Simple Schemes for Success in Mario Party Superstars

As long-time fans know, there’s a lot more skill and strategy involved in Mario Party than it would seem. It’s not only possible to get good at the minigames, but one can even dominate most them with enough technique and practice. In the same way, it’s possible to play each board in a way that creates advantages and keeps the other players on the defensive. There’s a lot more chance involved of course, but it’s not the determining factor that it appears to be. So, here are some ways to use Horror Land and Yoshi’s Tropical Island to one’s maximum benefit.

Horror Land

Mario Party Superstars - Horror Land Mystery Mansion
Out of all the boards announced for Mario Party Superstars, Horror Land is second only to Space Land in terms of players’ ability to influence the game. Horror Land has a day/night cycle with each state normally lasting two turns at a time. It can be instantly changed in one of three ways, though: landing on a Happening Space, dancing with Mr. I or visiting Kamek’s Mystery Mansion. Happening Spaces instantly change the state no matter which it is while Mr. I will change night to day, and Kamek will change day to night.

Thwomps block certain paths around the board and cannot move at night, so using the day-to-night methods can easily block other players from getting stares. Conversely, more Boo spaces are active at night with Big Boo being particularly dangerous. It probably goes without saying that stopping another player from using these can make for a major upset.

Aside from these, a well-timed Mr. I roll or Whomp swap can also help swing the odds in one’s favor. Mr. I rolls from the lower right of the board to the upper left, so there’s usually at lest one chance to interrupt another player on their way to a star. Whomp swaps are a bit more difficult to pull-off since other players can just pay their way past them during the daytime. The best scenario is to make the Whomp move and then land on a Happening Space in order to change to night time and seal-off the path.

The rule of thumb for all of this is: if it doesn’t cost you a star and makes getting a star more difficult for someone else (especially the leader), then it’s almost always worth it do to any of these. It’s the same for Boo and Big Boo especially; use them whenever the opportunity strikes.

Yoshi’s Tropical Island

Yoshi's Tropical Island - Thwomps
Since this stage comes from the original Mario Party, it’s simpler than boards from the sequels and thus presents fewer opportunities to create advantages. The only tactic that’s always available has to do with the Thwomps guarding the bridges between the two islands. Most players will opt to pay as few coins as possible and cross. This is probably best if one doesn’t have many coins to spare.

For those flush with cash, though, they could choose to drive up the price after getting an early lead in stars. This way, the other players likely won’t be able to easily follow the star when it inevitably switches sides. Of course this runs the risk of getting trapped on the Bowser side while the competition hangs out near Toad and runs up their coin count, but it shouldn’t prove too much of a problem for those who are either good at minigames or are on the island with Boo. Backfiring is possible here, but what’s Mario Party without a little gamble here or there?

As for other options, there are also the plentiful Happening Spaces to consider. The rule here is simple. If there’s a choice between landing on a normal space or a happening space, and someone else is closer to the star, always choose the happening space. This can sometimes result in a visit to Bowser, but denying another player a star is always worthwhile (especially if that player happens to be the biggest threat).

Bonus: Boo, Bowser Spaces and Chance Time

Mario Party Superstars - King Boo
Those who want to be Mario Party masters would do well to remember that the game is just as much about denying stars to other players as it is about collecting them for oneself. By keeping this in mind, all new possibilities open up when it comes to events like Boo, Bowser Spaces and Chance Time. For Boo, it’s usually enough to just take either stars or coins from the leader (or second place player). It can sometimes be better to target someone else, however, perhaps one who’s likely to receive one or two bonus stars at the end of the game and possibly steal the win. It doesn’t directly hurt whomever the current leader is (assuming they’re not the target), but it can help one improve their own chances while also dealing with what could actually be the bigger threat.

Bowser Spaces are almost always bad news for everyone, but Bowser too can be made into an unwitting tool. If another player is about to get a star and the opportunity to land on a Bowser Space presents itself, it might just be worth it to hit that space instead of a safe blue or red. This is because Bowser has plenty of events that hurt everyone giving one a fair chance to steal some timely coins from the guy who’s about to get themselves another star. This can backfire, but it’s usually a small price to pay for a chance to stop a rival from gaining a star.

As for Chance Time, there are multiple approaches. One is to choose the prize first and hope that a rival ends up paying it. The other is to choose that rival first (the left-hand block since it usually is the one that pays out the prize) and hope that they wind up giving a big prize to the fourth-place player (or oneself). Both of these have their merits and drawbacks, so it comes down to preference in the end. If one must be recommended, then perhaps the latter strategy is best since the chosen target usually has to pay out something at least. It also has the benefit of avoiding being the payor most of the time.

Okay, that should just about do it for all the maps Mario Party Superstars will be launching with on October 28. Be sure to check back soon for more thoughts on the game, more minigame tips and eventually more board advice should Nintendo decide to add more somewhere down the line.