, though he remained "not hopeful" for the new game overall.