EGX 2018 definitely had a lot of games on show – everything from Metro Exodus to Fortnite was playable, but the Nintendo booths definitely seemed to be the place to be.
This year Nintendo has a pretty stellar line-up of Nintendo Switch titles due to release just in time for Christmas, and as a die-hard Nintendo fan I couldn’t wait to get stuck into some of the playable demos on the floor.
A Mario Party game for the Switch was something I’d been dreaming about since the console was first announced. The versatility and character of the console was pretty much made for the zany and wacky gameplay we’re so used to in Mario Party titles.
Getting to actually try out the game at EGX had me a little worried because I absolutely did NOT want to be disappointed.
Luckily – and not surprisingly – Super Mario Party is pretty much what you’d expect from the series, although it definitely felt like more of the classic titles than the most recent.
I got to try out five of the mini-games in the Mushroom Cup, because of course if you don’t want to play a full board game you can just select a round of minis to tide you and your friends over.
First up was Barreling Along, a race to the finish line where you use the Joy-Con tilt controls to ‘drive’ your barrel forward, avoiding puddles and tall grass.
This was classic Mario Party, it was competitive, it was easy and it was fun. Will it be my favourite mini-game? Probably not as it didn’t really bring anything new to the table, but as the first mini-game in the Mushroom Cup it’s a pretty good start for less experienced Party players.
Next up was Sizzling Stakes, a game which really REALLY has that WarioWare weirdness to it.
For this one your Joy-Con is a frying pan and you compete against your pals to see who can fry their steak the fastest. Flip the Joy-Con to cook each side but don’t flip it too hard or your steak will go overboard.
This definitely took a bit more skill than the first, and it’s tricky business for heavier-handed players. Luckily you don’t have to wait and wait and wait for each player to finish – the game lasts 90 seconds and if you haven’t plated up by then then no points for you.
Croozin’ For A Broozin’ was probably my least favourite of the bunch. This mini-game saw you running from Broozers, avoiding obstacles and getting to the finish line first. It’s still fun to play, but it’s nothing Mario Party hasn’t done before.
The penultimate game was Trike Harder. Using the Joy-Con you had to make bike-peddling motions to peddle your way to the finish line. This one definitely needs a bit of practise to get the motions spot-on (which means I came last here, obviously).
The Mushroom Cup rounded off with Gridiron Gauntlet. Oddly enough, this saw all players in a small arena plagued with running NFL players. If they ran into you, you lost a life and the last man standing won. Again, not a stand-out mini-game for me.
— Brett Claxton ? #EGX (@brettclaxton) September 20, 2018
Is Super Mario Party going to be the best party game on Switch? Probably not. But it’s definitely a title I’ll be picking up at launch. You know what you’re getting with a title like this – reliable and honest fun, and one helluva drinking game that’s definitely going to lose you as many friends as it did when the original Mario Party came out.
All in all, Super Mario Party is definitely a title I’ll be grabbing when it launches 5th October 2018. Is it going to be groundbreaking? No. Is it going to be fun? Absolutely 100% yes. I can’t wait to experiment more with the Joy-Cons and Mario mini-games.