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That One Level / Mario Party

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It should be fun and all, but these Mario Party boards and mini-games take it to a different level.

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    Mario Party 


  • Luigi's Engine Room
    • While other boards that have the Star Space appear on one out of seven set spaces are decent, this board has a 3-star difficulty rank for a good reason: The entire map has a system of blue and red doors and if one color is open the other is closed (so if Red doors are open, you can't go through blue doors). Both colors will alternate between open and closed at the start of every turn, which means that you can get cut off from the Star very frequently. The only other ways to switch the active color doors are to either pay 20 coins to one of two piston NPCs or land on one of the three happening spaces that aren't on top of steam generators.
    • The northwest corner of the board is brutal if the RNG hates you. The only ways out are to either land on a happening space that's on top of a steam generator or go through the red door when it's open, so you can be stuck up here for most of the game.
  • Bowser's Magma Mountain
    • The happening spaces on this board will make the mountain erupt if anyone lands on them, which turns all of the blue spaces red for two turns and will hurt your coin total in the long run.
    • The shortcuts on the board work just like the Whomps on DK's Jungle Adventure: You pay 10 coins to use them, but you also have to hit a roulette block that is rotating between a star and Bowser's face. If you roll Bowser, you don't get to take the shortcut. There's also a split path near the top of the board where you roll a roulette block for free to determine who you meet: Bowser's face sends you to Bowser himself while rolling the Star sends you to Boo. Also, as The Runaway Guys learned the hard way, do not think you can time the roulette block to hit a star every time, since the roulette itself is purely cosmetic and the timing of when you hit the roulette block has absolutely no bearing on its outcome whatsoever. The actual outcome of the spin is pre-determined by the computer alone long before you physically hit the roulette block.
    • If you meet Bowser on this board, what you lose will be determined by another roulette block. If the block stops on coins, he takes 20 coins from you. If the block stops on a star, Bowser will steal a star from you.
  • 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 Spaces. Any time a player lands on one, all four players are sent back to Start.


  • This game gained infamy for having minigames that required you to rotate the control stick really fast, leading to blisters.
    • 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 one 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. If that wasn't bad enough, you're always the player in the Bowser Suit on Mini-Game Island.
    • 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 until the release of Mario Party: Island Tour. This is also the most likely reason Mario Party 1 has never been released on the Virtual Console for either the Wii or the Wii U.
  • 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. Also even on Easy, the AI rarely dies to falling in the lava to make matters worse.
  • 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. You can also determine falling logs from the background pretty easily too.
  • 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 also 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 and it appears in the first world.
  • 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.
  • Bumper Balls. This 4-player minigame is notorious among Mario Party players for how difficult it is to finish the minigame with anything other than a draw. The four players ride on top of circus balls and must bump other players off a ledge, and the last player standing wins. The problem with this minigame is that the knockback delivered by the circus balls is very small, so when only two players remain, it becomes near-impossible for either of them to get knocked off. When more than one player remains when the timer runs out, the game ends in a draw, meaning that the survivors win nothing. Even competing easy AIs can drag the minigame on for the whole 60 seconds and have the minigame end in a draw. While in Mario Party 2 this minigame has some new levels to modify the difficulty by having a different platform that could contain ice or hills and rocks, the normal version of the platform is still kept, and the knockback is still not increased (although the ice platform often never ends in a draw due to its physics, thankfully). Averted in The Top 100, where this minigame decreases the average time by reducing the platform size and increasing the knockback when hit, however the result is that the minigame will usually end in only around 10 seconds instead.
  • 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 and this will usually result in pain for whoever landed on the Bowser space if the Bowser version of this mini-game is played. 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. Somewhat averted in The Top 100, where the player now uses a stylus and are now indicated of the marks they can stretch.
  • Pipe Maze. Based off of the classic Japanese lottery game, Ghost Leg. Don't get too fooled by it being a 1 vs. 3 minigame, as it plays more like a 4 player minigame with only one player in control. While not really too bad when on the trio side, it is 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. Even the AI might have trouble with this minigame.
  • 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 anyways. 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 experienced 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. It is a bit worse in The Top 100, as Shy Guy's fake outs occur faster, he never raises two flags at once as an indicator of faking out, and he can fake the player out twice before raising the flag for real. Despite that, the weaker AI in The Top 100 makes the minigame more easier to beat in Minigame Island.
  • 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 Boo 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 an 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 Boo behind you and lose the game, but if the person carrying the bulb ends up possessed and walks into the Big Boo, 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.
  • Handcar Havoc. It's a 2 vs 2 minigame where your team and the opposing team are trying to reach the end of a rail track by using a handcar. You accelerate by mashing the heck out of the A button, brake by pressing the B button, and go around corners by tilting the control stick left or right. You do not want to go too fast on corners because if you do your team will fall off the track. Unfortunately, there's also a hill on the track where you have to be fast in order to get to the top of it. And if both teams fall off the rails, the game ends in a draw regardless of whether one team fell off later in the track than the other one. Furthermore each member of the losing team loses 10 coins. It returned in Mario Party 2, although it was made easier by disallowing the teams from falling off the track and removing the 10-coin penalty for losing. The Top 100 also uses the Mario Party 2 variant, luckily.
  • Hot Rope Jump. It's a 4-player minigame where the goal is to jump over a rope made of flaming Podoboos. If everyone jumps over the rope twenty times, everyone will earn ten coins but if any one person hits the rope, that player will lose fifteen coins which get split among the other three players. On Mini-Game Island, however, you have to jump over the rope forty times in order to win as the computer players will play perfectly and avoid hitting the rope. Made worse in Mario Party 2, as while players can no longer lose coins on this minigame when they fail to jump the rope and you have to be the last one standing, you will have to jump the rope fifty times in the Mini-Game Coaster. Added on that the rope gets on super-fast speeds that makes it very hard to jump properly without perfect timing in Mario Party 2, have fun beating this minigame on the Mini-Game Coaster.

    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. Better get good at the duel minigame (a quick-draw button sequence minigame), since if more than one person gets sent back to start in the last five turns of this game, the person who caused the cannon launch can and most definitely will initiate a duel minigame, meaning that someone will lose a possibly a lot of coins. 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 up to 30-meter records even on easy difficulty. 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. If everyone manages to pick a plunger that doesn't make the bomb explode, a new set of plungers will come and everyone will have to survive the new set again.
    • 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 lose (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 eliminated 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 (even on Hard difficulty), sometimes even ALL of them might get caught, but they're also good at both moving fast and hiding in their barrel. And even if you're the last player left, you still have to finish the game, which can result in a draw if you're not nimble enough. Again, 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. The AI is still very good at surviving the moving staircases too and will rarely get sucked in by Boo as well, even on Easy difficulties. Even worse, even if by some chance you do finish the course, you also have to contend with both jumping for the strategically-placed coins and actually winning the race, to boot. Good luck in attempting to do everything right this time!
  • Torpedo Targets. This underwater 2 vs. 2 mini-game has you and your partner in a submarine trying to hit the targets, but it would be so much easier if it was in a smaller and more linear field. You have to locate the targets, be they before or behind you, and properly aim your torpedo at it, so even if you're right in front of it, your trajectory can still have you miss it by a mile. Controlling the submarine is also a massive pain, and you do not turn very fast. Plus, since your team and your opponents are striving for the same targets, they can always get to it first or even launch a torpedo at your ship, throwing you completely off your game. When playing with AIs, you better pray that your partner AI is controlling the submarine, otherwise a loss is almost guaranteed (especially against other Hard AIs, who almost plays perfectly as a team).

Mini-Game Coaster

  • World 3 is the first of two worldsnote  consisting of 1-vs-3 minigames, and it's surprisingly the harder of the two. While it only has four stages, nearly all of them are very difficult on higher difficulties due to being the single-player on minigames that are biased against the single-player:
  • On Hard Mode, World 6 has a nasty surprise in the form of Lights Out. While Normal difficulty places the player in the position of the hammer-wielding single player, Hard has the player hold one of the bulbs... with the added catch that they automatically lose if they're hit, instead of being credited with the win if at least one member of the team survives. The lightbulb players are generally considered to be at a large disadvantage at the best of timesnote , but this added stipulation makes Lights Out a nightmare, especially if the hammer-wielder decides to target the player specifically.
  • World 7 is pure agony, consisting almost entirely of minigames listed above. The world consists of Honeycomb Havoc, Mecha Marathon, Abandon Shipnote , a unique version of Hot Rope Jumpnote , Skateboard Scamper, and Platform Perilnote . Worst of all, like every world, there's no save point until the start of the next world, requiring completing it all in one sitting (and without running out of lives), and is the first world to only be available on Hard Mode. For many players, this world was the end of the line.

    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. And one common star spot is on that one island where almost all of the spaces change on every turn and can only be accessed by one of two bridges that will raise or lower if anyone lands on the happening spaces in front of them.


  • 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.
  • 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. One of the most infamous examples of this happens to Proton Jon during a let's play as seen here.
  • 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.
  • M.P.I.Q. is one of those minigames that gets worse when humans play it together. In this minigame, players must answer a series of trivia questions, and the first to answer three questions correctly wins. The problem comes from the fact that you can answer questions before the entire question is revealed - turning a trivia minigame into a Luck-Based Mission where players end up picking a button as fast as they can as soon as the game lets them input a button and hoping that it was the correct one. To make matters worse, only one person is allowed to answer any given question (namely, the one who pressed a button first), discouraging any actual effort in answering. Also, players who get a question wrong are barred from answering the very next question. Even on the off chance a question is revealed, it's possible that it'll turn out to be about an esoteric record on the save file (e.g., how many times a specific board has been played), meaning the game drags on even longer thanks to a question no human player would know offhand unless they memorized the records just for this specific minigame.
  • 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 way to win is to pile up in blocks and hope for a big combo - which sadly depends mostly on luck.
  • Frigid Bridges. This minigame takes on you walking on an ice path to place blocks onto the other path to fill a bridge. However, the path is very thin, and it can be easy to fall off. This mini-game also falls under here because the computer players, especially on Hard, plays perfectly to the point where it is nigh on impossible to beat them. Even if you don't mess up and make it to each side of the path quickly, chances are the AI will still likely beat you by a few milliseconds.
  • End of the Line is a duel mini-game that boils down to guessing. You and your opponent are both on your own train and set of tracks, and you must choose between two tunnels at a junction. One tunnel leads to a cliff, forcing you to restart from the current junction, while the other leads the next junction; the third correct tunnel will lead to the goal. The path forward is always randomized, and relies entirely on trial and error. However, if your opponent picked correctly and you didn't, you can pay attention to their screen and see if they screwed up at the next junction, then use that information to your advantage, since both players' layouts are always identical. If both players make it to the end at the same time, the mini-game ends in a draw.
  • Hide and Sneak when playing against just CPUs, because the strategy of I Know You Know I Know is only seen when playing against human players. As a result, it becomes completely luck based on whether you'll be able to find your opponents (if you're the solo player) or whether you'll avoid being caught (if you're the in the team of three).
  • Cosmic Coaster. You may think that a rollercoaster-based game would be fun, but similar to Torpedo Targets from 2, your sense of aim is a mess, except here the goal is to avoid hitting anything, which will stun/slow you down if you do. Unlike most other team racing games, you and your partner are not in the same vehicle, so even if you manage to miss hitting the randomly placed and sized barriers doesn't mean that your partner will have the same dexterity skills. Worse, there are coins scattered onto the track, so either luck or greed is on your side in picking up some extra cash that could either be in the air or in front of a barrier.

    Mario Party 4 
  • 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 or draw though, you are sent back to the start. Sometimes Goomba will roll a 10, which guarantees that you will be sent back to start.
  • 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 like if a mini-mega hammer was used on everyone so it can really suck if someone gets a Magic Lamp and then next turn Bowser shrinks everybody.


  • Any of the Bowser mini-games.
    • 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.note  But if someone throws a dart at the bullseye, they automatically lose.
    • Fruits of Doom is this even if you're good at memorization. Bowser lists off ten fruits that goes ridiculously fast near the end and whoever either gives him a fruit that he didn't ask for or gives him one more of a fruit than he asked for loses. It's especially bad should you start third, as you're hosed no matter what once all ten fruit are taken although the game rarely lasts long enough for this to happen.
    • Balloon of Doom. Everyone has to pump up the Bowser balloon and whoever pops it loses. It's very difficult to judge how high your jump is before ground pounding so that you can pump the least amount of air into the balloon and if you don't pump the balloon at all within an extremely short timer, you 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.
  • 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 happens, the AI will almost always win. It's not much better for the water sprayers during an all-human match.
  • Fish n' Drips. A 1 vs. 3 minigame where the solo player must input long sequences of button presses to pump water into a Cheep-Cheep-shaped tank while the team of three must relay buckets of water into their own tank by pressing single button prompts instead. Unfortunately for the team of three, they take four animations to relay the water into their tank while the solo player only takes one. The button presses for the pump can be inputted in one rapid, continuous sequence while the team of three has to wait for each animation to finish before they can even receive a single prompt. And that's only for one load of water! The sheer speed advantage the solo player gets ensures that the solo player will win roughly 99% of the time.
  • GOOOOOOOAL!!. Another 1 vs 3 minigame that is biased towards the solo player. The team of three has to kick soccer balls into the goal with the A button while the solo player moves around and jumps to block their shots. What makes this biased is that the team of three has to make ten goals in only thirty seconds to win, something that usually will never happen unless the solo player is bad.
  • The 2 vs 2 minigame Revers-a-Bomb is one that doesn't treat non-CPU players fairly. You have to push buttons to keep Bob-ombs from exploding on your side of the platform, and having all 10 Bob-ombs explode on your side results in your loss. The most baffling part is that this minigame is considered one of the "Easy" ones...
  • Hide and Go BOOM! when against no other human players. It basically plays like Hide and Sneak; without human players, the minigame becomes completely luck based.
  • 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. note 

    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 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 minimalist 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.
  • Random Ride is this game's incarnation of Day at the Races. You pick a machine and hope that you get to the finish line. As you would expect, the player in last place gets to choose first while whoever is in first gets stuck with sub-optimal choices.
  • Curvy Curbs. Two teams, one of them a solo player and the other team composed of the other three, must pilot a floating cart train over a curvy track to win a race. The troubles come from the fact that the team of three is forced to control each individual cart in their train, inevitably leading to the Centipede's Dilemma (and plenty of crashes in the process). The solo player meanwhile only has to drag around a single much smaller cart of candy behind them. The solo player rarely ever loses this one.
  • Mathletes, which is what you would get if you crossed Cointagious from the seventh game with Chance Time. Two teams, one consisting of three players and the other being a solo player, must each create a basic mathematical expression using three dice, two of them being numbers from 1 to 6 and the other one being either an addition, multiplication, or subtraction symbol. The result of the expression is the amount of coins the team receives. Hit a minus sign? Too bad! One team can walk away with a profit of up to 36 coins while the other team might earn little to nothing. Also, a majority of the combinations add up to less than 10 coins (the regular minigame reward), which is bad news if you urgently need that 10-coin reward ASAP and this minigame pops up at the end of a turn.
  • The 2 vs. 2 minigame Bus Buffer has a mop that's surprisingly difficult for any human player to control.
  • 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. The burning debris comes down twice, with the second wave coming immediately after the first. 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 buttons 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.

    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.


  • Crate and Peril, when played with humans instead of CPUs, is possibly the most solo-player-biased 1-v-3 minigame in all of Mario Party. Three players are trapped in a box with four dividers and two Spiny shells. The lone player tilts the box, moving the Spiny shells. Unfortunately, the box is very small, the shells are quite big, and they move faster than the players do, making it incredibly easy to corner the three players. Unless the lone player is completely inept, if you get placed on the 3-player team, losing is almost certain. The Top 100 edition of this minigame balances it slightly by making the shells accelerate and move slightly slower, but it's still very much possible to trap opponents using the dividers.
  • Pop Star. The solo player must Button Mash to pump a balloon until it pops. Meanwhile, the three-player team must ground pound three large buttons in order to accomplish the same thing. Whichever team pops their balloon first wins. Unfortunately, the three-player pump gives way more air per ground pound than the solo pump can ever humanly catch up to, meaning that the solo player is guaranteed to lose if AIs or humans who figure this out are on the other team.
  • Strawberry Shortfuse really falls into this category due to it being based almost entirely on luck. First of all, the players must go to choose a tray that either has a cake or a bomb under it. However, the Ukikis carrying the trays move so fast and unpredictably that it's almost impossible to memorize which ones have cakes and which ones have bombs (and to make matters worse, one of them pushing a cart of food might move in front of them, briefly obscuring your view). While you can make things a bit easier for yourself by watching a particular Ukiki, doing so prevents you from memorizing the other ones and leaves you at risk of choosing one with a bomb. On top of all this, the players take turns in a completely random order, meaning you could figure out which ones are correct and still lose the match because your opponent chose it before you did. The Top 100 version of the minigame is just as infuriating if not more so due to the smaller screen size making it even harder to focus on a particular Ukiki, and the players still go in a predetermined order to boot.
  • 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-Stick 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.
  • Fruit Talktail, a microphone-based 1 vs. 3 minigame. The team of three have to avoid falling into a Bottomless Pit by standing on hexagonal pillars labeled with the fruit the solo player calls out. Unfortunately, as both Mario Party TV and The Runaway Guys demonstrated, the solo player can instantly convert this minigame into a Luck-Based Mission by saying anything other than the names of fruit, forcing the other three to guess which fruit the game picked. Camouflaging the fruit names within complete sentences also works wonders against human players. The group of three must survive 60 whole seconds of this in order to win.
  • Odd Card Out plays all but identically (warts and all) to the above-listed M.P.I.Q. from Mario Party 3, despite the premise (picking the unique card out of a set of three) attempting to tell players otherwise. Just like M.P.I.Q., playing the minigame against humans will inevitably devolve into players quick-drawing a button of their choice and then praying that they got the right one. The only difference between the two is that a player needs two points to win instead of three.
  • Two of the Bowser mini-games are 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.

    Mario Party 7 
  • Pagoda Peak played in Solo Mode. You only need one star, (which is just a T-Shirt in Solo Mode) 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 either 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).
  • 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 of the board. Which of the three chests contains what is purely dependent on luck and there's also two happening spaces that scramble the location of all the chests. 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 bob-omb chest.
  • 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 its 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)
  • Cointagious, for similar reasons as Vicious Vending from the fifth game. You hit a dice block multiple times and get coins. That's it. It's also one of the lowest-scoring coin minigames in the entire series due to the coins only arriving in increments of up to three per dice, and the fact that the dice have zeroes on them.
  • Any of the multiplayer Bowser mini-games. The single player ones are usually easy; the multiplayers are not, especially whenever Bowser says that he'll steal a Star from anyone that loses. The AI can and will Gang Up on the Human during the multiplayer minigames if this is the case. Sometimes they even do it if the penalty is merely losing half or all of a player's coins:
    • Funderwall, which is saying something. You and your opponents are climbing a wall trying to avoid flame shots from Koopa Kids. If you even touch one flame, 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 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.
    • Slot-O-Whirl may be a single-player Bowser mini-game, but it's far from easy. The slots are exactly like the Game Corner slot machines and can even skip symbols to make it almost impossible to get the key three times within the short time limit.
  • 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, it's not. 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.
  • Even some of Donkey Kong's minigames, which are known for being comparatively lax in difficulty, can be rather frustrating, particularly the single-player minigames that are played against an AI-controlled Donkey Kong for coins or a star. Two of these in particular stand out:
    • Vine Country involves mashing the heck out of the A button to climb a vine and beat DK to the top of a tree whilst moving left and right to dodge obstacles that slow you down. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done - sometimes, even if you avoid every obstacle and mash like a maniac, he can still beat you, even if he gets stunned a few times!
    • A Bridge Too Short. There are four sets of two identical-looking bridges you have to cross, except one of the bridges in each set is a dead-end that forces you to go back. And no, you can't jump over the plank that falls out. The only caveat is that as both of your paths are the same, you can whittle the luck factor down to a 50/50 shot by simply following DK's movements until the very last bridge, or you can pick a different bridge if you're behind and DK runs into a false bridge, but again, none of this guarantees a victory. DK does try to help you win as he will run into a false bridge at least once, but he can still screw you over by doing this at the beginning.
  • 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, causing the player who hits a pitfall first to lose a star). Making everything even worse are the various Green Spaces; one set of them have mirrors that forcibly warp another player to the Green Space if you land on it, and another set (located near a Mowz) that allows anybody who lands on them to steal either a candy, 10 coins, or a star from a random opponent for free. A third set of the Green Spaces randomly does one of three things: give you free candy, free coins, or cause you to lose coins.
  • 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 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.
  • Rudder Madness, the dullest racing minigame in Mario Party hands-down, and possibly the most boring minigame ever introduced in the series. You steer lily pads across a swamp at a literal snail's pace, avoiding obstacles that are nigh impossible to hit if you're not being bumped by other players. With human players, this essentially means the winner is decided at the very beginning of the race, being the person who gets bumped the least, since everyone's speed is constant. This often boils down to the other three being forced to watch as the lone player drifts ahead slowly to the finish, uncontested.
  • Flip the Chimp involves players moving the Wii Remote 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 Wii Remote and game are delayed in applying your actions of moving the Wii Remote, by about half a second or a little more. As a result, you need to instantly move the Wii Remote 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.
  • Settle It In Court: You have to time your basketball throws to score as many hoops as you can. The only problem is that the motion controls are very finicky, meaning that your throws can accidentally register too early or too late. It doesn't help that you have to be incredibly precise, especially with the Goomba Shots that only give you a split-second reaction time.
  • Swing Kings: The minigame is mostly fine, but the Shy Guys can sometimes throw the baseball incredibly low, making it near impossible to hit it.
  • Chump Rope: The solo player will always win this game, since he can just shake the Wii Remote incredibly fast to make it impossible for the team of 3 to jump over the rope.
  • Sick And Twisted ranks as one of the hardest platforming minigames, since all of the platforms are rotating, and there are Bullet Bills are flying all over the screen. Rotation Station isn't that far behind due to its wonky depth perception and camera.
  • All of the Challenge minigames require either split-second accuracy or incredibly good memory.

    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 comes 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 cause 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 if there is only three characters 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 entire board is luck based. The board's Captain Events have a lot of luck involved even if you are the captain and can decide things, the miniboss is simply rolling a die and hoping you get the right number (and vulnerable to the same AI cheats), and even the final boss is luck-based. 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).
  • Bombard King Bob-omb and Whomp Stomp when not playing with other people. They are based around a certain element of strategy (I Know You Know I Know, more specifically) that simply does not exist when playing against the AI, making both of them luck-based.
  • Bowser's Block Battle is pseudo-luck-based. You pick up dice blocks and throw them in the hope your face comes up. At least it is not completely luck based as you can effect the outcome but there is still and element of it in play.
  • 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 and Pier Pressure are entirely luck-based. There's no way to tell when you'll lose, just guess and pray.
  • Pit Or Platter is a nightmare that focuses too much on the Wii Remote's movement sensors. You have to roll a ball around a small plate, and it's very easy to get the ball to roll off.
  • 10 to Win is really slow and almost entirely a Luck-Based Mission. You have to pick from 12 cards on a board, and while you're given a few seconds to memorize what they are, they're shuffled so well that it's impossible to follow any of them. The slow rising of the platforms and the "cheers" (they sound more like horrified shrieks) that come out of the Wii Remote don't help.

    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 its 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...


  • The luck-based minigames strike back very hard in this game, with notable examples being Garden of Eatin' and Helter Shellter. However, some of the worst is Pachinko Wizard and Spin and Bear It. The earlier basically plays like Day at the Races, where placement determines the spot the player gets while the player in first place might be forced to take the worst spot, while Spin and Bear It relies on one-player's spin power, which can also backfire on that player. You can easily be forced to lose doing absolutely nothing just because of bad luck for the latter two.
  • Spin the Bubble. It is a gyro-control minigame that requires tilting the device to move the bubble in one direction. However, the movements are extremely sensitive, and as a result you can turn in the wrong direction even though you tilted the device in the right direction you intended to turn.


    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.


  • Bobsled Battle. What should have been a fun 2 vs 2 minigame is severely undermined by two terrible design choices. First off, most of the coins are on the right side of the track, meaning red team has an unfair advantage for most of the minigame. More severely is when playing with an AI partner below Hard- not only will they avoid coins, but they'll actually go out of their way to steer into Bob-ombs. How does something like this make it past testing?
  • Bubble Squabble, a 1 vs. 3 minigame. The solo player must make the other three players float off the screen by trapping them in bubbles the solo player blows while standing under a bridge. The three-player team on the bridge must avoid being carried away by the bubbles. Sounds simple? Welcome to Mario Party 10's answer to Heat Stroke, where instead of the three escaping players being at a severe disadvantage, it's the solo player that will have mother lodes of trouble eliminating the team this time around. The main reason why? The team of three can destroy the bubbles any of their teammates get caught in, and the solo player cannot do anything about it. Due to the trio's ability to easily pop the bubbles as soon as they catch a teammate, the solo player is almost guaranteed to lose every time this minigame comes up.
  • 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.
  • Bowser's Wicked Wheel is surprisingly hard for Team Mario for a Bowser minigame that can be played as early as the first turn. The minigame pits Mario's group against a spinning wheel, but there are Amps and you take damage each time you hit them. However, Bowser is spinning the wheel and can stop it at will. The problem for Team Mario is that you have to shake the Wii Remote and as a result contains Fake Difficulty like Flip the Chimp with Wii Remote and game delays. Each player has to instantly stop moving the Wii Remote as soon as Bowser stops the wheel or that's quite some serious damage. Also, Team Mario has very little invincibility frames, so messing up once can lead to taking lots of damage from one side of Amps. In fact, this Bowser minigame is practically the only Bowser minigame that can end the game as early as the first turn due to this.
  • Bowser's Bogus Bingo is even worse for everyone, Bowser included, for being completely luck-based for all five players. Team Mario must pick 3-by-3 bingo cards, and Bowser must throw dice to select which squares to eliminate. If Bowser manages to hit a bingo on a player's card the Team Mario member will be forced to take as many hearts of damage as the amount of bingos Bowser scores on them. Some members may be eliminated instantly due to their entire card being stricken out (which deals 8 damage), or take only half of that or less, entirely due to which squares the dice picked.

    Mario Party Star Rush 
  • Corkscrew Climb. The objective in this mini-game is to jump over Amps while racing to the top of a tower at the same time in a line, and if you get hit by an Amp, you're sent to the back of the line. The player in the front of the line at the end comes out in 1st place. Here's the catch: the closer you are to the front of the line means you have a shorter window of time to jump over the Amps, which means maintaining 1st place can require some rather fast reaction time.
  • Fruit or Foe is the entirely luck-based game of this installment, and it's arguably one of the worst yet. Players take turns picking one of 5 houses to open, 4 of them contain Shy Guys with apples, which awards points, and one contains a Chain Chomp, which will get you jack-squat. The number of points you receive varies depending on how many apples the Shy Guy has, ranging anywhere from 5 to 1. However, once a house has been checked, it can't be checked again until the next round, so if the first 3 players all pick houses with Shy Guys in a round, that leaves the last player with a 50% chance of picking the house with Chain Chomp in it. An even worse case scenario is if the only Shy Guy that hasn't been found is the one that only has 1 apple, meaning you won't even get much even if you do get lucky. The cherry on top to all this is that the order each player checks the houses is random.
  • Kamek's Card Tricks. The goal of this boss battle is to hit Kamek with a giant slingshot. In order to do this, players must memorize a set of cards and pick one afterwards. The number of arrows on a card dictates how much strength is put into your shot and how many points you receive. Although this boss battle isn't exactly too bad on its own, playing it in Toad Scramble is a bit of a different story. All of your allies get to pick cards as well. Among these cards can be cards that will lower the strength of your shot, and a Kamek Card which will cost you a point, and your allies can pick these cards and unintentionally screw you over. What makes this different from other boss battles is that in those, when allies do something that normally costs you a point, you won't lose one, meaning Kamek's Card Tricks is the only boss battle with the distinction of your allies being able to make you lose points.
  • In Toad Scramble, an Ally Duel game can take place either if two players land on the same spot, or one player uses a Duel Glove. Whoever wins it can steal an ally from the other player. However, as opposed to playing an actual mini-game, you play one of 3 very short games, 1 has you having to press A at a certain number of seconds, and the other two are completely luck-based, where you simply have to either pick a card or roll a Dice Block to get the higher number. This means you can have one of your allies forcefully taken from you all because you got unlucky.

    Super Mario Party 
  • Megafruit Paradise initially appears as one of the simpler boards, but it becomes tricky quickly. The board is made up of four main islands, and the only methods that can be used to travel between them are two bridges (one of which is covered in Event Spaces that send you back to the start, and the other of which breaks if too many people travel over it, at which point it becomes unusable for the rest of the game), and pipes, which require you to land on a specific space. This makes traveling the board extremely difficult, especially as the pipes are the only way to travel from the bottom two islands to the top two (and vice versa). If you're on the starting island, and the star appears on the yellow island, then the only way to access it once the bridge is down is to get the roll to enter one pipe, cross the dangerous bridge, and then get the roll to enter ANOTHER pipe, by which time the Star will probably have moved back to the starting island. Even worse is landing on the pipe Event Spaces when you don't want to leave the island. Needless to say, this is one board where luck is far more helpful than skill.

Free-For-All Minigames

  • Don't Wake Wiggler: Luckily, this is one of the few pure luck minigames in Super Mario Party. You have to try and pet a sleeping Wiggler as many times as you can. However, if you pet him too many times, he wakes up and you automatically lose all of your points. Since this moment is sheer luck, if you get this minigame on a board, there is no way of ensuring if you are going to win or not.
3-vs-1 Minigames
  • Smash And Crab can be this for the team of 3. Since the crab is so big, the solo player can simply just stay inside the front of the crab to avoid being hit. The CPU can dodge your attacks with near-perfect accuracy, making this a very difficult minigame to win.
  • Drop Quiz: You and your teammates watch a short clip, and are asked one of three potential questions, chosen by the solo player. However, the videos slowly get more and more complex until there are way too many details for you to pay attention to.
Co-operative Minigames
  • Penguin Pushers. Here, the players must herd penguins into a gate. The penguins will run away from the player's proximity. The problem is that the goal is to gather all the penguins before time runs out, not see how many penguins can be gathered in 60 seconds. As it's common to have one or two penguins slip past the gate over and over again, and with the ice physics in play, the game often ends with a C-rank, as in a failure.

Challenge Road

  • The fight with Wario is notorious in its difficulty. You have to beat him in Pull It Together, which is a button-mashing tug-of-war minigame. The main problem is that Wario is unfairly hard, even on normal difficulty. It doesn't matter how fast you tap, it will not be enough to beat Wario. It has gotten to the point where people have tried cheating by using their knuckle or a pencil to beat Wario since they can't button mash fast enough.
  • The Drop Quiz challenge. Drop Quiz is hard on its own, but in this challenge, your CPU teammates purposefully pick the wrong answer, forcing you to do almost all of the work yourself.


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