Mario Party Superstars’ Online Makes Partying Easier Than Ever

Mario Party Superstars' Online Makes Partying Easier Than Ever

A Mario Party Superstars celebration screen showing Walugi, Birdo, Mario and Peach.

Finally, Walugi gets his due. Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

I’ve been buying and playing Mario Party games since the series began in 1998 on Nintendo 64. But being relatively lonely in real life, it’s hardly ever a party for me. Aside from a few family reunions, most of my Mario Party career has been against AI opponents. Mario Party Superstars finally lets me play online with strangers, giving me the tough human rivals I crave, without having to let them in to my home to eat my food and steal my pets.

It’s not that I don’t like going out with other people. I just don’t want them in my house. Feeding them, entertaining them, making them feel welcome, it’s such a chore. I already have a spouse and two children, neither of whom want to play Mario Party with me. Mario Party Superstars allows me to connect in a limited sense with three complete strangers who just want to play board games and then get their lives back on track.

Online gaming first came to Mario Party in 2018’s Super Mario Party for the Nintendo Switch, but it wasn’t the online game I wanted, at least not at first. This game was released with the ability to play a series of mini-games online, but not the actual board game. The online board game wasn’t added until April 2021, long after I gave up the game altogether.

The Mario Party Superstars multiplayer login screen.

Mario Party the rally. Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

Mario Party Superstars offers online play right out of the box. A real online game, with dice rolls and item purchases, event squares and mini-games. Within minutes of being online and choosing which of the game’s five boards you want to play, you’re connected with four other players and ready to go.

Do yourself a favor before going online: make sure you have enough time to play. Fifteen rounds of Mario Party with four people can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how quickly each responds. Unlike real life, or real life as I imagine it, there are no breaks to drink, smoke, fight to tickle or anything else people do in small groups. . Luckily, since everything is online, you can go to the bathroom while playing and they’ll never know.

A screen from Mario Party Superstars showing the sticker-based online communication system.

Stickers, the greatest form of communication. Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

Communication in Mario Party Superstars online is done via a simple set of sticker messages, none of which calls Princess Peach dirty names for dominating all of the mini-games. You have your “Congratulations!” And yes! ”And“ Wahhh! ”But nothing offensive or hurtful.

This communication system creates the illusion of a group of loving friends having fun in good spirits no matter how much I curse my Switch. It also lets people know that they are not alone which is the whole point here. Without those stickers and without people being slow to get ready for the minigames, you might as well be playing some particularly smart AI.

Get ready to play an online mini-game in Mario Party Superstars.

Now is a good time to shout “GET READY!” »Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

Human connection, while tenuous, is important in making a Mario Party game fun. Knowing that the Mario your Birdo teamed up with to destroy Peach and Waluigi in this game where you have to do without the cherries is a real person makes me appreciate them more as a player. When it’s their time to roll, I watch a person roll the dice, not a robot.

A two-player split-screen mini-game of Mario Party Superstars.

Mario and I are getting things done. Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

For a loner like me, that’s just enough human interaction to make Mario Party Superstars feel like a real party. It’s special and unpredictable. Best of all, I have dual experience playing online which helps me increase my Mario Party Superstars profile faster.

The online Mario Party Superstars round results screen, showing the losing author.

Wahhhhhhhhhh! Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

Even when I lose horribly.


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