|Mario Party: To The Max|
|Developer(s)||Lone Planet Productions|
|Platform(s)|| Nintendo Switch|
|Predecessor||Mario Party 10|
The game involves a large amount of changes from the other recent games in the series, as well as from the series as a whole. Unlike 9 and 10, NX returns to the standard style of each player moving on their own around spaces on a board, competing to get the most stars and coins. Unlike the other games, however, players are able to choose what amount of spaces they can move using Cards, which also act as items; however, they might not always be able to do this, in which the standard style of random movement is used. This adds a new layer of stategy never before seen in a Mario Party game, as does other new features like the Ultra meter which charges up and allows each character to use their signature Ultra Move.
The Switch and Pharo versions of To The Max support controllers from multiple generations, a first for the series; players can synchronize Wii/Wii U controllers, systems in the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DSGo families, and Baron smart devices with the consoles, and also connect Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube controllers via adapters. However, this feature is not available on the DSGo version alone, so as to promote the "pure gaming experience" intended for the console.
During the main mode, gameplay takes place on one of many large boards. Each board is composed of numerous different spaces linked together, and as players move around, they follow and land on these spaces. Unlike previous games in the series, players can go either direction around the board, but can only change direction at a junction. Otherwise, they must continue moving through the row of spaces they are currently on in the same direction. When a character finished moving, they "land" on a space and recieve a specific effect, such losing or gaining coins or getting an additional card for their deck. Additionally, some spaces give an effect as a player passes by, which is usually different from the effect that a player gets from landing on said space.
The main objective of each game is to acquire the most stars. At the end of the match, the player with the most stars will be declared the victor; if two players have the same amount of stars, then the one with the most coins will instead be the winner. If both are the same, there is a draw. The main way of collecting stars is usually through passing by the Star Space and paying 20 coins in exchange for a star; other events, however, also give a star, like landing on Hidden Blocks or getting a rare Item Game. In addition to collecting stars on the board, three bonus stars are given out at the end of the game; there are actually 8 different possible bonus stars that can be chosen from, but 3 are randomly selected to be distributed to the qualifying characters. If all 4 characters qualify, no one gets a star, as it would not affect the rankings. Here are the bonus stars:
Each game consists of a set number of turns, determined when a match is set up. At the beginning of the match, turn order is decided upon randomly, or it can be chosen by the match leader. At the beginning of each turn, each player chooses their cards in the order decided upon at the beginning of the match. After this, the player who ended up with the least amount of spaces to move will move first, followed by the next smallest number. This gives players that chose smaller numbers the advantage, as they can go before their opponents and avoid certain tactics. Players can also chose larger numbers to move after the others, allowing them to avoid events that would've happened otherwise.
Fitting in with the general motif of the game, items in Mario Party NX have been replaced with Cards. Cards serve a variety of different functions when they are used by a character. Characters can only hold up to 6 of them, and they start with 3; in order to get more, they must pass by a Card Shop and exchange coins for cards, or land on a Card Space and get a random Card for free. At the beginning of every turn, characters have a choice of either using a card from their deck or drawing one randomly; every card has a value between 1 and 10 which determines how many spaces the character can move. While cards in the deck always have additional effects, cards that are drawn normally only determine the spaces moved. If a character draws a card, they have to use it that turn.
In addition to a numerical value, every card also has a color; red, blue, or green. This color is used to determine what color the portraits of the characters that use it are, which is in turn used to decide what minigame will be played and which characters will be on either team. As described above, green portraits are randomly flipped between red or blue before the descision of a minigame is made. The list of all cards is below:
Just like past Mario Party games, there are a wide variety of extra Modes that add more meat to the game. Many of the modes in the game are similar to past installments, but there are a few new ones that have never been seen before.
| Party Mode|
The main mode where players individiually trek around the board and collect Stars and Coins, aiming to have the most at the end of the game. At the end of each round, a minigame is played to give extra coins.
| Story Mode|
Where the Story of the game takes place. Some boards and characters can only be unlocked by playing through the story, although there may be other ways to unlock them by playing a lot of Party Mode. Plays like Party Mode but with atleast 2 CPUs.
Players can take on all of the minigames that have been played through Party or Story mode. In addition to choosing the games, players can also take part in special matches when minigames are randomly selected and played.
| amiibo Mode|
A successor to the Super Duel Mode from Mario Party 5, where each player pilots a special Mech made of parts unlocked by scanning amiibo. For more info, see here.
The player is able to see special goodies, like Story Mode cutscenes, the credits, options, and expanded versions of the normal minigames with extra rules, stages, and unlockables.. Most of the content here has to be unlocked before it can be accessed.
StoryThe story in Mario Party NX is similar to other Mario Party games. Mario and his pals are hanging out near Peach's Castle one sunny afternoon playing cards when the ground begins to shake. Suddenly, Ukiki and the other hosts of Story Mode appear and steal the cards off of the table and run away. Mario, furious, leads the rest of the cast towards where the villains are heading. From then, the goal is for all of the characters to get back their cards from the bad guys. Story Mode plays similarly to Party Mode, with the main difference being that each character has 3 HP; instead of Star Spaces, there are Bob-Omb spaces, where characters can pay 20 coins to remove 1HP from an opponent. The players goal is to reduce the board hoast's HP down to 0. Unlike previous games, two players can play at once.
After completing the first board, Ukiki becomes playable, and the characters move on. At each board, Mario and his group defeat the host and they become unlockable. Eventually, they make it to Bowser's Terrible Tower, where Dark Bowser is. The gang battles until they defeat Dark Bowser. When they do, it is revealed that Bowser was being controlled by the Master Ztar, who wanted to take the power of the cards for himself. They battle in a minigame until the Master Ztar is defeated and disappears. With their cards back, Mario and friends can safely return back to the castle and continue the card game, having unlocked Bowser as a main character, as well as Bowser's Terrible Tower as a board.
Not all is right, however. One day, the gang is once again playing cards, when one card flies up. It turns out to be the Metal Card, a magical card that can turn any character to metal. It runs away, turning the landscape to metal, and Mario and gang follow. They have to fight Metal and Gold Mario at their own game, lowering their HP down in the board Metal Mania, and finally defeating them. As the metal characters disappear, the Metal Card turns back into a normal playing card, and everything is once again as it should be.
MinigamesJust as in past games, minigames occur often through the game, where players compete against one another or try to reach a goal. By winning these games, the player is given a bonus, which varies depending on the minigame. Some minigames occur at the end of each round after all of the players have moved, while others only happen when landing on specific spaces. New to the game are Finale minigames, which occur after the last turn ends, and rewards the winning player with an extra star, allowing for great comebacks or mightier wins. Additionally, every non-Finale minigame has a color: red, green, or blue, and a player may choose to sacrifice a card of the matching color in order to get an advantage during the minigame.
The type of minigame played at the end of the round is decided by the color of each players portrait, whether it be blue, red, or green. Unlike previous entries, the color of the portrait is determined by the card used, not the space landed upon. If everyone has a blue portrait, it is a Free For All game. If all players have red portraits, it is a Battle game. If there are two Blue portraits and two Red portraits, it is a 2v2. Lastly, if it is one blue and three reds to vice versa, it is a 1v3 game. Any players with green portraits have their colors randomly decided between blue and red before the game is selected. The types of minigames are described below:
|Free-for-All||Games where all four players compete against each other for 10 coins.|
|2v2 Minigames||Games where two pairs of players battle for 10 coins.|
|1v3 Minigames||Games where one player battles a group of 3 for 10 coins.|
|Battle Minigames||Everyone puts money into a pot; winner gets 70% and second place gets 30%.|
|Coin Minigames||Variation of other types of games, where everyone wins varying amounts.|
|Duel Minigames||Two players square off for a bet amount.|
|Bowser Minigames||Four players try to survive Bowser; loser is deducted coins.|
|Finale Minigames||All players compete for a final star.|
Sixteen characters are avaliable by default when the game is first booted. By completing Story Mode, however, the player can unlock six additional characters.
Story Mode Only
These characters can only appear in Story Mode as computer controlled characters. They all use the same mesh as another character (Toad, Bowser, and Mario, respectively), but their textures are different.
This table lists all of the Ultra Moves that the characters can perform.
|Mario||Mario unleashes a fireball that causes all opponents up to 15 spaces in front of him to lose 25% of their coins and half of their cards.|
|Luigi||Luigi unleashes a fireball that causes all opponents up to 7 spaces in front of him to lose 50% of their coins and all of their cards.|
|Peach||Peach uses her flower power to draw 6 random Uncommon cards.|
|Toad||Toad is able to chose any of the 15 spaces in front of him to instantly land on, avoiding any negative obstacles in the way.|
|DK||Donkey Kong plays a short rhythm mini game to put all opponents within a 10 space radius to sleep.|
|Yoshi||Yoshi lays 2 Eggs, each with a Rare card in them.|
|Wario||Wario spins a wheel to either gain 20 coins, lose 5 coins, or double his coin amount. Afterwards he can do double or nothing.|
|Waluigi||Waluigi chooses a single opponent within 10 spaces to hit with a bomb, destroying all of their cards and 25% of their coins.|
|Daisy||Daisy uses her Flower Power to fill her card deck with Common or Uncommon cards.|
|Rosalina||Rosalina sends Lumas to pester all of her opponents. The next turn, they can only draw a card, and the card can only be between one and five.|
|Diddy||Diddy Kong places a banana peel which slips any opponent which passes by the space, stopping their progression and causing them to drop a card.|
|E. Gadd||E. Gadd uses the Poltergust 5k to draw all opponents to the same space as him. Does not activate a Duel if occupying the same space would otherwise cause one.|
|Toadette||Toadette chooses a space within the next 10 to go to, hitting all opponents on the way and stealing one of their cards.|
|Birdo||Birdo shoots the next closest person, or a random opponent if there is none nearby. This steals half of their coins.|
|Lubba||Lubba dances and finds 10 coins.|
|Pianta||Pianta finds a random fruit which contains either a card or a certain amount of coins, depending on the fruit. See here for details.|
|Ukiki¹||Ukiki pulls out a hat relating to a random character and uses their Ultra ability.|
|Shy Guy||Automatically activates if a Battle game is triggered. making it so that Shy Guy does not have to pay into the pot.|
|Dry Bones||Automatically activates if Dry Bones is attacked, preventing him from being affected by any attacking events.|
|Kamek||Kamek casts a spell on an opponent, with a 75% chance of reducing their next move by half and a 25% chance of doubling it.|
|Bowser Jr.||Bowser Jr. gets in his Koopa Clown Car and is able to use three cards on his turn.|
|Bowser||Bowser chomps a Mega Mushroom to grow extra large and move forward with two card draws. Any opponents in the way lose 30 coins.|
¹Ukiki is referred to as Grinder in PAL versions of the game
Tower Mode is a new and unique mode that serves as a successor to the Bowser Mode from Mario Party 10. It combines tower defense and Mario Party like never before. One player plays on a screen controller (such as a Switch in handheld mode, a Wii U Gamepad, a 3DS/DSGo system, or a Baron smart device), while the other players play on controllers without screens. The player with the screen must keep the other players from reaching the middle of the board; to do so, they must place down Improvements that hinder the other players' movements. Each Improvement costs a certain amount of Coins that are earned from minigames each round.
Every turn starts with a minigame, which can be either a free-for-all, a 2v2, or a 1v3. No-screen players are given additional card slots to used based on how well they performed in each minigame, whereas the screen player earns more Coins with which to buy Improvements. Coin Minigames are not present as they would not work with the setup without modification.
This game only supports the Super Mario series line; however, corresponding amiibo from other series work as well.
|Creates a ring of fire around the user that causes fire damage to opponents.|
|Shoots a ball of electricity at the opponent, stunning them and dealing electric damage.|
|Heals an ally greatly.|
|The user breathes fire at an opponent, stunning them and dealing fire damage.|
Returning from Mario Party 1 are new settings that can be unlocked through playing the game. After every board, all of the stars that the human players collected are put into the Star Bank. Afterwards, the player can go to the Star Shop and purchase new Game Changer settings with the stars. Buying every setting costs 100 Stars, which takes an average of 20 games to obtain.
- This is the first Mario Party to feature an orchestrated soundtrack, online play, downloadable content, or to be released on the Switch.