It should be fun and all, but these boards and mini-games take it to a different level.
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- Peach's Birthday Cake.
- Want to get to the star? First, you have to fork over 10 coins to Goomba (or whatever you have), and then he mixes up four seeds in a "flower lottery" to determine whether you get to move forward. The bad thing is you have a one-in-four chance of picking a Bowser Seed (it can go down to being a guaranteed Bowser trip since the seeds don't reset until all four are played, meaning someone will have to deal with Bowser on this board), which drags you over to Bowser's cake. Here, when you make a full revolution, you have to pay 20 coins to Bowser (if you don't have that many, he'll bankrupt you altogether), and then you're forced to play the flower lottery again. The star never moves from its spot on this board, so if you're down on your luck, you could potentially be visiting Bowser's cake for most of the game, starless and most likely coinless.
- Inverted if you are really good at collecting coins and can land on plenty of unused Happening Spaces. You can use these to set up Piranha Plant traps, and when an opposing player stops on it, you automatically steal a star if they have one (only after a successful steal will the trap disappear). Since the star technically costs 30 coins to obtain on this board, most players will very likely find themselves planting Piranha Plants and fighting over one or two stars.
- If you start last, pray that the other three don't get the toads before you do, otherwise it's Bowser.
- Eternal Star.
- On the other seven boards, Toad will happily give you a star if you approach with 20 coins. On this board, there are seven Koopa Kids who challenge you to a dice block game for 20 coins. As you can only hit an 8-10 while the Koopa Kid can roll as low as a 1, you have an 80% chance of winning. But if the Koopa Kid wins, he will steal a star from you if you have any (this loss on top of the 20 coins you forked out earlier).
- If you meet up with Bowser, he will always steal a star from you (unless you have none, in which case he will steal 20 coins), and then send you back to Start, then change the destination of the warp machines.
- In addition, there's the Happening Space. Any time a player lands on one, all four players are sent back to Start.
- This game is unbelievably infamous for having minigames that required you to rotate the control stick really fast.
- The worst of these games was Pedal Power, in which you had to use a bike to power up a light bulb to light the room before a Boo grabbed you. Even the computer players sometimes couldn't beat it.
- And then there was Tug o' War, which is an absolute nightmare on single player mode, regardless of which side you're on (the lone player in the Bowser Suit or the other side with the three players). In this minigame, not only do you need to rotate the control stick as far as possible to pull the opposing team into the pit, but the CPU-controlled players on the opposing side always have a significant advantage over the player's side. Yes, even if you're on the side with three players, it still relies on you to be able to out-spin the computer, which doesn't even need to spin at all. This gets especially egregious when the other two players have the same difficulty setting as the opposing player.
- It got worse when you consider that you had to rotate the analog stick on N64 controllers so fast, just to have a CHANCE at beating the computer, that you could injure your hands. Nintendo offered free pairs of gloves to some of those afflicted and stopped using rotating the control stick as a control method in any future minigames. This is also the most likely reason Mario Party 1 has never been released on the Wii's Virtual Console.
- Skateboard Scamper is easy to understand. Just press B to skate and A to jump over obstacles...except once you clear them all, you'd better mash the hell out of that B button beyond anything human if you want to guarantee a win. The winner is almost always completely based on the computer's whims, so if it doesn't want you to win, you're screwed.
- Piranha's Pursuit. It can be pretty hard, at least if you're the lone player. Just watch out for the falling logs. Much tragedy will come out of that. However, if the lone player never messes up, it's impossible for him or her to lose. You don't even need to mash B that fast. After some practice you can become quite good at this game.
- Slot Car Derby. It's a racing minigame, but instead of turning with the stick, you use it to speed up and slow down. If you go too fast, you spin out when you reach the corners. This minigame wouldn't be so bad, except the computer players play it perfectly (especially when you face Toad at the end of Mini-Game Island, who is like a computer player on very hard, and that isn't even mentioning the fact that you have to play this same game twice in Mini-Game Island), since their tires frequently have lots of smoke but they NEVER spin out. You, on the other hand, will either be frantically slowing down around every corner (even if just enough to allow them to gain slightly more ground) or ending up spinning out trying to catch or keep up. It was also made worse in Mario Party 2, where Nintendo added about three to four more corners to the tracks.
- Paddle Battle. It's another control stick-rotating mini-game. But it's a 1 vs. 3 mini-game to ramp up the difficulty. If you're playing this on mini-game island, you're always gonna be the solo player, and it's gonna be a hard time trying to literally even beat the mini-game, since the aim is to get 15 coins from your opponents (pretty much requires you to play perfectly). Basically, you and your opponents are in a boat. Your objective is to rotate the control stick to steer the boat to the right, where a Spear Guy spears the trio and they lose 3 coins. Unfortunately, your opponents are really good at this mini-game.
- The coin mini-game Grab Bag. Everyone has bags containing their current amount of coins. To earn coins, you have to grab your opponent from behind. Except it's hard because of course your opponents are trying to grab you, too. Cue the fact that sometimes there's only 1 coin, and sometimes there's a bag of 5 coins. And to make things even better, you're all trapped in the room together for sixty seconds. It's not much better in Mario Party 2 despite a shorter time limit as it's been remade into a Battle Mini-game where everyone has five mushrooms in their bags and you have to steal them while making sure not to let either someone else or a computer steal from you. Also, one random player will have a Golden Mushroom that is worth three points and having this mushroom can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
- Face Lift. In this mini-game, you have to stretch out Bowser's face and try to get as close of a match as the picture in the middle. This doesn't look too hard, but the controls are horrible, and it's hard just trying to make Bowser's chubby cheeks the right height (although they are usually generous enough to just stretch them as far as they will go). To make it worse, any player who has 90 points for their closest match wins. It got remade in Mario Party 2 as a Battle Mini-Game, but now there are character faces instead of Bowser faces. Oh, and this time, the player with the highest score wins.
- Pipe Maze. Based off of the classic Japanese lottery game, Ghost Leg. Not too bad when on the trio side, but somewhat hard when being the solo. The solo player has to try to get the treasure chest down to themselves. It starts at the bottom, and then rises to the top. There are forks in the pipes. Easy trying to follow it, right? Nope, because the screen scrolls up too fast, and you can't even pause the game during this scrolling to get a better look. In Mini Game Island, you HAVE to get the chest in order to clear the game, but you're MUCH more likely to beat the game by luck rather being able to follow the pipe's path, so Good Luck.
- The 1 vs. 3 minigames Bash 'n' Cash, Crane Game, and Bowl Over: The former if you are the solo player, the latter two if you are one of the other three, as in all three cases you can only lose coins (and at the very best, lose nothing). The latter is even worse if you have the most coins and the solo player is an AI, as you will always be their target (unless you have less than 30 coins, forcing the AI to aim for the 10-coin chest instead). It's extremely hard to grab or break free from an AI player in Crane Game, even if you're good at mashing buttons. Even worse, in the Mini Game Island mode you HAVE to snatch a computer player to clear the game (not even the chest is "good enough"), and in Bowl Over you HAVE to knock over ALL THREE computer players to clear the game, in just one shot. Thankfully, both of these games were made easier in Mario Party 2 (you get two rolls in Bowl Over to knock over all three players, which is now required for a win, and Crane Game gives you a time limit and stopwatches that extend the time, but removes the stealing factor and awards a flat 10 coins to the crane for getting all three rivals, or 10 coins to them if one of them is still there when the timer runs out). Bash 'n' Cash can become even worse if you get Bowser's version of it (by landing on a Bowser Space, of course). It's the same objective, only this time every coin stolen from the solo player goes straight to Bowser, instead of the other three. Worse, if the solo player manages to make it through the whole 30 seconds without losing a single coin, Bowser will steal 15 coins from him/her just to be mean. The best thing you can possibly do if you're stuck in the Bowser suit during the Bowser version is let the AI hit you exactly ONCE, and no more than that. Do it right, and you can escape the minigame with minimum (read: five coins) losses, instead of fifteen coins (or more).
- Coin Shower Flower, another 1 vs 3 minigame, has the lone player standing on the flower while the other 3 are in boats below it. The lone player gets the opportunity to collect a bunch of coins falling from the sky, while the 3 players have to fight over any that the lone player misses. Often, the lone player barely misses any coins, or even none at all, which is extremely unfair for the other 3 players. It's possible for the lone player to rack up over 30 coins. This might as well have been a 1 player minigame.
- Shy Guy Says. In a manner similar to the children's game Simon Says, Shy Guy will raise either a white (A) or red (B) flag, and you have to raise the exact same flag. If you don't, you lose the mini-game. What makes this mini-game so bad is that the AI is very good at this mini-game, and when playing with those on Hard difficulty or experience human players, this mini-game can last for minutes on end. As well as this, Shy Guy will try to fake you out sometimes, raising both flags, then pulling away a flag... (and sometimes in Mario Party 2, even putting it back up again while lowering the other one). Also, you only have a short amount of time to raise the flag, otherwise it's game over. It doesn't help that, on the Mario Party 1 version at least, the AI will eventually tap the correct button so fast that you have no hope of beating it. Better pray the CPU isn't determined to win at all costs..
- Running Of The Bulb. It's one of the very few "group" mini-games and has the four players all walking down a long walkway with one of the four players holding a light bulb and having to place it in the socket at the end of it to light up the room and the other three having to protect the bulb-carrier...from a endless supply of Boos hoping to possess you and your teammates. Also, behind all four of them is a giant, transparent, creepy-faced ghoul that slowly chases them and will suck up any player who is not fast enough to keep up with their team, causing the individual(s) to be taken out of the game. In addition to this craziness, if you are not successful in fighting off the Boos, you end up possessed and the only way for you to no longer be this way is for a undamaged teammate to knock you to your senses. And while you are possessed, your goal is to possess the bulb-carrier and unwillingly walk into the creepy-faced ghoul behind you and lose the game, but if the person carrying the bulb ends up possessed and walks into the ghoul "cloud", the game ends in a complete loss for everyone. Winning the game will earn each surviving member 10 coins and losing costs everyone 5 coins.
Mario Party 2
- Pirate Land.
- The board is three landmasses separated by a series of bridges. Each bridge has three happening spaces on it, and if anyone lands on one, the nearby pirate ship begins firing its cannon, taking all the players on the bridge back to the start. Then, if that isn't bad enough, there are Thwomps blocking a shortcut that fine one coin or higher for the first player, and if the first player gives them more than one coin, the amount the next player would have to pay would be the same amount the first player paid. If the first player had somehow obtained 30 coins, he or she (or it, as the AI for computer players favored this strategy) could pay the Thwomp ten coins and still have 20 left over for the star, putting the amount at 10 coins for the rest of the game. This put the three other players in a world of hurt.
- The transport docks. If the player lands on a space next to a dock with an arrow on it, Sushi the Shark will appear and take them to another dock. It isn't like other such transport spots where the player has a choice - the player is forced to accept and pay 5 coins. While this can be useful occasionally, it is mostly a nuisance due to one such dock being three spaces before a common star location. After managing to get so close to the star, making it past both bridges without being blown back to the start, you get forcefully taken all the way back to the starting island.
- Also, by association, Mystery Land. Take Wario's Battle Canyon from the first game, strip it of its cannons, make landing on Happening Spaces the only cheap way to switch from island to island (the others either require use of a Skeleton Key or by gambling and having an alien airlift you to the island on the top left/bottom right, which can also backfire), and add the ability to put a curse on your opponents for cheap which only lets them roll up to 3 on a dice block, and you have the perfect recipe for a low-scoring board.
- Mecha Marathon, when playing against the computers. It seems like a pretty simple button-mashing minigame, but here's the catch — the AI is inhumanly fast at this minigame. You'll be struggling to make it past 20 meters while the AI has fun breaking 30 meter records on easy mode. What makes it even worse is that you have to be pressing not just one, but two buttons repeatedly, simultaneously. Have fun beating it on the Minigame Coaster. It is much easier in the Virtual Console version, probably because the Classic Controller has faster registration of button-mashing.
- Bowser's Big Blast and Day At The Races, two battle minigames based entirely on luck.
- In Bowser's Big Blast, the player must avoid the plunger which detonates a bomb resembling Bowser's head.
- In Day At The Races, you pick which of the four characters you think will win the race (Thwomp, Whomp, Boo, or Bob-omb). However, the player in 4th place gets the first pick, while the player in 1st place is stuck with the only one remaining (usually the Whomp, who frequently performs badly).
- Honeycomb Havoc has players take turns hitting a dice block that only has a 1 and a 2 on it, which means they would then get either one or two fruits that are all lined up in order on a tree respectively. Sometimes there will be coins to get, but the catch is that there's also beehives, and if you catch one, you're out (the game is played until only one player remains). No matter how good you are at counting, it's impossible to ensure that you won't get a beehive, since you can't predict what number the computer players will choose (it's usually random, so this game involves quite a bit of luck). As always, there's something to make things worse: A computer on a harder difficulty is always smart enough to only pick 1 if there's only one fruit or coin before a beehive, or 2 if there's only 2 left, effectively screwing the next player, which could be you. With other human players, this game even allows them to gank a certain player if they're smart enough.
- Sneak 'n' Snore. The objective is to slowly walk to the button, push it, and slowly walk back to the door. The catch? There's a sleeping Chain Chomp. And if he wakes up and you're not hiding in your barrel, then he snatches you and dumps you into the loser pipe in the corner; you're disqualified from the game. To make things worse, you never know exactly when he'll wake up, and the faster you move, the longer it takes to get into your barrel. Moving at the fastest speed makes it practically IMPOSSIBLE to hide in your barrel, even if you stop the very moment the chomp wakes up. It's possible for the computer players to get caught, sometimes even ALL of them might get caught, but they're also good at both moving fast and hiding in their barrel. Have fun trying to beat this on the Mini-Game Coaster.
- Skateboard Scamper. As the new and improved version from the first game, it involves the four players skateboarding again, only this time it's inside of a creepy mansion with an even scarier soundtrack playing in the background, an even more difficult obstacle course note and combines it with the infamous Running Of The Bulb from the first game and now has a giant Boo chasing you through the level and willing to suck you inside in the (very likely) case you fail at the mini-game. Even worse, even if by some chance you do finish the course, you also have to contend with both jumping for the strategically-placed bags of money and actually winning the race, to boot. Good luck in attempting to do everything right this time!
Mario Party 3
- Waluigi's Island. One area of the board, right near the start, is a circle, with several happening spaces (as well as blue spaces) and a counter starting at 5. Every time someone lands on a happening space in this circle, the counter decreases by 1. Once it reaches 0, everyone in the circle loses all their coins and it resets to 5. The worst thing about this is that there is no way to leave this circle or bypass it entirely (unless you have a Warp Block or a Magic Lamp), except for a directional roulette to the north of the circle, which has three different speeds: moderate, fast, and extremely fast, that change each time it's used. Unfortunately, the roulette seems to be rigged for human players, especially at higher speeds; whereas computer players usually get out of the circle, the roulette frequently sends human players back into the circle unless it's at the slowest speed. Aside from that, another part of the board that goes to Boo has two passages, one of which contains a trap that sends you back to the start.
- The Beat Goes On, as demonstrated by both The Runaway Guys and Mario Party TV. This minigame can last for minutes on end, especially if the players can easily remember the notes to hit. What makes it infuriating is that it not only drags on, but if the game ends in a tie, nobody wins; the only such instance when it was actually fun was the Baza Baza game. They also show similar disdain for Cheep Cheep Chase, which is similar to Skateboard Scamper: Mash A to swim, dive under bombs with Z. However, if one player mashes like mad, it actually slows down the other players, so good luck fighting the AI here. The bombs also have buggy hit detection and can appear out of THIN AIR.
- Merry Go Chomp and Stacked Deck are both 100% up to chance in who wins and who loses. And of course since they're Battle Mini-games there's going to be a lot of money going to a single player for no reason as a result. In Merry Go Chomp, if the chomp gets a color that no one's on, the wheel will spin again until a color with a player on it gets chosen, without you even getting a chance to choose a different color (as you do after a player is eliminated). Stacked Deck gives you a chance to screw the other players over if you pull a Boo, but beware as the scrambled order is random.
- Game Guy's mini-games are also totally luck-based, and while that is kind of the idea (being gambling games and all) landing on a Game Guy space or having a Lucky Charm used on a player forces them to wager every last coin they have on the game, meaning they will be completely broke if they lose. This is ESPECIALLY bad if the game happens to be the rare but gravely dangerous Game Guy Roulette, where you have to choose a roulette section and hope the shell lands on it, or you lose (the biggest section is the Koopa, which only takes up 6 out of 21 spaces, or less than 1/3). Fortunately the winnings don't count towards one of the bonus stars at the end of a Battle Royale, but losing can be crippling, especially on Duel Boards.
- Mario's Puzzle Party. Whilst this mini-game is a puzzle mini-game and requires puzzle solving, this mini-game falls under this category mostly because the computer has the power to know where the big combos are right from the start - even on Easy. The only real way to win is to pile up in blocks and hope for a big combo - which depends mostly on luck.
Mario Party 4
- All of the boards in this game are this in their own special way:
- Toad's Midway Madness: There are two sections of the board with teacups with can lead to two paths. When someone rides them, that player will go the direction the arrow is pointing. The catch? The next player to ride them will go the other direction, meaning if one player is unlucky, they could be stuck in one corner of the board for a most of the game. Also, there is a roller coaster running the middle of the board and landing on any ? space there will send the roller coaster down and chase the players to the other side of the coaster, denying them a Star on the other side in the process.
- Koopa's Seaside Soirée: On both sides in the north part of the board, there is a special type of intersection where the direction your going is determined by luck. An Ukiki will throw a banana peel on the ground; who slip in a random direction, and you have no control over which direction to go (unless you use the extremely rare Bowser Suit). Also, there are special spaces which force the player to pay 5 coins to build the "Koopa Kabana" anytime they pass them, and landing on the ? spaces around the cabana will force the player to pay how many coins have been invested to stay for a night, and then a giant wave destroys it, resetting the counter. Also, there are ? spaces in the south where a dolphin appears and takes you to another part of the board with no option to decline it.
- Goomba's Greedy Gala: Probably the most luck-based of all Mario Party boards, the main gimmick is the roulette in the center. Goomba will spin the roulette and toss a ball into the wheel, and where it lands determines the direction someone will go (if it lands in any of the grey spaces, that player gets 20 coins and gets to choose the direction they want to go). One however could bribe Goomba by paying him 5, 10, or 20 coins to increase the chance of going in the direction to the star. Also, in each corner of the board, there are certain areas where Goomba will challenge you to roll a higher number than him on a dice block (1-10). If you win, you will get 10 coins and get to continue on your adventure. If you lose though, you are sent back to the start. Sometimes Goomba will roll a 10, which guarantees that you will be sent back to start.
- Boo's Haunted Bash: There are certain bridges in this board that disappear when a player meets up with the red Boo in the center of the board, making that path inaccessible until someone meets up with the red Boo again. Also, there is a Mystery Train which forces the player to ride to another section of the board, though it is only accessible if the bridges have disappeared. This train can have the same effect as the teacups in Toad's Midway Madness if the bridges aren't restored. If someone can successfully summon Big Boo, prepare to have a major withdrawal from all of the other players. It's even worse if the player has 150 Coins.
- Shy Guy's Jungle Jam: The west and east are separated by two bridges, and there are three ? spaces near both of them. If someone happens to land on them, they have to try to make the Shy Guy Statue happy by wishing for a fun wish or sad wish. If the wish pleases the statue, nothing happens and the player's turn simply ends, but if the statue is not pleased, it will cause the river to flood and prevent people from crossing the bridges for up to 3 turns.
- Bowser's Gnarly Party: There are two intersections determined by crumbling bridges similar to that of the teacups from Toad's Midway Madness. When someone crosses it, it will slowly begin to crumble until three players pass it, destroying it and forcing the other player to travel the other direction, which, again, like Toad's Midway Madness, can make one player unlucky enough to be stuck in one corner for much of the game. Also, there is a random space with Bowser and the effects are different depending on the size of the player; if the player is normal-sized, Bowser will take half of their coins (but give fifty for anyone who either doesn't have any coins or is wearing a Bowser Suit); if the player is mini-sized, Bowser will not steal anything but send that player to an alternate "start" in the middle of the board, which contains two Bowser spaces and one Fortune Space; and finally, if the player is mega-sized, Bowser will challenge him/her to one of two special minigames (Bowser Wrestling or Panels of Doom), and if the player wins, Bowser will disappear from the board until the next Star is bought, but if he/she loses, Bowser will take half of their coins, unless they do not have any. Also, if he is present then every few turns Bowser will shrink the players with magic as if they used a Mini mushroom. This also prevents item usage so it can really suck if someone gets a Magic Lamp and then next turn Bowser shrinks everyone.
- Any of the Bowser mini-games. But special mention goes to Darts of Doom, a very hard mini-game involving, you guessed it, darts. You throw darts trying to get the highest score as possible. Actually, that's only half-right. After everyone throws their darts, whoever gets the lowest score must pay up and if there's a tie for the lowest score the loser is whoever got the lowest score first. But if someone throws a dart at the bullseye, they automatically lose.
- Bowser's Bigger Blast. As its name suggests, it's just like Bowser's Big Blast from Mario Party 2 even to the point that it's a Battle Minigame where many coins will be at stake.
- Paths of Peril. This battle minigame has you choose between two narrow paths to go on and in order to get to the goal you have to do this twice; however they are generated randomly, meaning that through no fault of your own you could get a long path while someone else or a computer gets a short path. Falling off the path also takes a long time to recover from, which can be crippling if someone reaches the goal while you're recovering.
- As pictured above, Candlelight Flight. Whether you're the Candle holder or the one with the water gun, the AI seems to be gods of some sort. When you're the candle holder, the AI players somehow know how to see in the dark. Are they part cat or something? When it's the other way around, the candle holder can always maneuver to always avoid the water sprays. No matter what, The AI always win! It's not much better for the water sprayers during an all-human match.
- Most mini-games that require you to tap buttons quickly (like Slime Time or Take a Breather) can be won fairly easily against even hard-level computer players, but Domination is borderline unwinnable. Some controllers can't even register the A button tapping fast enough.
Mario Party 5
- Any of the boards in Story Mode, as you must defeat each of the Koopa Kids by taking all of their coins by beating them in mini-games. If you pass them and win, you take 15 coins, but if you lose, you lose 5 coins. You can only battle a Kid if you pass them on the board or hit a battle space, and if they pass you, they get a chance to take 10 coins if you lose. And if you run out of turns to defeat them, you automatically lose.
- Bowser Nightmare: This board lives up to its name, as nothing is fair for any of the players. If someone hits the Happening Spaces near the doors, they are trampled on by Bowser and have the entire row of spaces turned red. The Happening Spaces in the center lead to a circle full of red and sometimes Bowser spaces. The Happening Spaces near the towers force you to play a luck game where you pick a box and either lose half of your coins or you get sent back to Start.
- Pushy Penguins. You don't know the mini-game? It's just basically about you and your opponents on an iceberg with penguins trying to kick you off. It's like a maze, only you have literally three seconds to even get past it before you're out. That is all.
- Get a Rope. It's just luck, you pull a rope and hope the ten ton anvil/weight doesn't come smash down on your character's head (the results from worst to best are: the anvil (getting this ensures you'll lose), a little bit of confetti, and a shower of confetti (this guarantees a win). The only controls are selecting a rope to pull, and to make it worse, it's a duel mini game. Yeah, because betting coins or stars on a duel and getting a game with zero skill involved is the fairest thing ever.
- The 1 vs. 3 mini-game "Heat Stroke" for the three players. One player, floating with balloons attached to them, can knock away up to 8 platforms with a hammer, and the three players must jump at the right time to avoid getting flown off. What makes this mini-game so needlessly hard is that is that the solo player has the ability to fake their swing, which, if you are on the three-player side, can severely throw your timing off. Worse, over time, Podoboos fall onto the platforms, and there can be up to three at one time (you can also fall off the platform by accident).
- Whomp Maze (a duel mini-game). The objective is to make it through a maze of Whomps and get to the end, as the name would suggest, but you have ZERO indication of where they are until someone wins. And you have only 30 seconds to make it to the end on top of that. Also, if you touch a Whomp, you're stunned for a few seconds.
- Vicious Vending. Not only because it's based on luck, but because it is easily the least creative and most uninspired minimalistic luck-based game across probably the whole series. You turn a crank and get either coins or a Thwomp. That's it. The minigame is over in less than five seconds and there is no interaction aside from turning a crank. Although the luck-based games get a lot of hate in general, some of them can be fun in multiplayer for building tension and turning things around for less skilled players; here, there's no tension at all and it's over so quickly.
- All three Bowser mini-games are this to a certain degree:
- In "Rain of Fire", players must dodge the raining debris that Bowser launches from a cannon into the sky. Unfortunately, this mini-game has several problems: 1. Too many fall down at a time, and the hitboxes are unusually big, which doesn't help; 2. They have fairly small shadows, so you have no indication of where to hide, and 3. Bowser does this twice. In one game. This is the easiest of the Bowser games because you do have some room for error; the others...
- "Cage-in Cookin'" is probably the tamest of the three, but that doesn't mean it's easy. You have to hit a series of button in that order. The problem is, though, the time limit is quite strict (as soon as the game starts, you have seven seconds, max, to get all eight buttons before Bowser stomps into firing range of the cages and torches anyone still in them), and making one mistake can be enough to lead you to your doom (making two mistakes will be enough since you won't have enough time left to get the combination before you become the dish of Cage-in Cookin').
- "Scaldin' Cauldron" is unfortunately a luck-based mini-game, which is bad considering that this is a Bowser mini-game, and the losers get punished for losing. Now, if this were a 50/50 chance mini-game, or if it were the type where there can be only one loser, similar to the Bowser mini-games in 4, this wouldn't be so bad. Here, though, everyone has to choose between three cauldrons to hide in, and Bowser will burn two of them. This means that there is only a 1 in 3 chance that anyone would actually get out unscathed. When converted to a percentage, including decimals, that's only 33.33%. You only have a 33.33% chance of winning. This means that the odds of you losing are stacking against the odds of you winning. Bowser can also fake his breath. so just because your safe doesn't mean he'll stop his assault.
Mario Party 6
- The Snowflake Lake board takes this game to its finest level. Much like the other boards in this game, it has its own particular gimmick; instead of collecting stars for random prices, you're given a set number of stars at the beginning, and to earn more you have to steal stars from your opponents using Chain-Chomps found at specific areas of the map. It doesn't help that the level has an absurd amount of Duel Spaces, either...
- Clockwork Castle. This entire board is unlocked by paying 100 stars at the bank (similar to Eternal Star from the first game). What makes this board frustrating is you can only get stars at daytime: in this particular case, you have to chase DK down and get the star from him. But once nighttime arrives, Bowser will appear and chase down the players, and whoever he catches will get a Ztar (called Shadow Stars in this game), which is basically losing a star unless the player doesn't have any then it's just twenty coins taken. And not only that, one particular space on the northern part of the board can actually change the time of day. This means that it's possible to play a 50-turn game without any stars.
- Pitifall. It's just like Get a Rope, but this time both players can get unlucky. If that happens, hope the Fly Guy will pick you up, or you lose.
- Tricky Tires and Sumo of Doom-o, thanks to their unbearable control scheme (using the left Control Stick to control the left tires and the C-Pad to control the right tires), which makes them a lot harder than they should be. The latter is especially bad because it's a Duel Mini-game.
- "Trick or Tree," A lighter luck based minigame, but you have to pay attention as there's only one of each tree size.
- The three Bowser mini-games are all quite nasty for various reasons:
- Pit Boss has everyone in a pit and Bowser throws a large spiked ball that rolls around into the pit. Anyone who makes contact with it loses and just to be mean, when the spiked ball apppears to stop Bowser will throw two more in and leave you with less room to move around. It also doesn't help that the hitboxes of the spiked balls are kinda large.
- Dark 'n Crispy is the easiest of the Bowser mini-games, but don't be fooled by the short time limit. The entire area is dark, and you can only see around the characters and at the four edges of the area if Bowser is not breathing fire. If someone makes contact with Bowser or his fire breath, that player will lose and you can also fall off the edge.
- Dizzy Rotisserie combines a short timer with Interface Screw. You will have no idea what direction you'll go in when using the control stick until a few seconds of wandering around after the game begins and once time runs out anyone who did not make it to the exit loses.
Mario Party 7
- Pagoda Peak played in Solo Mode. You only need one star, except that it costs an outrageous 100 coins! Good luck trying to get that much, since this board is a one way path up to the star. There's even a happening space only two spaces away from the top and the star that will make a dragon chomp you and spit you out... back to the start! The Party Cruise version isn't much better as there are happening spaces which can change the price of the star from as low as a cheap 10 coins to a nastily expensive 40 coin price. Bowser will also screw people over during Bowser Time by breaking a bridge for one turn so that you have to end your turn once you reach the Broken Bridge, or he'll stomp on the mountain to knock players down to a lower area of the board (by the way, those two events are exclusive to this board).
- Pyramid Park. It's a direct clone of Snowflake Lake, except it has a happening space that does one of three random actions: halving the Chain Chomp prices, switching the colors of the red and blue spaces for two turns, and the infamous bowser revolution; alongside quicksand pits and numerous Bowser events that can really put a hurting on your final score. Playing this board in Solo Mode is even worse. You have to track down Bandit and steal the star he stole from the Bowser Sphinx (remember him? He's the random event happening space in Party Mode) using a Chain Chomp, then return it to the Bowser Sphinx. It isn't as easy as it sounds, especially since the path to the Bowser Sphinx is blocked by a Whomp who will only let you pass if you pay 10 coins - if you don't have 10 coins, better rake 'em up fast, otherwise your opponent will likely catch you, and you will be screwed.
- Neon Heights. This board's gimmick is that there are three chests guarded by Koopa Kids that only require ten coins to open instead of twenty, only one of which contains a star. The other two chests contain either twenty coins or a Bob-Omb that will explode and send you back to the start. Which of the three chests contains what is purely dependent on luck and there's also a happening space that moves the chests around. Whatever happens during Bowser Time also puts the hurt on through the following events (other than the memento snapshot taking):
- Steal coins from every player and place them in the chest that contains twenty coins.
- Take a star from the player in first place and put it inside the chest that has the star so that if someone gets the star chest they get two stars instead of just one.
- Put a Ztar (called Dark Stars in this game) in the bomb chest.
- The board is not much better in Solo Mode. Now there are eight chests and only five of them have stars. Whoever gets three stars wins the board but now the Koopa Kids guarding the chests charge five more coins than last time with each chest that's opened.
- Windmillville, for its unique mechanic of getting stars. The mechanic here is depositing coins into windmills to buy them and their stars. Unfortunately, if one player happens to deposit more coins than the original owner, then they earn the windmill and its stars. Even worse, there are several windmills that have more than 1 star (most windmills have only 1 star), which can really turn the tide on the game. Then there's Bowser Time, in which (other than the memento snapshot taking) he'll either:
- Crush a windmill with an owner. When this happens, a new windmill is built in place of the old one, and has no coins deposited in it, thus no owner. It hurts to hear that a windmill has been crushed, especially if it's one you put all your coins in but still haven't been the owner... what a waste of coins.
- Make Koopa Kid rob a windmill of its coins, an event that can turn the victory to another player. Sometimes though, Koopa Kid won't get any coins.
- Bowser's Enchanted Inferno in Solo Mode. At first, the objective may seem similar to that of Grand Canal (buy a star for 20 coins), but when you get the star, you have to go to one of the few green arrow spaces and confront Bowser in a final showdown (the mini-game itself is in it's own section). And not only that, ALL of the Event Spaces can really really hurt you:
- The toughest event in the board is the Koopa Kid Wrestling Match. Toadsworth's statement of trying to press the A button as fast as you can is a Blatant Lie - even if you do as Toadsworth recommends you do, about 9.6 times out of 10 Koopa Kid will knock you off the edge. Oh yeah, and if that happens, you lose 10 coins.
- The Bowser Cannon 4000, which launches you to a different island, can really change your game if you were really close to the star. What's worse is that there's one on each island.
- There are also a few event spaces that trigger Klepto the Condor to appear and take the star to a different location. If you land on this space and it happens to be right next to the star, then that really hurts.
- Mecha-Bowser. Not only will it make you lose 10 coins, but anyone one space ahead or behind you will suffer the same fate (as Mecha-Bowser's flames cover around half a circle).
- The Pedestal course. It's entirely luck, focusing on you crossing three pairs of pedestals. If you happen to chose the right pedestal for all three pairs, you win a star - but if you pick the wrong one, you end up in the lava and lose 10 coins. Ouch.
- And finally, there's the roller coaster event. It actually gives you a chance to earn coins, yet is suffering to you if a CPU (especially the one in Solo Mode) gets to ride it. It's almost dang near IMPOSSIBLE to get every coin when playing a Battle Royale, but when you play on teams, it becomes slightly possible.
- The Party Cruise version make it even worse with Bowser Time. There's only one Bowser Time event on this board, and it's where Bowser would sink the island containing the star. Happened to be on the island? Then you're REALLY unlucky, because not only are you thrown back to the starting zone, you'll lose half your coins. In Solo Mode, there are specific spaces that also trigger this event (in place of the bird-stealing-the-star event), though it's probably much less common in that mode (compared to Bowser Time which happens EVERY FIVE TURNS).
- The 2 vs. 2 mini-game Battery Ram. This mini-game requires you and your partner to carry a battery to the goal. Unfortunately, it doesn't look easy as it sounds. It's pretty much like a perplexing maze, and the thing you and your partner are holding that carries the battery is pretty long, meaning it can only make 135 degree turns (or 90 degrees in one)
- Any of the multiplayer Bowser mini-games (the single player ones are usually easy; the multiplayers are NOT):
- Funderwall, which is saying something. You and your opponents are climbing a wall trying to avoid gunshots from Koopa Kids. If you even touch one gunshot, you're out. And to jam up the difficulty, there are spinners that will knock you off the wall, too. Your opponents will rarely beat it.
- Magmagical Journey is pretty bad, as the platforms seem to be a little too spaced out, plus the addition of more gunshots from more Koopa Kids. The platforms also get smaller and taller in the second half of the stage, and all it takes is one bad jump to fail the game.
- Funstacle Course. Every player must cross an obstacle course set with traps such as spiky steamrollers, Thwomps, vertically-moving platforms, thin paths, bottomless pits, and constant fire attacks by three Koopa Kids. And at the end, they start shooting meteors. You might as well consider yourself lucky if you can actually cross that finish line.
- Bowser's Lovely Lift. Your objective is to hit the four dice blocks to move up a set number of floors, hopefully reaching the 100th floor. Sounds easy, right? With Bowser involved, the obvious answer is NO. Bowser has several artillery weapons, including darts and meteors. And once you pass the 50th floor (the halfway point), a Koopa Kid joins, and not only can he and Bowser now fire two obstacles at the same time, they now also acquire laser shots, which are VERY hard to dodge by jumping over them, but can be easy to avoid if both laser shots are moving from each end of the platform and you're in the center. But this doesn't make it any easier. In fact, this mini-game is so hard that in Solo Mode your progress was saved, and the next player up (you or the CPU) would start from where you were knocked out. Hopefully you weren't on the 99th floor and the CPU comes up next, as that is an almost guaranteed win. However, if you play this in Free Play Sub, you have to make it to the 100th floor all in one go - which can be REALLY frustrating.
- Vine Country, a DK mini-game. Mash the heck out of the A button to beat DK to the top of the vine while moving left and right to dodge obstacles that slow you down. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done, because sometimes who'll be able to avoid every single obstacle, while DK gets hit many times... but DK still beats you to the top!
- Deck Hands. It's up to complete luck to see who will win and who will lose. The only thing that makes this mini-game worse is that it's a Battle mini-game, so there's gonna be a lot of coins up for grabs.
Mario Party 8
- King Boo's Haunted Hideaway. First off, the board is randomized every time someone gets the star, making it more like a complete luck board. Next, the parts of the mansion won't show up on the map until someone goes through the path. Oh, and there are 3 throne rooms, but only one of them holds the star... the other two are just big you-just-screwed-up pits that will send you back to the start (except in duel mode, then there's 5 throne rooms, 3 of which contain a star and 2 false ones, and the board doesn't get re-randomized after someone gets a star). What makes this board worse is that if someone reaches the throne room with the star, but they either don't want the star (CPUs never do this) or can't afford it (the price for a star on this board is 10 coins; players can't afford the star if they have 9 or less coins), then they fall into a random pit and back to the start. But that's not the worst part of that incident. The worst part? The throne room with the star is marked with a star after an incident like this, and if someone looks at the map, they'll know EXACTLY where to go to get the star, and they'll go down the path to the star (at least if they have enough coins to buy it). Also, the AI players ALWAYS knows where the throne rooms are, but fortunately, they'll sometimes still end up in one without the star. However if the player lands on a DK space, making all the throne rooms contain a star, the AI will even go for the closest one (on the flip side, landing on a Bowser space will have the decoy throne rooms become Whammy zones).
- Bowser's Warped Orbit. Same deal as Pyramid Park and Snowflake Lake, except you are given special candies that act like the Chain Chomps without having to land on/pass a specific space. It's still infuriating, especially in Duel Mode, since landing on one of the many Happening Spaces reverses the direction of the entire board, but it is one of the coolest-looking boards in the series, being a gigantic space station set above the sun.
- Goomba's Booty Boardwalk and Shy Guy's Perplex Express played in solo mode. It follows the exact same rules as Pagoda Peak in solo mode, except the price is toned down to 50 coins instead of 100. Goomba's Booty Boardwalk plays more like Pagoda Peak, though, because it's also a one-way path to the star (worse yet is that there are dolphins which can take you farther to the star, which can be advantageous to AI players; similar to those bottle rockets from Pagoda Peak).
- You're the Bob-Omb. It's yet another entirely luck based duel minigame just like Get a Rope. This time, you're supposed to find the detonator that doesn't have a bad fuse, and if you find the right one you win. There is no skill or strategy, just another way to make you feel stupid for betting coins.
- Even worse is Cut From the Team. It's also a complete luck mini-game in which players take turns to cut ropes and hope it's one that doesn't send them flying. What makes it worse? It's a Battle Mini Game. You can lose a lot of coins just because the rope you chose was rigged.
- Somebody at Nintendo really loved their luck based minigames, as Cardiators will show you. Basically, it's like Stacked Deck from the third game except inside a coliseum, it's a duel minigame (while Stacked Deck was a Battle Minigame, but even then Duel Minigames tend to also have money on the line), and the mechanics are vastly different (again, Stacked Deck had you ground pounding cards and the cards never really directly hurt you...save maybe the Koopa Kid cards, which knocked you out of the game). Sounds cool, right? Well, here's the kicker: everything is dependent on luck. To begin with, one has to pick a card that is higher numbered than their opponent's, the highest number being three. The player who gets the highest number goes first. Then the battle begins and you get to pick from several cards across a table, each one giving you a different Mario enemy that varies in damage, the highest being the Chain Chomp at twelve damage. Both you and your opposition have twenty health points, but expect it all to go down pretty quickly, especially if you roll high damage cards...not that it'll matter, since as said before, the minigame is solely dependent on luck; none of the cards are face up and you just simply have to cross your fingers and hope you'll get high rollers before the AI can. You will come to dread this minigame when it is chosen to be played, and you will potentially lose plenty of coins in the process.
- Flip the Chimp involves players moving the Wiimote side to side in order to change which side of the rope your chimp is on, in order to avoid falling coconuts and reach the top of the rope. It's not luck based, but it contains Fake Difficulty since the Wiimote and game are delayed in applying your actions of moving the Wiimote, by about half a second or a little more. As a result, you need to instantly move the Wiimote AS SOON AS you see a coconut on the same side as your chimp if you want to have any chance of avoiding it. Of course, this delayed response has no affect on how fast the AI players can flip their chimps.
Mario Party DS
- Bowser's Pinball Machine, the final board in Story Mode. What makes this one frustrating is that one particular space loads you into the machine and launches you into either the Star Zone or Bowser Zone. Unfortunately, there are quite a few ? spaces in the Bowser Zone, and if you happen to land on one of them, Bowser will unleash his "Zero Flame" on you, costing you all your stars and coins you currently have, which is beyond the normal difficulty. Thanks to this space, this can change the entire game for you if you happen to get the "Zero Flame" on you.
- The mini-game Soil Toil, which is a 2 vs. 2 mini-game. You and your partner have to drive a slow-looking vehicle to the finish line, and the opposing team has to do the exact same thing. The problem? The only way you can turn is one partner driving slower than the other, where the vehicle will go his/her direction. Sadists.
- Trash Landing. Grab a random rope and try to land on the trash. Sounds easy, right? Nope. It's another mini-game where you gotta be lucky, because the trash come in different sizes, and they appear in different locations each time. What makes it worse is that this is a 4-player mini-game, and anyone who lands on a piece of trash automatically wins the mini-game. This makes this mini-game worse than Get a Rope from Mario Party 5, and its equivalent mini-game, Pitifall, from Mario Party 6.
- Feed and Seed may seem very easy due to it being only the first boss minigame, but be prepared to do A LOT of buttonmashing, especially during the second and third phases of the boss.
- Two of the five battle mini-games in the game, Short Fuse and Chips and Dips. The former requires you to blow into the DS mic as little as possible to avoid setting off a bomb, while the latter is basically gambling for chips. What makes them so bad? They're luck-based. And of course a lot of coins are going to be given to the first place player with little effort. However, the AI isn't that smart in "Short Fuse", even on Expert. They will usually blow on the bomb far more than necessary, so you can usually consistently win this game if you're not playing with other human players.
- Cheep Cheep Chance. It's a fishing minigame where you pick from 8 (in the 4-player version) or 4 (in the 2-player version) rods and hope to get a Cheep Cheep and not an empty rope. Obviously, it's luck-based. What's worse, in duel minigames you could end up being forced to wager as much as 2 stars. Even if the other player doesn't have any stars (or coins), the duel still occurs and they get to take yours if they win. Even if you still win in this case, you still get nothing.
- Trace Cadets. It's not a bad idea on paper. However, the tracing is very unresponsive.
Mario Party 9
- Bob-omb Factory. It's a real step up from the previous board (Toad Road), and there are many contributing factors to this: the Bob-ombs halfway through the board, the final stretch of the board being really short with lots of Bowser Spaces, and both bosses being luck-based. It doesn't help that this is the second board in Story Mode, and also the mechanic of the Captain Event of the board.
- Magma Mine. It's all fine on the board... up until after the players destroy the mid-boss. The magma will rise, and if it reaches the vehicle high enough, the current captain will lose half of his Mini-Stars. Worse, there are spaces that causes the magma to rise more than it should. You've also got fork paths, as usual. The captain decides which direction they'll go, right? Wrong. Instead, the direction is decided by this thing called the "Which Way Wheel". Everyone has to choose the direction they want to go, and the wheel will spin. Once it lands on a character, the vehicle will go the direction that player wants to go. At least it's all nice and easy at the top, until you consider the wrath of Bowser at the "Almost There!" flag...
- Bowser Station played on Story mode. Having two AI opponents and requiring 1st place is steep, but fits the difficulty curve up to that point. Even having the two collaborate is frustrating, but makes narrative sense. Things go a step too far when the AI blatantly cheats, always getting ideal dice rolls for themselves and quite possibly fudging yours too, resulting in mini-star gains that simply cannot be offset by minigame skill. Adding insult to injury, the board's miniboss is completely die roll based (and vulnerable to the same AI cheats), and even the final boss is luck-sensitive. Pretty much the only way to get a victory not based on trying over and over until the AI lets up is exploiting the "Wager half of everyone's stars" Bowser event to put that insurmountable lead right back in your pocket at the last moment, but getting that is - you guessed it - luck-based.
- The 1 vs. 3 mini-game Mob Sleds deserves special mention. It isn't so bad in its normal version, but when played in Perspective Mode, this mini-game is hell. First off, you're ALWAYS the solo player. What makes this challenge dreadful is that camera is zoomed right in to you. And just because of that, you are unable to see your opponents coming through. Also the fact that the ice is slippery, and you're gonna be sliding everywhere. This is basically just pure luck. So...good luck.
- Bowser Jr. Breakdown, the midboss of Bowser Station. Many people have accused this mini-game of being completely luck based, as all you do is roll a Dice Block and hope you're lucky (Bombard King Bob-omb, Whomp Stomp, and Bowser's Block Battle are also luck-based, but at least THEY had some element of strategy to them, when playing with human players at the least.
- Pinball Fall. Pick a pinball and hope you reach the bottom of the board first. And of course it had to have obstacles, so there's gonna be lot of stress/frustration trying to win this mini-game.
- Mecha Choice. Pick one of three doors, and hope it doesn't reach a dead end with Mechakoopas. Only one doors leads to this fate, but you have no advanced warning to where they are, so losing can be crippling.
- Pier Pressure. It's a recycled version of Cheep Cheep Chance from DS.
- Pit Or Platter is a nightmare that focuses too much on the Wii Remote's movement sensors.
Mario Party: Island Tour
- Banzai Bill's Mad Mountain... a board that's based entirely on the element of luck. Just to explain, the board is only 15 spaces long (really?), but the Dice Block has been altered so that the maximum amount of spaces a player can move in one turn is 5 instead of the usual 6. What replaces the 6 on this Dice Block? A Banzai Bill. Still not making much sense? When you roll a number, you move the usual amount of spaces but on the last space you can either safely hide from the risk of getting hit by a Banzai Bill (which is activated by rolling the Banzai Bill. So THAT's what it's there for...). And if the Banzai Bill is activated, then anyone in it's path are sent back to the start (until one player passes the halfway point - at this point the Banzai Bill will only chase them to there). Worse, just before the end of the board, there's an entire space devoted to activating the Banzai Bill and chasing you back. And one wonders why this board was rated 5/5 for luck...
Mario Party 10
- In Bowser Party, things are typically somewhat slanted in Bowser's favor, but none quite like in the last level. After Team Mario hits the Homestretch, Bowser suddenly opts to combine all his dice into one. If he rolls his face on that dice, he instantly catches up with Team Mario and a Bowser Minigame commences. Team Mario will need to be very, very good at the mini-games if they don't want to be eliminated in a hurry. Oh and making it to the end does not guarantee Team Mario winning; they have to win a luck based minigame first.
- Bowser's Clawful Climb for Team Mario. The game has all players alternatively press two buttons to climb a wall and Bowser will knock off three hearts worth of damage if he catches up to anyone. The trouble is that the team of four is much slower than Bowser making it almost impossible to avoid getting hit. So unless someone has a lot of hearts Team Mario is losing Bowser Party on this minigame.
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