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Video Game / Mario Party 4

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Mario Party 4 is a video game developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002. It's the fourth installment in the Mario Party series and, unlike its three predecessors on the Nintendo 64 (which were released in Japan the year before it did overseas), the first to be released stateside before its home country.

Several elements and refinements from previous Mario Party games are retained here, but for the most part this installment serves as a mild Soft Reboot that overhauls the series in different ways, using a presentation and template that were retained for all subsequent games on the GameCube and later the Wii. For starters, thanks to the system's stronger technical capabilities, boards are now rendered in fully 3D visuals, and the art direction for the characters, minigames and other assets was adapted from Luigi's Mansion and Super Mario Sunshine to update the series to modern times. In terms of gameplay, it became the first game to give the option for players to team up and play Party Mode as pairs, sharing their coins and stars and aiming to become Superstars together. The game also brings back the idea of Bowser minigames, which were present in the first game but absent in the first two sequels; relatedly, though it's not the first Mario Party game with a boss battle, it's the first one where you can challenge Bowser in one. Last, but not least, when only five turns remain in a party session, one of many possible changes can be set to occur in the board so a losing player can potentially tip the scales, a trait that would be carried over in the subsequent games as well.

This game's theme is "parties and celebrations", and has unique "hosts" for each board, like a Toad or a Goomba. According to the events of Story Mode, all main characters are invited to join a "Party Cube" and have lots of fun. In it, a chosen character participates in minigames to earn birthday gifts, but at one point Bowser appears to threaten to steal all presents until the player goes to his board and overcomes the challenges proposed by him. How will things end up? Playing Story Mode is the only way to find out!

Due to the game's specific theme, the Superstars (winners of the party sessions) are known as Party Stars.

This game provides examples of:

  • Amusement Park: Toad's Midway Madness. It was built by Toad (its host) because he loves amusement parks and wants to share that love with his friends as well as visitors. There's an orange-colored coaster track that passes through the middle parts of the board's layout; at first it looks like mere decoration but, when a player steps on one of its Event Spaces, a rocket kart will begin moving through the track and chase all players across that part of the board. However, it's also possible to voluntarily ride the kart (which gives them the chance to gather coins). Another feature is the spinning tea cup rides that take a player to a specific path indicated by an arrow at their central top (the arrow's direction changes every time a character uses the rides or lands onto a nearby Event Space).
  • Art Evolution: This is the game that introduces Daisy's current short haired design, after past Mario games have depicted her as a Peach lookalike. This game also has a 3D background for all boards, eschewing the 2D designs used for those of the first three games (though all the paths take place on the same four-direction metal walkway, which was addressed later in the fifth game where the paths are incorporated into the boards themselves).
  • Ash Face: Whenever the loser of a Bowser minigame is decided, they get a roasting from Bowser, which chars their entire body except for their eyes black. The unfortunate victim then turns toward the camera and blinks.
  • Balloonacy: In the minigame Toad's Quick Draw, some Koopa Troopas will open a train wagon's ceiling to unleash balloons of different colors. When Toad raises a flag, the players have to shoot at the balloon whose color matches that of the raised flag. The first character to fire the correct balloon earns one point. Whoever scores three points wins.
  • Balloon of Doom: One of Bowser's minigames is aptly called "Balloon of Doom", and has him force the players to take turns pumping a balloon that has his insignia on it by Ground Pounding a pump. Whoever is unlucky to pop the balloon loses the minigame and suffers one of Bowser's punishments afterwards (whether by stealing their coins, stars, or items) while the other players get off scot-free.
  • Banana Peel: During the minigame Tree Stomp, Ukikis will eat bananas and throw the peels into the scene where the solo character tries to dodge the spiky belts of the other three characters' wooden robots. If the solo player slips due to the peel, they'll lose balance and be in danger of being touched by the rivals' spikes. However, if a robot from the trio slips, then it will lose balance and move rapidly (which, depending on the case, may or may not be a good thing for the solo player). Either way, it's a difficult minigame for the solo player, as they'd have to survive for 45 seconds against the three rivals and the Ukikis.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Boo's Haunted Bash. The Boo host loves scaring people, and built the board so visitors and friends could be scared as much as possible. It takes place above the ruins of a decrepit house that either lost its ceiling or never had one, and features spooky elements like ethereal bridges that appear and disappear, a Mystery Train composed of glowing coffins, and an outdoors area with a painting that summons a Big Boo when the surrounding Event Spaces are landed on three times (the Big Boo can steal coins and Stars from all of the player's rivals, like in Horror Land from Mario Party 2, and even the Gaddlight is unable to protect them from the theft).
  • Big, Bulky Bomb: The minigame Bowser's Big Blast from Mario Party 2 returns, now with the name Bowser's Bigger Blast. The rules are the same: All characters have to press, turn by turn, plungers connected to a massive, enormous bomb with the shape of Bowser's head. One of the plungers detonates the bomb while the others don't, so each character has to choose a plunger and hope that the bomb doesn't explode after the plunger is pressed. If the bomb explodes, the character will be blasted away; the remaining characters have to continue playing until only one remains. The initial number of plungers is five, and will decrease by one every time a character is eliminated. If, by any chance, all safe plungers are pressed, a new set will be brought to the scene to repeat the sequence.
  • Birthday Episode: The story mode takes place during the chosen character's birthday.
  • Blackout Basement: The minigame Candlelight Flight puts all players in a very dark room, only barely lit by some candles in the ceiling's chandeliers and a larger candle held by one player. The other three players have water guns, and their objective is to shoot water at the solo player's candle to turn it off; if they succeed, they'll win the minigame. If the solo player can dodge the water attacks and keep the candle lit for 30 seconds, then they win.
  • Blob Monster: The Big Slimes from the Yoshi's Island series make an appearance in the minigame Slime Time. Four color-coded Big Slimes trap each one of the four players, and the latter ones' objective is to rapidly run to the checkerboard center while still being glued to the creatures. If a character is too slow while running, they'll be pulled back, forcing them to restart. Whoever makes it to the center will break free and win the minigame; but if nobody manages to get there in 30 seconds, the minigame will end in a draw.
  • Button Mashing: The minigame Domination challenges players to raise as many Whomps as possible from the ground, then knock them over like dominoes. Each player must press the A button as fast as possible to use a mallet to mash a switch that raises the Whomps, and once time is up, the Whomps will be knocked over, with the player that made the longest line being the winner.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: The minigame "Booksquirm" is where you are standing on a giant book and must continually run for the shape cutouts in the next page to avoid being squashed. The holes get smaller, fewer, and the pages turn faster as the game progresses, until only the winner remains. The designers clearly thought this was so much fun they even included a challenge mode of this mini-game that lasts until all are crushed and keeps a high score on the pages.
  • Casino Park: Goomba's Greedy Gala. This board takes place within a casino built by the Goomba host because he loves gambling. The board is decorated with giant-sized coins and suit cards. The main feature here is a multi-colored roulette wheel located in the board's center. When a player approaches it, the Goomba host will make it spin and then throw a marble ball onto it; the color of the place where it stops after the wheel's spin ends will determine where the player will go next in the board (although the more coins you're willing to pay to Goomba, the more likely the roulette wheel is to send you in the direction of the star).
  • Collection Sidequest: There's a total of 60 birthday presents to collect in the game, and getting them all is a tall order: For each playable character, there are six presents that can be earned in Story Mode by becoming the Party Star of their respective boards (defeating the hosts in minigames is also required); since there are eight playable characters in the game, this means Story Mode has to be played at least eight times (once with each character) in order to gather 48 presents from that mode alone. Then there are 11 additional presents based on the boards' hosts, acquired by breaking records in certain minigames, and finally an extra present given when all others were earned.
  • Company Cameo: The minigame "GOOOOOOOAL!!" is set in a soccer stadium. There are advertisements bearing logos on both sides of the stadium wall behind the net: the left side has Mario Party developers Hudson Soft, while the right side has Mario creators Nintendo. Nintendo's logo also changes between regions — blue in the Japanese version of the game, red elsewhere.
  • Death Course: The minigame Dungeon Duos takes place in a long, complex dungeon filled with puzzles and obstacles, and splits the players into two teams. Each team requires coordination to overcome the obstacles, namely removing walls that obstruct one partner's path, making a gizmo spin to help a partner cross a pitfall, tackle a Pipe Maze, and inflate a hot-air balloon so they can finally escape together.
  • Death Mountain: The minigame Paths of Peril requires all character to traverse narrow pathways on the top of scorched plateaus to reach the goal; if they fall down, a Klepto will put them back on track but precious time will be lost. In certain parts, a player will reach a fork and has to choose where to go (both paths converge eventually, but one will be longer than the other). Whoever reaches the goal first wins, and the next player to do so will secure second place (it's a Battle minigame where coins are wagered, so this matters); but if 60 seconds pass and no one finishes the race yet, the minigame will end in a draw.
  • Descending Ceiling: In the minigame Booksquirm, the characters are standing on a giant book, and the sheets from the other side begin turning onto them. These sheets have holes shaped like celestial objects, so the characters must stand in key positions to avoid getting crushed. When only one characters remains, they'll win the minigame; but if the last survivors get crushed at the same time, the minigame will end in a draw.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Bowser's minigames are called Darts of Doom, Fruits of Doom, and Balloon of Doom. There's also Panels of Doom (a special minigame available on Bowser's Gnarly Party) and Doors of Doom (a single-player game).
  • Door of Doom: The minigame Doors of Doom. Pick one of two doors and hope Bowser doesn't come out of it; you play until you choose incorrectly and Bowser appears to end the game by chasing the player offscreen.
  • Double Unlock: In Story Mode, in order to claim one of the birthday gifts, it won't be enough to win a board and become its Party Star; the winner also has to defeat the board's host in a minigame to earn the gift.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • This is the only GameCube Mario Party game to not use the Orb system, instead opting for a traditional item store in the vein of Mario Party 2 and 3.
    • This was the first Mario Party to feature fully modeled boards, contrasting the sprite-based 2D graphics for the boards present in the first three games. However, all the paths the players could run on were the exact same four-direction metal walkway. Starting with Mario Party 5, the paths are incorporated into the boards themselves and now allow players to move diagonally; the boards have also gained a more vertical design, requiring certain paths and junctions to use ladders.
    • In the N64 entries, characters walked on the boards. From Mario Party 4 onwards characters now run on the boards, but the speed they ran at would not be consistent with the running animation until a few games later.
  • Gelatinous Encasement: The minigame "Slime Time" starts with giant slimes falling on top of the 4 players before they push out with the slime still attached at the waist.
  • Goomba Stomp: A minigame in the Extra Room shares a name with this trope, but otherwise averts it, as you instead run them over with a giant wooden robot instead of stomping them.
  • Grapes of Luxury: The Bowser minigame Fruits of Doom. Bowser, who is sitting on his throne, reads off a list of fruits he wants to eat (quite quickly at the end), and the gang has to bring him those fruits; grapes are among the possible requested fruits. First person to bring Bowser a fruit he never asked for or one more of a kind than what he wanted gets grilled.
  • Ground Pound:
    • Various minigames enable this as a move, but its biggest role is in the minigame The Great Deflate. There are two pairs of characters, and in each the two players have to ground-pound the inflatable Thwomp they're standing on to completely deflate it. The first pair to do so wins, but if they don't manage to do it after 30 seconds then the minigame ends in a tie.
    • In Story Mode, the minigame Goomba's Chip Flip settles a duel between the Party Star of Goomba's Greedy Gala and the Goomba host. Twenty chips are placed in a casino board, and both characters have to ground-pound them to collect them and earn their worthy points (though a few chips have negative values). The first character to reach 50 points wins.
  • Human Cannonball: In the minigame Hide And Go BOOM!, three characters have to choose in which cannonballs to hide. There are four in total, and each is associated to a controller button as well as a large rope that initiates their fuse upon ignition. After five seconds (halfway through which the camera turns away from the characters' area to pan to the solo player's intended whereabouts, to keep their hiding choices secret), the fourth player has five seconds to choose a rope to ignite (by pressing the cannon's associated button) by using a torch. If one or more characters are hidden in the chosen cannon, they'll be shot away; if nobody's there, then it's a wasted turn. As the minigame progresses, the solo player can choose up to three cannons to shoot, and they'll win the minigame if they manage to shoot all three rivals; if at least one of the hiding characters manages to avoid being shot, then the trio wins.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Boo Spaces in early games let you pay coins to take other people's coins or Stars. In the Goomba's Greedy Gala board in 4, after a successful attack Goomba says "See you later! And remember, kids, stealing is wrong!"
  • Improvised Parachute: The minigame Paratrooper Plunge starts as all players fly to the skies and then jump out of the plane to start parachuting with color-coded balloons tied to them with ropes. While they descend, they can grab lots of coins and money bags, but also have to avoid being hit by Fly Guys and Paratroopas. If a character takes damage from a mook, their balloon will deflate a little, and if they're hit four times the balloon will deflate completely and the player will plummet to the ground.
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: In the minigame Money Belts, one character is placed on a pink conveyor belt above and the other three are in a longer green conveyor belt below. The objective is to avoid falling down as the conveyor belts move and drag large cookies and candy; in the process, they can grab coins and money bags.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: The Mini Mushroom is a white-spotted pink mushroom that's primarily used to grant access to certain passages and events exclusive to being small. Unfortunately, it also reduces your Dice Block from a 1-10 count to a 1-5 count, making it harder to reach such goals with it.
  • Jungle Japes: Shy Guy's Jungle Jam. It's actually an artificial jungle, because the Shy Guy host is too timid to venture into a real one, hence much of the biome being rocky with little flora (there are even inactive volcanoes below the board's pathways, except for one in the northwest which has visible lava). There are plenty of rock totems modeled after the Shy Guys, and a river is flowing through the midst of the board. There are two small fountains one can stand in front of by landing on one of their surrounding Event Spaces, inviting the character to ask a wish to the associated Shy Guy Statue. If the Shy Guy likes the wish, nothing happens, but if they don't then the central river will raise its level and break the north and south bridges for three turns.
  • Lethal Lava Land:
    • Bowser's Gnarly Party. It was built by Koopa Kid to homage and worship the Koopa King, and was built above a highly active volcano with a scorched Bowser shell in its heart.
    • The minigame Chain Chomp Fever pits all players into a rocky corral surrounded by lava in a volcanic area. The objective is to dodge the Chain Chomp's charges while also avoiding the boiling gases protruding from the ground.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Goomba's Greedy Gala has a roulette in the centre that determines which quadrant of the board you go to (although the scales can be tipped), and to progress around each quadrant, you have to win a dice-rolling game against Goomba or be sent back to Start.
    • In the minigame Panels of Doom, two characters choose each one numbered panel to stand on. When they've made their choice, they take turns as they hit a Dice Block. The number scooped in each hit will determine which numbered panel will crumble. When a panel occupied by a character crumbles, or if the Dice Block is hit and the icon obtained is the face of one of the two characters (making their panel crumble automatically), that character will fall down and the other will win. The minigame Panel Panic operates similarly, only there all playable characters plus Bowser participate, and it's much more difficult to win as a result.
  • Mad Marble Maze: The Story Mode minigame Kareening Koopas has the Party Star who wins Koopa's Seaside Soiree and its Koopa host duel with yellow-colored tilting checkerboard tables. The objective for each character is to tilt their table to make it so the Koops shells land onto holes, for which they not only have to time the tilts but also deal with fake palm trees that are obstructing the shells. When all shells in one table are in their holes, the player will receive the next table to repeat the process. The first character to fill all holes with Koopa shells in three tables wins.
  • Match-Three Game: The Story Mode minigame Mystic Match 'Em has the Party Star who wins Boo's Haunted Bash and its Boo host duel in a card matching challenge. Each player starts with three cards (each showing a different musical instrument), and has the objective of completing a trio of cards showing the same instrument to win. Between the players is a series of facedown cards to choose from to this end. During each turn, a player has to choose the card they wish to replace from their deck and put it in faceup form in the central table, and from there choose any of the facedown cards; then the second character does the same thing, and so on as the two characters alternate turns. Three of the facedown cards have instead a Boo image, and if it's unveiled then the character who's currently playing will have their three current cards, plus all cards in the table (including the ones still facing down and the faceup ones put by both characters) reshuffled so the affected character has three different cards once again and the table has all its cards rearranged and faced down (the other character will still retain their cards).
  • The Maze: The alliteratively-named Team Treasure Trek puts all players into a stony labyrinth, and divides them in two teams (it's a 2-vs-2 minigame). There are two treasure chests and two keys, all encased within color-coded boxes. For each team, the objective is to navigate the maze and find both a specific chest and the key that opens it, making it so one player holds the chest while the other approaches them with the key (this is because characters can only hold one object at a time). If a player gets lost (which is likely to happen for first-timers), pressing X or Y will display the maze's map and their location, but they cannot move while viewing it. The first team to open their chest wins (and will make the maze's walls retract, thus making the whole area wide-open); but if nobody manages to complete the objective in 60 seconds, the minigame will end in a draw.
  • Medium Awareness: As the Koopa Kids explain the rules for the "Darts of Doom" minigame, one of the Koopa Kids mentions the A button, whereupon the other one adds: "A! That's the green one!"
  • Mini-Me: The eight playable characters have their own diorama toy set in the Present Room. The dolls themselves are unlockable after winning on the board "Koopa's Seaside Soiree" with that character.
  • Nostalgia Level: The minigame Bowser's Big Blast from Mario Party 2 returns in this game, now with the name Bowser's Bigger Blast.
  • Obstacle Ski Course: The minigame Avalanche!, where the characters start skiing to outrun, well, an avalanche.
  • Outrun the Fireball: In the minigame Avalanche!, the characters have to slide through a snowy mountain and jump off a cliff before an avalanche engulfs them. Whoever gets there first wins; but if the avalanche ends up engulfing everyone, the minigame ends in a draw.
  • Palmtree Panic:
    • Koopa's Seaside Soiree. Its Koopa host built the board to fulfill his dream of running a resort so his friends and visitors can have fun and relax. It takes place in a paradisial beach with palmtress in the coast, as well as treasure chests sunken in the lush, crystalline waters of the sea. Across the paths of the board placed above the water, there are three pairs of docks marked each with a distinct engraving: A barrel's cap, a watermelon and a pineapple. When a player stands on an Event Space in front of a dock, they can ride a dolphin to another dock with the same engraving. At the north lies a wide wooden floor where a Koopa is building a resort known as Koopa Cabana; whoever passes by has to pay money to contribute to its construction; if a player lands onto any of the nearby Event Spaces, they're asked to pay money to reserve a week-long stay in the resort. But as soon as the payment is done, a tidal wave destroys the building, forcing the Koopa to restart the construction from scratch.
    • The minigame Pair-a-sailing has the characters form pairings to race in a sunny sea with small palmtree islands. In each duo, one character drives a boat while dodging wooden crates, while the other is gliding with a parachute tied to the boat and tries to grab the coins suspended in the air.
  • Pass Through the Rings: The aptly-named minigame Manta Rays has all players swim through a sea and pass through as many rings as possible, each of which is worth one point by default. If a manta ray passes through a ring first, it will change its color to gold, making it worth three points. The character also have to avoid being hit by Bloopers (which deduct one point upon contact), Sushi/sharks (two points) and large orange eels (three points). Whoever scores the most points by the time they reach the goal wins.
  • Portable Hole: Losing the dice-rolling minigame against Goomba in the Goomba's Greedy Gala board in 4 causes a hole to appear out of nowhere below your character and spit you back to the Start.
  • Racing Minigame:
    • In the minigame Mario Medley, the four players have to race three laps in a swimming pool, and each lap requires performing a different type of stroke that requires a specific button input: Breaststroke in the first lap (by tapping A and B simultaneously), Backstroke in the second (by alternating between L and R), and Crawl in the third (by alternating between A and B). Players must keep an eye on their stamina meters, or else they'll get tired and lose a lot of speed. Whoever completes all laps first wins; but if no one completes the race after five minutes, the minigame ends in a draw.
    • The minigame Mario Speedwagons has all players participate in a drag race. Each character has to drive their own top-speed dragster and attempt to be the first to reach the goal and win the minigame. The race is short, but it's important for a player to keep an eye on the gear numbers, as they indicate the exact moments when the car's gears have to be shifted as speed is accumulated, for which timing is important (and the required amount is quite strict too).
    • The minigame Right Oar Left? has two teams of players race in the river of a dark tunnel while riding a Dorrie-shaped boat (which equipped with a lamp in the front to see what's ahead). They move by using paddles, with each player in a duo moving those of a specific side, so coordination is key. They must also avoid stalagmites and the fire breath of Bowser Statues, as being hit will make them waste time. The first team to reach the goal wins, but if neither manages to get there after five minutes, the minigame ends in a draw.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The Goomba hosting the party board wears a top hat, a bow tie and a cape, and they are all PINK.
  • Ring Out: The sumo-based "Bowser Wrestling" mini-game, in which winning is accomplished by shoving the other character out of the ring.
  • Scolded for Not Buying: Some of the item shopkeepers will lambaste you for passing by the item shop without buying anything. Boo, for instance, will say, "What!? Why did you even come in if you're not going to buy anything!? What a waste of time!"
  • Sequential Boss: Bowser, at the end of Story Mode. The battlefield is a cube-shaped planetoid of lava suspended in a void, and in each face the character has to pass a test (except the first, in which Bowser and the player's chosen character merely confront each other verbally alongside the two Koopa Kid servants).
    • First, the character has to cross several circular grounds surrounded by lava while also avoiding the dual fire beams expelled from jets in their centers.
    • In the next face, they have to Ground Pound the tiles to form a 2x2 Koopa Kid's image, all while avoiding the projectiles dropped by the Koopa Kids themselves from their Clon Cars (fire cannonballs and tornadoes respectively).
    • In the next two faces, the character has to repeat the steps done respectively in the previous two. However, there will be more platforms to jump across in the jump challenge (and in some of them the jets will expel triple fire beams), and in the puzzle challenge you're now assembling an 3x3 picture showing Bowser's image while dodging a rapid fire boomerang thrown by the Koopa King.
    • In the sixth and final face, the character fights Bowser himself directly. There are five buttons in the ground's border, and it's necessary to press at least three of them to activate an electric field capable of hurting Bowser (he must be within the perimeter of the field, or else it won't work). After five hits, Bowser will be defeated.
  • Shockwave Stomp: The minigame Makin' Waves is a role-reversed version of Tidal Toss from Mario Party 3. The players are in a round swimming pool, and three of them have to Ground Pound their floats to create tidal waves in an attempt to make the solo player fall out of balance from their platform. If the three players succeed in their objective they'll win; but if 30 seconds pass and the solo player resists, then they win instead.
  • Shooting Gallery:
    • The minigame Three Throw is a variation. Players are practicing free throws with basketballs, but the catch is that the baskets' rows are moving sideways like a row of targets in a traditional shooting game would. As a result, the characters have to time their throws to land their balls into the baskets. The first and third rows (whose baskets have their borders colored red) move slowly to the right and grant one point, while the second row (whose baskets have their borders colored yellow) moves faster to the left and grants two points. Because the baskets' nets are closed, they can only contain one ball at a time; and halfway through the time limit, the rows switch directions. Whoever scores the most points after 30 seconds wins.
    • The Bowser minigame Darts of Doom. Players throw darts at a spinning dartboard and the player with the lowest score after everybody throws their darts gets torched by Bowser; however, there is also a Bowser bullseye in the middle, and if a player throws the darts and one of them lands in that bullseye, they lose immediately, meaning a few other players may not need to take a turn at all.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The minigame Blame It On The Crane is named after the Milli Vanilli song "Blame It On The Rain".
    • Similarly, the minigame Mario Speedwagons is a pun on REO Speedwagon.
    • The Koopacabana — Koopa Troopa's beach resort in Koopa's Seaside Soiree — is a punny reference to the Copacabana Nightclub in New York City.
  • Snowball Fight: In the minigame Mr. Blizzard's Brigade, all characters have to dodge the snowballs thrown at them by the Mr. Blizzards, all while moving within a slippery frozen pond. If a character is hit by a snowball, they'll freeze and lose the minigame. Whoever is the last player left wins, though more than one can win if they survive after 60 seconds.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Compared to the other Story minigames, where the Party Stars and the hosts participate in challenges that put their speed, strength and/or dexterity into test in a reasonable way, Archeologuess (which corresponds to Shy Guy's minigame when the Party Star wins in his board) is merely an odd-one-out puzzle that requires, in each turn, pointing at the figure whose shape stands out from that of the other four figures shown. The first character to make the correct guess in three turns wins.
  • Sphere Factor:
    • In the minigame Hop or Pop, three characters have their bodies encased in rubber balls except their heads, while the fourth player is completely encased within a spiked plastic ball. The objective of the solo player is to roll into the other players to burst their balls, while these have to move by hopping to evade. The solo player wins if they manage to defeat all the other characters; but if at least one of the fleeing players manages to survive during 45 seconds, then the trio wins.
    • In the minigame Blame It On The Crane, one character is using a crane machine to attempt to grab all other three characters, who are encased on transparent balls and rolling with them. The solo character will succeed if they grab all of them, while the opposing trio will win if at least one of them manages to resist during 60 seconds.
  • Sudden Name Change: The Baby Bowsers from the previous Mario Party games are renamed Koopa Kids in North America, and Mini Bowsers in Europe and Australia.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Peach and Daisy are the only two female playable characters.
  • Unreadably Fast Text: In the minigame Fruits of Doom, Bowser gives a list of fruits (with repeats), and players take turns bringing fruits to him. Choose a fruit he didn't list, or bring him a fruit more times than he listed, and you lose the game (and your coins). At first, the list scrolls by slowly, but quickly becomes unreadably fast, turning the game into a game of luck.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: At the start of the minigame The Long Claw Of The Law, a poster shows a mook that is being prosecuted. The players have then to use special extendable claws to grab specimens of that mook when they're looking out the buildings' doors (which open a close, thus requiring good timing with the claws' grabs). Whoever grabs three specimens wins; if nobody manages to do so after 60 seconds, the minigame ends in a draw.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: One of the three puzzles in the mini-game "Photo Finish" is an ice rink in a snowy area underneath an aurora-laden night sky.
  • Whack-a-Monster: In the Story Mode minigame Bowser Bop, the Party Star has to defeat Toad by slamming the Koopa Kid and Bowser heads that pop out of the furniture in the room where they are. Slamming Koopa Kid is grants one point while smalling Bowser grants two. The character who scores the highest after 60 seconds wins.