Mario Party 10 was as inevitable as taxes and the heat death of the universe, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a title to look out for on the Wii U. This is especially true since it’s the first title in the series to take advantage of the Wii U’s particular feature – the Gamepad.
The game supports up to 4 players, or 5 when playing with a Gamepad in Bowser mode. The fifth player in these special mini games takes the role of Bowser, using the touchscreen and gyroscope to target the other players and crush as many lives out of them as possible.
One Bowser mini game involved the Gamepad player tilting the controller to roll spiked rollers across the screen, which Mario and friends then had to jump over. A pinball mini-game allowed the Bowser player to launch spiked balls at the rest of the group with flippers, as they raced to avoid them. Another memorable required the Wii controller players to waggle to build up their speed running on a hamster wheel. However, the Gamepad player was allowed to decide how fast it was going, when it stopped suddenly and how to coax the players into the fiery deathtraps on either side. This made for a lot of careful waggling and second-guessing as everyone tried to out think the Bowser player.
There were other regular mini-games included in the E3 demo as well, although these seemed more in line with what we’ve seen before from the series, just with a HD upgrade. One game had players leaping from wooden pole to pole in a grid, trying to collect fruit (in almost Pac-Man like fashion), and another involved bees circling the group, before attacking in waves that the players had to escape.
There wasn’t any hint of how the over world might work in Mario Party 10, but from the short glimpse we had at E3, it’s good to see that the developers are taking the Wii U’s unique features and pushing them to the forefront to bring us new and exciting ways to party on the console and invent new gaming drinking games.