Title: Mario Party Advance
Developer: Hudson Soft
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Release Date: January 13, 2005
How we got the game: I bought it
I love the Mario Party series. Of course, there are some games that are better than others. When I went through my bucket of handheld games the other day, I found this gem. I forgot I had it and wasn’t even sure if I had ever played it. So, I turned it on. And, well… it exists.
I was looking forward to an “old fashioned” Mario Party game and this was not what it was. When I turned the game on, there were a ton of things unlocked so I had played it before. In fact, I had so many coins that I must have enjoyed the game at one point in my life. But today is not that day.
The main mode is called Shroom City. You can choose from Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Yoshi to play as. Depending on who you choose, you start at a different spot on the board. I don’t know why this is and the others don’t join you. There’s no multiplayer, there are no NPCs playing against or with you on the board. It’s all you and you have mushrooms as dice blocks.
Now, they give you four mushrooms to start off with. I kept rolling a 3 and got nowhere fast. When you run out of mushrooms, it’s game over. Do you see my dilemma?
Of course, you can get more mushrooms by winning mushrooms in mini-games (which is a space you have to land on) or by landing on mushrooms spaces. The object of the game is to keep moving along the board and fulfill “quests” from the NPCs scattered about. For example, Shy Guy is at the train station and needs help. So, you need to somehow make it to the train station.
You can move anywhere you please on the board, which was a fun feature. However, when you have limited moves through your lack of mushrooms, it makes the game ten times harder.
Completing quests gives you Gaddgets (you know, like Professor E. Gadd?) though I didn’t care too much for the Gaddgets. I wanted to compete against NPCs and play mini-games.
The mini-games weren’t all that bad. I played quite a few of them in the free-for-all mode and had a good time. Again, it would have been more fun if I were playing against friends or NPCs, but the games worked out just fine as personal challenges. In fact, that’s the goal for most of the games – beat your high score.
It’s a game from 2005 and for the Gameboy Advance. The graphics certainly aren’t what they are now, but they were pretty good for their time and it was charming to look back on. The characters all had their own poses and such, however, there was no voice acting. So that was kind of weird not to hear.
The music was good. Like all Mario Party music, it’s catchy and upbeat.
I don’t think I’ll be going back to this one… maybe ten years from now when I come across it again and forget I had it, I’ll turn it on and unknowingly relive this whole moment. Overall though, this is a Mario Party game to skip.
Mario Party Advance gets…
2 out of 5 lives.