Day 2 of Nintendo@E3 2016 revealed the first information and gameplay of the newly announced Mario Party: Star Rush! It’s certainly proving itself to be quite a departure from the previous handheld Mario Party Island Tour, as well as the car based movement of Mario Party 9 and 10; but how exactly does this game work?
8B1T has pared through the 20-odd minutes of Treehouse footage and compiled everything he’s discovered here. Be sure to grab a friend or two, and don’t waste your Dash Mushrooms as we check out everything known so far!
Check out the Treehouse footage of Mario Party: Star Rush below!
First playable appearances of Red/Blue/Green/Yellow Toad, anyone?
Toad Scramble appears to be the main mode of Mario Party: Star Rush. With an emphasis on beating bosses to reclaim Stars, players start with Toads, and enlist the help of Mushroom Kingdom friends to collect the most Stars and Coins to win.
As per the fact sheet, this mode may be played either with Download Play (previously made popular in Mario Party DS and Island Tour), or with Wireless Play where everyone has their own game cart.
While the demo only appears to have the World 1-3 board, it’s known from the trailer and screenshots that a castle board and a cake board also exist. The helpful information screen gives an indication to the number of boss battles and projected play time if the board is selected; I’m guessing that World 1-3 is one of the simpler boards.
The thought of 5 Boss Battles will possibly turn off people who thought that 2 in Mario Party 9 and 10 were more than enough!
Rules of the Board
The first thing you’ll notice is this is not a conventional Mario Party board. Instead you have a tile based board where you will generally be able to move in any of the four directions from the space you’re on.
As all players move simultaneously, there is no turn order, nor do you determine who moves first with a dice roll. Everyone will roll together and move together. On that note however, if someone waits for too long, a timer will appear that will automatically force them to complete whatever action they are currently taking.
Oh, and you also don’t start with any Coins. Not that there’s much to use them on as far as we know…
The flow of turn order appears to be as follows:
1. Choose to roll (A), view the map on the top screen (L), choose an item to use (X), or change the leading character if you have at least one ally (Y).
2. If you’ve chosen to use an item or change the leading character, make your decision here.
3. Roll the dice. Each ally you have will also roll an extra die – more on that later.
4. Move the total number of spaces – at this point you can choose whatever directions to move. While you can’t move back and forth between two spaces, you can walk around in circles and go over the same squares!
5. Move past certain board objects, including allies, to interact with them.
6. Once your move finishes, if you’ve landed on a special space, trigger its effects. If you happen to land on the same space as a rival, face off in an Ally Duel (again, more on that later).
7. If a Coin Balloon was popped, play a minigame.
Board Spaces and Objects
Spaces will only trigger when you land on them exactly. Here’s a list of the known spaces:
Question Block – receive an item. You only have room for two items at once – if you get a third, you’ll have to throw one item away.
Lakitu Cloud – pay 1 Coin to move to a random rival’s space. 8B1T wonders whether the cost will increase with repeated use, but doesn’t think it’s all that likely.
Boss Pipe – trigger the current Boss Battle. You will also receive a bonus of 5 Coins.
Carousel – not seen in Treehouse footage, but seen in the screenshots for the castle board. There’s a Shy Guy there, but the sign by the space looks like a Mushroom, so it could end up being an Item Shop. It’s probably wishful thinking that the space triggers a Game Guy styled gambling minigame…
8B1T thinks the Boss Pipe animation looks similar to the pipe animations from Super Mario 3D World. The space itself also looks pretty flashy.
Objects on the other hand will trigger when you pass them. Note that allies count as objects, but are important enough to gameplay that they have their own section.
Coin – receive 1 Coin. Treehouse says that you will get a Star for every 10 Coins, but since this isn’t shown in gameplay, 8B1T guesses that this will happen at the end of the game (where you would normally receive Bonus Stars).
Coin Balloon – receive 2 Coins. A minigame will played at the end of the turn.
To be honest, Minigame Balloon sounds cooler than Coin Balloon.
There are also obstacles that may only be interacted with if you have the right ally – such as that fruit in the above picture – but since the Treehouse footage doesn’t show us what happens in these situations, there’s not much more to comment! Obstacles will be briefly covered in the Allies section.
The Key to Victory – Allies
Unlike in previous Mario Party games, you are no longer stuck with just one character throughout the game. Allies will appear with relative frequency on the board, and if you pass them, you can recruit them and they will join your team!
You can have up to four allies, making for a total of five characters in one player’s team. Talk about a massive party!
Such diversity! Are you a fan of the Super Mario 3D World styled character art?
Unique to each ally is a special dice block they use, as well as a board ability that allows them to interact with certain obstacles – what happens exactly to those obstacles is yet to be seen. I’ll list everything below in a bit.
Each ally you have will roll an extra 1-1-1-2-2-2 die for you when you make your roll. Naturally, this means it’s better to have more allies – you might be able to move up to 8 spaces further!
High dice rolls can also be a double-edged sword in narrow areas. Going round and round in circles kinda sucks.
Whenever you team up with an ally, you’ll be prompted to choose whether you want to switch your leading character to the new ally (or any other allies on the team). Take note of the new dice block and board ability before making a decision. It appears you can also change your leading character by pressing Y at the beginning of a turn.
The leading character will be under your control on the board, in minigames and in Boss Battles.
Let’s talk about Ally Battles, which trigger when two rivals land on the same space (there’s also an item that has the same effect). Sadly this ‘battle’ is pretty much a glorified dice roll, except the winner steals an ally from the loser. We do know that if the loser has no allies, the winner receives a modest 2 coin boost. As for a tie, who knows? We’re only shown an Ally Duel between Toads, but if other characters can participate in them as well, it could make for some interesting outcomes…
The worst way to settle disputes. At least you aren’t going to lose a Star over this. Speaking of Stars, thank goodness for classic rankings where Stars trump Coins. The number of allies you have doesn’t seem to affect your rank.
Here’s a list of info for all allies (and your starting Toad) seen in the Treehouse footage, with their dice blocks, and board abilities, along with 8B1T’s personal thoughts.
Toad – Standard Dice Block (1-2-3-4-5-6), recruits a friend. Note that you can still recruit allies even if you have another character as the leading character – Toad won’t leave your party.
Mario – Super Dice Block (0-1-2-5-6-7), stomps on Goombas in grass. Interestingly weighed with no 3 or 4 and a chance of 7, but having a 0 roll does hurt it a bit.
Luigi – Jumpy Dice Block (1-1-1-5-6-7), stomps on Goombas in grass. A little more reliable than the Super Dice Block at the cost of the flexibility of 0-1-2.
Peach – Speedy Dice Block (0-2-4-4-4-6), causes flower buds to bloom. Pretty useful to ensure consistent rolls, but no odd numbers makes it difficult if you want to land on a certain space.
Daisy – Friendly Dice Block (3-4-5-C-C-C; C = characters in party), causes flower buds to bloom. Aim to have at least 2 allies if you’re planning on leading with Daisy; it’s really potent if you have a full party.
Yoshi – Flutter Dice Block (0-1-3-5-5-7), loves fruit. Arguably a slightly more potent Super Dice Block, but like the Speedy Dice Block suffers from not being able to roll any even numbers.
Donkey Kong – Brawny Dice Block (0-0-0-0-10-10), breaks barrels. You’re probably better off saving this die until you have a few allies to provide a buffer in the frequent situation where you roll a 0.
Rosalina – Wondrous Dice Block (5-6-R-R-R-R; R = current rank), mysteriously crushes glowing rocks. This die is more useful the lower your rank is no matter how you look at it, and if you’re last it’s almost as good as a Friendly Dice Block with a full party.
Treehouse also mentioned that Waluigi‘s dice block had a 50% chance of rolling a high number, and a 50% chance of having his coins stolen.
Other than the above, the fact sheet also confirms Toadette and Wario as allies. It’s probably a safe bet to assume the other Mario series amiibo (other than Bowser) will join as allies.
You might have noticed a flower, a fruit, a barrel and a few glowing rocks on the World 1-3 board. These are all obstacles. Sadly no footage of their interactions with characters was shown. 8B1T thinks that as long as you have an ally that can interact with the obstacle, you can clear it and get a Coin bonus while doing so.
Rumor has it that some obstacles can switch places with each other – compare the Treehouse footage and the trailer or the screenshots on other pages.
It’s not a Mario Party without Items
unless it’s Mario Party Advance or e-Reader
Quite a few items were shown in the Treehouse footage. As mentioned before, you can have up to 2 items in your inventory. Here’s a quick rundown of each one seen:
Dash Mushroom – add 3 to your total roll
Golden Dash Mushroom – add 5 to your total roll
Poison Mushroom – subtract 2 from a rival’s total roll (we’re assuming you can’t go into negatives if you only rolled a total of 0 or 1)
Warp Box – warps you to a rival’s location (it’s unknown if this is a random rival or chosen by you)
Duel Glove – choose a rival, challenge them to an Ally Duel
Double Card – doubles Coins and Stars earned from a Boss Battle (if you have one, do your best to place first!)
It’s pretty sad to see barely any items used. One of the Treehouse team even claimed that an item that is thrown out is automatically used. Yeah right.
Claiming Fame in Minigames
It appears that regular minigames only happen when players pop a Coin Balloon, and occur just before the turn ends. Only the leading characters participate (it would probably get too chaotic otherwise, but that doesn’t stop the Boss Battles; see below).
The coin distribution is:
1st – 5 coins
2nd – 4 coins
3rd – 3 coins
4th – 1 coin
Only two of the four minigames in the Treehouse footage were shown, but here’s what we gathered from them:
Greedy Eats – ‘pick a plate and try to get the most cookies!’
Choose plate A or B with the corresponding button, and divide the cookies among whoever chose the same as you. Leftover cookies won’t be divided among players. 5 rounds, whoever has the most cookies at the end wins. The minigame somewhat harks back to Same Is Lame, but you don’t completely lose out if you choose the same as others.
Acornucopia – ‘dodge the Goombrats!’
Move forward toward the goal, and avoid the Goombrats, who if they hit you will make you lose 1 acorn. Losing all 5 acorns places you in the last available rank. For those who make it to the goal, the number of acorns determines your rank – though I’m not sure what would happen if there was a score tie. Bumping a rival won’t make them lose acorns but it’s a devious way to stun them so a Goombrat can hurt them. Thank goodness this minigame isn’t like that other one in Mario Party 10 where the only thing that matters is reaching the goal first…
The other two minigames are Parkour War and Wheelin’ and Wigglin’.
On a side note, it’s wonderful to see the results animations appear within the minigame itself again, rather than the sterile and musically repetitive post-minigame results screens of Mario Party 9 and 10.
Don’t Get Bossed Around
Boss Battles trigger when a Boss Pipe space is landed on. The player who landed on the space not only receives 5 Coins, but also gets a head start in the Boss Battle itself!
The other players can mash A to somehow join in as quickly as possible – as the bottom screens aren’t shown, exactly how this works out is unknown.
It appears that all allies will join you in a Boss Battle. Treehouse claims that up to 11 characters (allies and leading characters combined) can participate, but given that you could have up to 20 characters in theory, would that mean some players would have less allies to help them?
Your allies can’t lose points if they get hurt in Boss Battles – only the leading character you control; but they will still earn points for you, so once again, get as many allies as possible before challenging the bosses!
The Finisher Bonus of 3 points seems to be consistent across the Boss Battles.
The coin/Star distribution is:
1st – 1 Star
2nd – 5 coins
3rd – 3 coins
4th – 2 coins
Note that holding a Double Card will double your reward – do your best to get first and claim a massive lead!
At the risk of a poor meme, despite the Double Card, the outcome of this Boss Battle does not expand dong.
The Boss Battles we saw in the Treehouse footage are:
Mega Goomba – ‘Take the apples from sleepy Mega Goomba!’
Steal 50 apples from Mega Goomba. Press A to collect the apples (up to 3), and at the collecting basket press A to deposit them for points. Colliding into any of the Goombas will make you lose a point.
Initially, there are 3 Goombas confined to the lines, and 1 roaming Goomba who will chase you. When Mega Goomba is angry, it will jump in a direction near a player to attack them, and two more roaming Goombas appear to try and bump you. Probably the only Boss Battle where the boss isn’t killed off – Mega Goomba seems more intrigued by a butterfly than a Star!
King Bob-omb – ‘Defeat King Bob-omb!’
Grab bombs and drop them into the cannons by pressing A, and attack King Bob-omb and deplete its 30 health. Avoid getting hit by a bomb from the sky or caught in an explosion or you’ll lose a point. Normal bombs score 1 point in damage, while big bombs score 3. When King Bob-omb is angry, more bombs will fall from the sky, and more bombs will be red and explode sooner.
King Boo – ‘Defeat King Boo!’
Carry the Light Boxes to damage King Boo, who will be defeated after 24 damage. Press A to jump to collect a Light Box, and to jump across the rotating platforms. Dodge the Peepas who will steal a point if the character you control is caught; falling off didn’t appear to make you lose a point, but you’ll still waste time. Light Boxes score 1 point in damage and Large Light Boxes score 3. When King Boo is angry, Large Light Boxes appear, the platforms spin faster, and Peepas appear on the platforms that didn’t have them before.
Aside from those shown in detail, we also know of:
Kamek – the brief amount of footage in the trailer suggests that you will fling magic orbs at Kamek and deal up to 5 damage with each attack.
Bowser – Bowser has a shell spacecraft which transforms into a mech of some sort at the angry mode. Not much else is known about the boss battle itself.
We can also assume that Petey Piranha and Dry Bones are bosses, if the press kit artwork is anything to go by.
It’s still pretty amazing that there are 11 characters all on screen at once. Yes, 4 of them are Toads, but still. And five characters for one player – who would have imagined? It’s also good to see the original Power Stars back in their glory in Mario Party, and not as some substitute for 5 Mini-Stars.
That’s a lot of information from just 20 minutes of footage! Here’s hoping there’s a few more surprises in store – 8B1T personally would like to see different types of minigames return, something a little closer to Classic Mario Party, and actually finding out what everyone’s board abilities actually do. And amiibo functionality naturally (as long as it’s more involved than amiibo Party).
Even with all the changes to the Mario Party formula, seeing all these nods to what worked in past Mario Party titles means that the developers have certainly given a lot more thought in connecting with fans of the older titles while still making it accessible for a new generation. It’s a promising start for a game a lot to prove for itself.
What do you think of the new mechanics in Mario Party: Star Rush’s Toad Scramble?
What other modes do you think will make it in (apart from Minigame Mode, that’s a given)?
Is this Mario Party the one to unite the old and new?
Let us know in the comments below!