3DS Review: Mario Party: Star Rush

Mario and friends are back for another party…

Star Rush is the latest in the Mario Party series for 3DS. I’ve been a long-time player of the series, going as far back as the original N64 entry and have watched it change over the years. Star Rush mixes things up more than any previous entry as you don’t have to wait your turn any more on the boards as each turn is done simultaneous with your friends or AI opponents. It’s a surprise to see the game make the change, but that’s not all that’s new…
You don’t begin with everything unlocked, so you have to keep playing mini-games and other modes to unlock new characters and other modes too through a XP system. These modes can vary from Toad Scramble where you are playing one of 4 Toads, who are trying to rescue Stars from bosses and recruiting Mario characters to your cause. Coinathlon is a mode where you and up to 3 other opponents race around an island multiple times, but each space is earned by how many coins you collect in mini-games.

The mini-games vary in length and quality, you get your standard boss battle mini-games that are similar to ones found in Mario Party 9 and 10. The others contain ones where you shoot Goombas with cannons, collecting coins whilst surfing on a leaf, running through a maze of Boos while trying to grab coins and plenty of others…there isn’t quite as many as you would hope for, but there’s a decent amount here.
Star Rush will feel a bit weird at first due to the lack of modes being unlocked and it not containing the standard Mario Party board format, but it does grow on you and you’ll keep on playing till you unlock everything. It also supports Amiibos that give you allies during Toad Scramble, as well as bonuses if you have Mario Party 10 save data on them as well as bonuses to the game’s other modes such as unlocking a new track in Rhythm Recital if you use Dr Mario.

Visually, it’s a nice looking game too…making the most out of the 3DS hardware, as well as the touch-screen and microphone for some mini-games. The music is typical of the series as are the voices, which you’ll either love or hate depending on how much you actually like Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom buddies.

The Verdict

Mario Party: Star Rush is a nice addition to the series. It mixes things up from the traditional format and gives us a whole new way to enjoy it, plus it has Amiibo support…which is always a plus from me. If you are looking for something to pass the time on 3DS, look no further.

Score: 8.5