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Video Game / Mario Party 7

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Mario Party 7 is a video game developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube in 2005. It's the seventh installment in the Mario Party series.

This game has an "around-the-world" theme, and the boards are based on slightly stereotyped versions of real countries like USA, Egypt, and China. It all begins when Toadsworth, having observed Mario's achievements in his life (rescuing Princess Peach, saving the Mushroom Kingdom and other lands, winning previous parties, etc.), offers him and his friends the vacation of their lives, which the famed plumber accepts enthusiastically. Lo and behold, they board the luxurious MSS Sea Star to visit several parts of the world. Unfortunately for all of them, Bowser catches wind of the plan and is furious that he wasn't invited; so he'll do what it takes to sabotage their vacation, and the heroes' objective is to prevent that. And what a better way to settle it than by partying once again? Being the character who is handling the vacation trip, Toadsworth serves as the party host.


This game carries over several novelties from its immediate predecessor, Mario Party 6: It, too, is embedded with the Microphone for its use in speech-based minigames; the boards, once again, present new and inventive methods for the obtainment of Stars; the Orbs make yet another return (carrying over the revamped gameplay from 6), and now there are Orbs exclusive to certain pairs of characters; lastly, Solo Mode returns, though this time it does stand in for other games' Story Mode, as it's here where the game wraps up the conflict between Bowser and the heroes, and also includes a Boss Battle against him (such element was absent in the previous game, due to not having a Story Mode either and its Solo Mode not pertaining the resolution of the game's theme).

However, the game also features its own unique concepts, including one that expands upon a gimmick seen in the last board of Mario Party 2 (Bowser Land): Since Bowser aims to sabotage the heroes' vacation even during the party sessions, every five turns he'll perform a detrimental action that affects them in some way. He may replace one of the Orb shops with a Bowser shop where any character who passes by is mandated to buy a bogus item for a high price, he may destroy one of the board's bridges, he may throw three Koopa Kid orbs at the board (each falling onto a specific space), he may force all characters to pose for a photo shot and then charge them 20 coins each for it, or perform an evil action that is related in some way to the Star's collection method in the board. The moment when he performs any of these actions is called Bowser Time, and its arrival is reminded at the end of each turn by a Bowser Icon whose brighter color fills up a segment until the marked moment when it fills completely.


The game can also be played by eight players, both in Party mode and Minigame mode. Unlike other games where the LAN accessory of the GameCube was used for this purpose, such as Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, this one simply has the four controllers shared each by two players, making it so Player A uses the Control Stick and the L button while Player B uses the C Stick and the R button. In standard Party Mode, the eight players split into four teams, and in each of them the left-placed player takes control of walking and actions in the board during odd-numbered turns, whereas the right-placed player does in the even-numbered ones; the player in turn also plays as their character to represent themselves and their partner in the standard 4-player, 1-vs-3 and 2-vs-2 minigames. From time to time, an 8-player minigame will be played, and there all 8 players participate with their respective characters. There are twelve minigames tailored for 8 players, and they can be played in both Party Mode and a special mode accessible in the main menu.

The game has a grand total of 88 minigames, becoming the numbered installment with the most extensive catalogue in the series (it's only surpassed by Megamix Games The Top 100 and Superstars which have 100 each, while the mainline game that comes closest to equaling it is Super Mario Party with 84). The availablity of 8-player minigames, plus the increased number of DK and Bowser minigames, helped in this case. This game adds Birdo and Dry Bones to the roster (while Koopa Kid is no longer playable; instead having his own space), though they have to be unlocked first.

Finally, this was the penultimate Super Mario Bros. game released on the GameCube in Japan and North America (the last overall was Super Mario Strikers); in Europe and Australia, due to Strikers being released there first, the distinction for being the last Mario game overall on the GCN goes indeed to Mario Party 7.

This game provides examples of:

  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The minigame Funstacle Course has all four players try to reach the end of the course while being pursued by the Koopa Kids in a flamethrower vehicle.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Bowser's Enchanted Inferno. It's a funfair built upon four islands surrounded by lava, and many of the attractions are dangerous.
  • Balloonacy: The closely-named minigame Balloonatic has a player hovering above a sea with three balloons, while the other three players are shooting cannonballs at them from a wooden ship. The solo player is immune to the cannonballs, but the balloons aren't, so they have to move constantly to dodge the projectiles. If all three balloons are bursted, then the player will fall onto the water and the rival trio will win; but if the solo player manages to resist with at least one balloon during 30 seconds, then they'll win.
  • Balloon of Doom: The minigame Balloon Busters has each player use the Mic to inflate a red balloon with the drawing of a huge explosion engraved in it (the player doesn't blow, but instead says "Bigger" to make their character blow once and "Stop" to end their turn). Each player must blow at least once so they have the option to stop, and can only blow up to five times; once they do either action, they go to a safe cover and the next player begins their turn. If a player plays for more than 15 seconds, their character will automatically blow up to the fifth time. Only the character who is behind the cover will be safe once the balloon explodes, as both the player blowing and the next two in the waiting line will be blasted away, losing the minigame.
  • Band Land: The minigame Catchy Tunes takes place inside a large musical learning table for toddlers, with multi-colored xylophones in the sides, a metronome at the north and a piano keyboard at the south. Several color-coded musical symbols will begin falling from the sky, and each player needs to catch one symbol from each color to win the minigame (and they have to be collected while they're falling, as they'll vanish as soon as they touch the floor). If nobody manages to get five different symbols after 30 seconds, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Betting Mini-Game: Landing onto a Mic Space in the board will summon Toadsworth, who then asks the player to choose a specific number of coins to bet, and then takes the player into a special memory game. A number of cards (ranging from 3 to 5 depending on the case) will be flipped, each showing a specific fruit before flipping back. Next, Toadsworth will ask the player what's the fruit shown in a randomly-pinpointed card; the player has to use the Mic to say the fruit's name, and must make sure the name is properly pronounced. If the guess is correct, then another card will be pinpointed and the player will have to answer what's the fruit drawn in it, and so on until all cards are pinpointed. In case a fruit's name is ambiguously said, Toadsworth will try to aid the player by asking them if they're trying to say a certain fruit, and the player can answer with a Yes or a No. If a player guesses one card incorrectly, or if 10 seconds pass without an answer given, they'll lose the challenge and will lose the coins wagered. But if they guess all cards' fruits correctly, they'll win twice the amount of money they wagered.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The minigame Ghost In The Hall places all four players inside a tenebrous mansion whose halls have limited visibility (thus requiring them to carry lamps) and have a maze-like layout. They have to run forward while choosing the right paths to proceed, as picking the wrong ones will either have doors that open themselves suddenly and hit the player, or be scared by a large Pink Boo. Whoever reaches the mansion's exit first wins. Funnily enough, since Boo is a playable character, he can still be scared by a Pink Boo.
  • Bubble Gun: The minigame Spray Anything has three players driving cannons across a circular rail that can shoot water bubbles, and a solo player in a central area surrounded by the aforementioned perimeter. If the solo player is hit by any of the bubbles, they'll be trapped and grant victory to the rival trio. However, if the solo player manages to dodge all bubbles during 30 seconds, then they'll win.
  • City of Canals: Grand Canal, a Venice-inspired board, takes place in a canal city. The paths of the board go through wooden bridges, piers or even aligned gondolas.
  • Climbing Climax: The Final Boss against Bowser in Solo Mode evokes this. The player is in a large square arena that serves as an elevator to reach the top of a 100-floor tower. The corners of the arena have each a black-and-green dice block like those used in the boards to walk through their paths, only these have the purpose of raising the arena higher; after the player hits all four dice blocks, the sum of the numbers obtained will be the number of floors the arena moves up, and the blocks will roll their numbers again so the player repeats the operation. The catch in all of this? Bowser will shoot boiling rocks and homing missiles, forcing the player to dodge them while going for the blocks; it takes one hit from any projectile to lose the battle, so it's not an easy ordeal. And when the arena reaches floor 50 or higher, Bowser will summon a reinforcement (one of the Koopa Kids), thus transitioning into a Dual Boss. Not only will both villains shoot the aforementioned projectiles at the same time, but also gain a new one in the form of a powerful energy beam they always perform simultaneously. If the player manages to reach floor 100 without receiving a hit, stars from the sky will begin hitting Bowser, eventually making him plummet into the ground below; the player then celebrates their victory (funnily enough, Koopa Kid celebrates the victory, but a star hit him and makes him fall down as well).
  • Collection Sidequest: Fitting the game's vacation theme, it's possible to purchase several souvenirs based on the destinations (three per board). Once a souvenir is purchased, it can be viewed in detail from a stand; the player can then pick the Mic and say "Surprise" to make the souvenir perform a special action. Three souvenirs require the player to do something so they're available for purchased.note  Lastly, the final three souvenirs can only be obtained from the King of the River mode, one per difficulty level, but you won't need to purchase them as they'll be given to you as direct rewards; something special about the very last souvenir is that Saying "Surprise" while looking at it will unlock the game's credits.
  • Console Cameo: There's an orange GameCube in the Neon Heights shop.
  • Conveyor Belt of Doom: The minigame Track & Yield pits all four players in a large conveyor belt (each of them in a specific color-coded stripe: red, blue, green, yellow) that is dragging them into a dumpster pit. The player's objective is to run forward to prevent that, but they must also avoid the incoming electric fences, as touching them will stun them and potentially make them fall down before they can react. The conveyor belt also moves faster as time passes. The last player remaining is the victor, though more than one can win if they resist during 30 seconds; conversely, if the last players fall down at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Crappy Holidays: Bowser's job in the game is to make the good characters' summer vacation as miserable as possible. In Party Mode, every five turns he'll do something to make them suffer in some way, reaching a horrific extent in the final board (sinking the island where the Star is, which is also part of that board's gimmick). However, the characters manage to overcome the inconvenience and celebrate by the end regardless; and by the end of Solo Mode, Bowser gets comeuppance for his actions.
  • Cruise Episode: The game revolves around the good guys taking a vacation around the world, and travel to their desired destinations by boarding the luxurious MSS Sea Star. The cruise is also where Toadsworth guides the player across the menu options and the various game modes. Interestingly, the cruise itself is also used as a demo board during the Rules video explaining the game's mechanics, but it's not playable.
  • Death Course: Three of Bowser's minigames teem around this, each employing a different flavor:
    • Funstacle Course! has all four players running away from Koopa Kids who are sitting in mobile turrets, escaping through a course featuring things like Thwomps, moving platforms, and precarious paths with holes in them.
    • Magmagical Journey! has all four players jump onto fragile rock platforms in an underground river of magma while the screen scrolls forward. The Koopa Kids, meanwhile, are riding minecarts across rails placed in both sides of the river, and from which they shoot boiling rocks at the players.
    • Funderwall! combines this with Climbing Climax, as all four players are climbing a tall chainlink fence to reach the top of a skyscraper. But as they do this, they have to dodge the spiked rotators placed on the fences as well as the Koops Kids' flamethrower attacks.
  • Developer's Foresight: On Pagoda Peak, the board-specific Cannon Orb's sole purpose is to move you closer to the star. There's no reason to use such a thing on the very last space before the star — but if you do, there's a special failure animation for it. Even if you never make this blunder yourself, the CPU sometimes will.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: In the intro for Grand Canal, Toadsworth will say "The Star will move to another location when someone gets one. What a crafty bugger!"
  • Dodgeball Is Hell: The minigame Weight For It has two dueling characters use mallets to whack weighted balls onto each other's sides. If a player is hit by a ball, they'll be stunned, but that's not the objective of the minigame; instead, each character has to have fewer balls in their side than in that of the rival. This way, when the minigame ends after 15 seconds, whoever has more balls will make their side crumble and fall into a pit, losing the duel while rendering the other victorious. In the unlikely event there are three balls in each side and the seventh one is exactly at the center, the whole arena will crumble and both players will fall down, leaving the minigame in a tie.
  • Do-It-Yourself Plumbing Project: In the minigame Duck & Cover, four pairs of characters have to fix color-coded pipes with several water leaks each. In each pair, the corresponding pipe has six leaks, and in turn each leak has to be fixed by pressing repeatedly a specific button (A, B, X, Y, L or R; since there are six leaks, each of those buttons is used during gameplay). The duo that fixes their pipe first wins.
  • Double Unlock: The King of the River mode. Basically, you just play mini-games, one after another, against computers, until you've made it through. Just spent your hard-earned points on it? Hopefully you've played all the mini-games that appear in it, because letting you play a mini-game here before playing it elsewhere would just be asking for too much.
  • Drop the Hammer: The minigame Hammer Spammer has eight players stand onto a hammer-shaped platform in the skies, while several Hammer Bros. throw their hammers at them. In addition, two giant stone hammers will slam the platform, attempting to crush as many players as possible. The players who survive the onslaugh during 30 seconds win for themselves and their respective partners even if they were hit beforehand; but if all four teams survive during that time limit or all remaining players are crushed or hit at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Eagle Land: Neon Heights is based on a mishmash of American tropes, featuring a Western area that's also a movie studio, several Big Applesauce-esque skyscrapers, and a baseball stadium.
  • Emergency Refuelling: The minigame Oil Crisis has each player drive a car with limited fuel across a road filled with fuel barrels but also oil stains. The driving player has to use the Mic to steer left or right to grab fuel barrels and fill up the fuel gauge, as well as avoid the oil stains as they reduce speed. As an emergency, the player can say "Mushroom" to use a speed boost, but it only works once. When a player manages to reach the goal or has their car's fuel run out, the next player's turn begins. At the end of the minigame, those who reached the goal will win; if nobody managed to did so due to fuel depletion, then the one who reached the farthest will win (more than one can win if their achieved distance is the same, so there are no ties in the minigame).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Bowser hosts the "Final 5 Turns" event, stating that the player in last is so lame, he's giving them a second chance by letting them spin a roulette with (mostly) beneficial effects.
  • Everyone Has a Special Move: Each pair of characters has their own unique Orb, which can only be purchased and/or gathered along the way for use by them. Even if Party Mode is being played with a mixed team, no character can use the character-tied Orb of their partner, because it just isn't intended for them.
  • Excited Episode Title!:
    • All six of Bowser's minigames, plus the boss minigame he's involved in, end with an exclamation point: "Funderwall!", "Funstacle Course!", "Magmagical Journey!", "Slot-O-Whirl!", "Treasure Dome!", "Tunnel of Lava!", and "Bowser's Lovely Lift!"
    • The 1-vs.-3 Mic minigames include "Be My Chum!" and "StratosFEAR!"
  • Floating in a Bubble: The minigame Bubble Brawl has all four players fight against each other inside a large bubble suspended in the middle of a watery plaza. The objective for each player is to punch the others to take them out of the bubble, disqualifying them. The last player remaining is the victor, but more than one can win if they survive for 60 seconds.
  • Gimmick Level: Grand Canal is the only board that involves the players chasing down a Star as is traditional. The other boards all have a different gimmick:
    • Pagoda Peak is a linear board with the Star Space at the very end. Each player who reaches the top can buy a Star, but the price goes up 10 coins every time someone buys it. It starts at 10 coins and goes up to a maximum of 40 before returning to 10, but the stage has several gongs that the player can ring to change the price to any of the four values - if they can land on the ? Space to trigger one.
    • Pyramid Park has each player begin the game with 5 stars, and the board has no Star spaces. In order to get Stars, you have to pay Chain Chomps, who will let you ride them and steal Stars from any other players you pass.
    • Windmillville features several windmills, each worth 1, 2, or 3 stars, that the players can invest in. The player who's put the most coins into a windmill owns it and is considered to have its Stars.
    • Neon Peak features three treasure boxes guarded by Koopa Kids on the board instead of Star spaces, and you can pay 10 coins upon passing one to open it. One will contain the Star, one has coins, and the last one drops a Bob-omb on you, launching you back to the starting area of the board. You have no way of knowing which one contains what until you buy one, so it comes down to luck.
    • Bowser's Enchanted Inferno, at first, looks like it brings back the traditional method of reaching the Star to buy it and then looking for the next one elsewhere, and for the most part that's true. However, there's a catch: Every five turns, wherever the current Star is will sink into the lava, taking not only the Star itself with it but also burning all players present there and sending them back to the board's start with their coin budget halved; the Star is then relocated in another region. This also means Bowser Time is entirely dedicated to this gimmick, so Bowser won't do anything else in this board.
  • Goomba Stomp: Curiously, the minigame Royal Rumpus plays with the trope. Merely stomping the Goombas won't be enough to defeat them; instead, the two dueling characters have to Ground Pound them in order to defeat them and earn one point apiece. Pounding a golden Goomba yields three points, but it's hard to do so as they run faster. After 15 seconds, whoever scores the highest wins; if both players have the same score, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Ground Pound: There are several minigames where this move is performed, but the most explicit cases are the following:
    • Boxing Day. Three players have to ground-pound all 16 tiles of their area to reveal a Bob-omb's image, while the fourth player uses the Mic to command attack moves to the large robot to knock away the trio. The solo player wins if they manage to eliminate the whole trio, while the trio wins if they manage to fully reveal the Bob-omb's image in the floor by punding onto all tiles. If neither outcome happens after five minutes, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • Tile and Error. One pair of characters have to ground-pound the floor's tiles to turn them red, while the other pair has to do the same to turn them blue. After 30 seconds, whichever team has the most tiles marked with their color wins; but if both teams have the same number (eight), then the minigame ends in a tie.
    • Cardinal Rule. There are several cards in the floor, each showing a specific mook. The center of the screen will shown a certain mook, and the pairs of characters have to ground-pound the tiles that match that mook; they must make sure to pound the cards showing the exact gesture of the mook (for example, if it's a Bob-omb, then they have to check if its eyes are open or closed). There are three cards showing each mook and a specific gesture of theirs, so the first team to pound two of them will earn a point. The first team to score three points wins; if 10 seconds pass in any round without either team pounding two cards showing the requested mook and gesture, then the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Guide Dang It!: Getting to the game's credits is a very cryptic procedure, as neither completing Solo Mode (where the game's story wraps up) nor playing Party Mode in all boards will trigger it. First, you must buy King of the River, while making sure you have unlocked the 30 mini-games that are played in the mode, then play the Easy, Normal, and Hard courses; finally, view the Hard Course's prize in the Duty-Free Shop, while being aware of the Easter egg that activates souvenirs - namely, saying "Surprise" or the equivalent in other languages into the microphone. Players who are incapable of speech, don't have a microphone, and/or are unaware of the "Use Controller" setting, are out of luck.
  • Herding Mission: Landing on a certain Event Space in Windmillville gives you the task to herd a group of sheep from their corral to the stable at the left. If the player manages to herd all of them in 10 seconds, they'll win a lot of coins.
  • Hint System: Hints can be purchased in the Duty-Free Shop so they can be read later. They provide special tips for boards, minigames and other stuff.
  • Hot Potato: In the minigame Bob-ombic Plague, there are eight people (four teams of two) dealing with a Bob-omb this way, but not only is the person holding the bomb but the people next to the bomb holder also are taken out till either the partners are left or if only two opponents then the bomb only takes out one.
  • Human Cannonball: The minigame Target Tag has each player enter a cannon and get launched airborne. While they fly, they have to hit the aerial targets to earn points (the numbers they show will indicate their worth), but they must also dodge the Bowser targets to avoid losing all points. Whoever gets the most points after they land onto the ground wins, though more than one can win in case they share the same high score.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: The old Koopa master on Pagoda Peak describes the various board events in mystical-sounding gibberish.
  • Jump Rope Blunders: The minigame Grin and Bar It has 8 players play rope-jumping with a strangely-bent metal bar, thus requiring each player to time the exact time to jump and avoid being hit, since the curvy shape of the bar makes it so no two players can jump at the same time without either or both potentially losing; the bar will also spin faster as time passes. When only one or both players from a pair remains, that pair wins; but if all remaining players are hit at the same time, then the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: The minigame Spider Stomp operates this way. Two pairs of characters venture through a jungle where Scuttlebugs have proliferated and then kidnapped a young Flutter. To advance through each segment, the characters have to shoot at the incoming mooks; when no Scuttlebug remains in the current segment, the spider web that blocks the path forward falls down, allowing the characters to advance to the next part. In the final segment, they have to face their queen, who is much bigger and has a lot more HP (it takes 40 hits to defeat her). The first team to defeat the queen and reach the end will rescue the Flutter and win the minigame.
  • Land of Tulips and Windmills: Windmillville is inspired by Holland, and features you investing in windmills in a tulip-filled meadow full of Koopas in embroided dresses and caps. Other features include flowers you can hop on and a cheery bucolic atmosphere.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The last board, Bowser's Enchanted Inferno. It consists of an Amusement Park of Doom built upon four islands placed in a sea of lava, and several deadly attractions abound. The main gimmick of the board is that, every five turns, the island where the current Star is will sink as part of the Bowser Time event (in fact, unlike in the other boards, Bowser won't do anything else during this period). Therefore, each player must evaluate whether or not to go to the next Star to buy it by checking the current turn and how close or far they are from said Star. Whoever is unlucky enough to be in the island that sinks will be roasted into the lava, lose half their current coin budget and be sent back to the start of the board.
  • Level in the Clouds: The minigame StratosFEAR! takes place atop a large mushroom platform above the cloudy sky, with other mushroom platforms alongside assorted features viewable in the background. Three players are standing on the platform, while the fourth one is atop a cloud platform using the Mic to control the height of said platform; from the horizontal ways, several Bullet Bills are passing by, and the solo player has to move the platform up or down to make the Bullet Bills hit the rival trio, winning the minigame if they succeed. The trio wins if at least one of them manages to survive during 30 seconds.
  • Levels Take Flight: The minigame Helipopper has all players pilot helicopters to fly above an open field next to a coast. The objective for all of them is to use the spinning helices of their helicopters to burst as many balloons as possible, while also avoiding the migrating Bullet Bills (getting hit by one will cause a stun for a brief time). After 45 seconds, whoever bursted the most balloons wins.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: The Bowser minigame Treasure Dome! has a solo player open five chests, one after another, and has only 30 seconds to do so. At the start of the minigame, the player grabs the key at the center and has to see which chest is opened with it, and that chest will have the key that opens one of the other four chests, then get the next key to see which of the remaining three chests opens up, and so on. The fifth chest opened guards the key that allows the player to open the exit door.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • The minigame Deck Hands has all four players play with a deck of 13 cards, each having a specific number that indicates its value (the numbers go from 1 to 13). Each player has to pick a card, and the number shown in it will determine how many points that character earns. There's no way to tell how much a given card is worth, so every choice is blind no matter what. In the end, each player will get up to three cards, leaving one unchosen, and whoever has the highest total score wins. What makes the luck factor of thise minigame so concerning is that this is a battle minigame, so if you're too unlucky you may end up choosing the lowest-valued cards and remain in last place, making you lose all the money wagered as a result.
    • The Bowser minigame Slot-O-Whirl! has a solo player play with a giant three-slot machine whose items shown are three colored Bowser faces (red, green, blue) and a gold key. The player has to line up three keys in order to earn that object and open the exit door at the end, but that's easier said than done: Every time the player manages to get a key figure in a slot, the next one will roll faster, so it becomes less a matter of good reflexes to stop the slot at the exact time and more of a lucky pinpoint. And the time limit is 30 seconds, further complicating the issue.
  • Mad Bomber: In the minigame La Bomba, a player is performing Ground Pounds to open the crates that are being transported beneath them and unleash Bob-ombs onto the other three players, who are in the lower floor. The grey crates have only one Bob-omb, while the green ones have two and the red ones have four. The three rivals not only have to avoid the Bob-ombs' explosions, but also the spiked cylinders placed close to them. If the solo player manages to get rid of the three rivals then they'll win; but if at least one rival survives after 30 seconds, then the trio wins.
  • Maniac Monkeys: The minigame Apes of Wrath begins as two dueling characters eat apples... and a group of Ukikis watch them and get mad (since they own the territory and don't like others eating the surrounding fruits). Cue the characters running for their lives. Whoever gets captured by the Ukikis will lose the duel, and render the other player victorious.
  • Match-Three Game: There's a surprisingly in-depth Rare minigame that can be purchased on the Duty-Free Shop and is based around this genre. Stick 'n' Spin. A solo player has to spin a magnetic wheel to receive the color-coded balls that fall from a conveyor belt that was transporting them, and make it so five of the same color touch each other in chain form to make them disappear; when this is done, the number at the center of the wheel will decrease (by how much will depend on how many balls of the same color are chained, so positioning the balls strategically to prepare a huge chain reaction will be helpful). When the number reaches zero, the player completes the level and proceeds to the next one. After clearing five levels, the minigame introduces a gimmick or theme that adds a new layer of complexity to the gameplay, though the core rules remain the same. It's important not to lump too many balls in the same area, or else they'll end up crossing the upper perimeter above the sphere, which marks a threshold; if ten or more balls exceed that restricted line, the player will get a Game Over and have two options: To restart from a checkpoint (reached every five completed levels) with the current score halved, or to give up and restart from the first level (or simply quit). There are 100 levels in this minigame, divided into twenty quintets that have each a theme or gimmick (or in some cases a harder version of an existing one), which make up for what might be a whole Game Within a Game in and of itself.
  • The Maze: The minigame Battery Ram has two pairs of characters transporting a long battery canister across a toy-themed maze. The two characters have to navigate through the paths of the maze while working out how to make the canister fit through them. At certain points the character in the back side has to backtrack in order to help the character in the front side position the canister into diagonal corridors. The first team to take the battery to the rocket at the goal will win the minigame (and also enjoy a liftoff ride together).
  • Minigame Zone: Neon Heights features four different in-board minigames that the players can play to earn coins: A shooting gallery, a baseball minigame, a matching game, and a game where they have to launch a rocket.
  • Mythology Gag: This game has a DK minigame called "Jump, Man". Jumpman was Mario's first name in the original DK game, which this minigame plays similarly to (Toadsworth lampshades this in the minigame's description).
  • Nostalgia Level: The DK minigame Jump, Man has a solo player race against Donkey Kong in a vertical racetrack that replicates the first level of the arcade Donkey Kong game. The minigame's name is also a reference to one of Mario's alternate names during the development of that game.
  • Obstacle Ski Course: The minigame Snow Ride has all four players race in a prolonged, albeit straightforward slalom track. They have to keep an eye on the incoming archs so they can cross them, as clashing against the sideway walls will make them waste previous time. Whoever reaches the goal first wins.
  • Old Master: The Star Space on Pagoda Peak is overseen by a wise old Koopa kung fu master.
  • Pipe Maze: There's a Duel minigame based on this called Warp Pipe Dreams. The two dueling characters are in a field segmented with fences, and several pipes to travel between them. The objective is to navigate through it to reach the green pipe at the center, as it will teleport the winner into the goal.
  • Port Town: The board Grand Canal takes place in a city very reminiscent of Venice, Italy. The players move through wooden bridges, gondolas and piers, and one of the main attractions is a giant Blooper who runs a find-the-prize game with its tentacles. The goal is to reach a Star and pay 20 coins to get it, like in most boards in the series, but it's also the only board in the game that follows this rule (there's another board that does it to an extent, but it comes along with its own twist).
  • Proverbial Wisdom: The Koopa kung fu master of Pagoda Peak speaks in strange, meaningful-sounding sayings, and is also fond of calling the players "grasshopper."
  • Racing Minigame:
    • The minigame Fun Run has all four players race in a regal tower's spiral racetrack that goes gradually downward. Along the way, they have to dodge Spiny Shells, trapdoors and punching walls; being stunned by a Spiny Shell or falling down due to a trapdoor or a punching wall will make them waste time. Whoever reaches the goal first wins. Interestingly, the time of day transitions gradually as each player progresses, culminating with the night showing the moon in its waxing gibbous phase.
    • The minigame Kart Wheeled has all characters race in an infinity-shaped racetrack while driving karts. The objective is to complete five laps, and whoever does so first wins (the key for each player is to avoid clashing against other players or the borders, or else their speed will decrease as a result). If five minutes pass and no one manages to complete the five laps by then, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • There's a Duel minigame named Camp Ukiki. In it, the two dueling characters have to race through an obstacle course located in a jungle. There are no harmful hazards, but the setpieces present require efficiency to be tackled properly. Whoever reaches the goal first wins.
    • The minigame Buzzstormer has two teams of characters race against each other in a plain filled with tall dandelions while riding bumblebee-shaped planes. In each team, the two players have to coordinate their movements to avoid clashing against the dandelions' stems, as that would incapacitate their vehicle and make them waste time. The first team to reach the goal at the end wins.
    • The DK minigame A Bridge Too Short has a solo character race against Donkey Kong across a course with pairs of bridges. In each pair, one bridge is safe to cross while the other breaks when someone starts to walk onto it, forcing them to choose the other and waste time. The playe must win the race to win a prize.
    • The minigame Synch-row-nicity has four teams of players racing across a sea by driving gondolas. In each team, one character has to move the left oar while the other has to move the right one. They must coordinate their oar swings to move the vehicle forward, and the better the rhythm and timing the faster it'll move. The first duo to reach the goal wins.
  • Red/Green Contrast: Like in other Mario games, like Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Tennis, the lime green Yoshi and magenta Birdo are shown getting along well, and this time they share the same special Orb (the Egg).
  • Roaring Rapids: The minigame Mad Props has two dueling characters drive hovercrafts to race across the rapids of a forest; due to the water's speed, they have to keep an eye on the large rocks to avoid clashing against them. Whoever reaches the goal line first wins. The minigame Fish & Cheeps takes place in a part of this save river, but the water flows less rapidly so the dueling players can swim more easily; the main hazard, in this case, is the incoming Cheep Cheeps that must be evaded, as touching one will result in an instant elimination and render the other player victorious (though if both resist during 30 seconds, the minigame ends in a tie).
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: The minigame Big Dripper has all players visit a large honeycomb harvesting zone. The objective for each player is to use their jars to catch the falling drops of honey, but every few seconds they must duck to avoid being stung by the incoming large swarm of bees (the game will alert them when is the right moment to duck); if a player is stung, they'll be stunned and waste precious time. Whoever collects the most honey drops after 30 seconds is the victor, though two or even three can win if they're tied. Conversely, if all four gather the same amount, then nobody wins and the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Secret Character: Birdo and Dry Bones, who also debut in this game. They can be purchased in the Duty-Free Shop, and upon doing so they'll be playable in all modes.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Pyramid Park is a desert with many pyramids built within, in which Chain Chomps live. The board breaks the gameplay style, as the players have to pay the Chain Chomps to steal the rivals' stars (as all players already have them at hand since the start of the party session). Among the things Bowser can do here is to summon a large Tweester to ravage the bridges connecting the two halves of the board, requiring three turns for their repair. There's an oasis in the southwest, where players can collect coins in a moat while avoiding the bites of the local Klaptraps (of Donkey Kong Country fame). Lastly, if one reaches a palatial building and disturbs the Bowser Sphinx, he'll perform one of many possible curses (redistributing everyone's coins, swap the colors of the red and blue spaces, or halving the prices to ride the Chain Chomps.
  • Shooting Gallery:
    • One board-specific mini-game in Neon Heights has your character partake in this kind of game for the filming of a western movie. You earn coins for every Koopa Kid target you shoot, but if you shoot a Toadsworth target, the mini-game ends and you'll be left with nothing.
    • The minigame Dart Attack has each player use the Mic to shoot five darts at moving targets, with each one being placed further and moving faster but also granting more points; if a dart misses all targets, it won't gather any points. After a player uses all five darts or 15 seconds pass, it'll be the next player's turn. After all players play their turn, whoever scores the highest point will win.
    • The minigame Mathemortician has a nine-space target range, with each space identified with a number from 1 to 9 and having Pink Boos passing by them. Each player has 20 seconds to shoot as many such Boos as possible, with the crowned ones yielding three points; and they shoot by saying the numbers' names with the Mic (each projectile will be aimed at the number mentioned by the player). The key to success is to immediately say a number when a row of Boos is passing by it, or a crowned one is. When time expires, the next player's turn begins. Whoever scores the highest after each of them plays their turn wins.
    • The minigame Herbicidal Maniac has two pairs of characters shoot at Piranha Plants that are popping out of a network of Warp Pipes. Whichever team shoots all Piranha Plants in a round will earn a point, and the next batch will come for both teams to shoot; if a player accidentally hits a bomb, it will make more Piranha Plants pop up, giving their team a disadvantage. Whichever team scored three points first wins; but if 10 seconds pass in any round and neither team manages to shoot all Piranha Plants present, then the minigame will end in a tie.
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: The minigame Shock Absorbers (not the same one from Mario Party 5) has eight characters encased in electrical chambers with three buttons each (placed respectively at the left, right and top). The game will then make a button glow yellow, and that button has to be pressed quickly by each character in their chamber; the next button will then glow and have to be pressed as well. After a while, all three buttons will glow red, indicating that the characters have to duck to dodge an electrical discharge. If a character fails to dodge that discharge, presses an unlit button or takes too long to press any, they'll be electrocuted and disqualified. As time passes, the buttons will glow faster, thus requiring quicker reflexes. The minigame ends when one or both characters from a team are the last left, and victory will count for both of them; but if the last remaining characters are electrocuted at the same time, the minigame will end in a tie.
  • Slide Level:
    • The DK minigame Peel Out has all characters ride a wooden slide in which they can gather bananas to later trade them for coins. In each junction, the player has to decide where to go; which side takes them to more bananas is a matter of luck.
    • The minigame Gimme a Brake has eight players skate through a steep road slope, and then through a leveled road with the momentum gained prior. The objective is to stop skating as close to the dead end leading to a sandy pitfall as possible, and whoever does so will win and also render their partner victorious even if they fell down to the pitfall. The catch is that the current wheather will change considerably the best timing to reduce the skating speed: Stopping while skating a dry road is one thing, while trying to do the same in a frozen road or a wet one is another.
  • Sphere Factor: The trope-naming minigame appears in this game. Players are split into teams of two and have to cooperate in navigating a gigantic ball, via pushing it, through an obstacle course. Whichever team manages to take their ball to the goal first wins.
  • Spider Tank: The minigame Hop-O-Matic 4000 has two teams of characters riding each a massive four-legged vehicle across a street. In each team, the player on the left controls the back and front legs on their side, while the player on the right does the same with the nack and front legs on theirs. A character has to press a specific button marked on the screen to move a leg, and then it's the other character who has to press another button to move another leg. Once the characters move all four legs across the turns, the vehicle performs a large leap forward; they then repeat the sequence to prepare the next leap. If a player presses the wrong button, they'll waste time. The first team to take their vehicle to the goal line wins.
  • Spikes of Doom: There are a few minigames with spiky hazards, but the most explicit instance is Spinner Cell. A player is controlling both a spiked spinner and a bumping one, while the other three players have to dodge them. The solo player can use the bumping spinner to stun a rival and make them more vulnerable against the spiked one, as contact with it will eliminate them. If the solo player manages to pinch all three rivals then they win; but if at least one rival survives during 30 seconds, then the trio wins.
  • Studiopolis: The board Neon Heights, which takes place in a movie studio. The movies being filmed are a western film, a Sci-fi film, and a baseball film. This level's gimmick is that the Stars are hidden in one of three treasure chests, which Koopa Kid will open for ten coins. Other prizes in treasure chests will include extra coins, Bob-ombs that will take your coins away, and Dark Stars that will take your Stars away.
  • Super-Fun Happy Thing of Doom: Each of the Bowser minigames has a cheery-sounding Excited Episode Title! like "Funstacle Course!" or "Treasure Dome!", but they're all horrible obstacle courses with scary music and Bowser's minions shooting fire at you.
  • Swallow the Key: The Bowser minigame Tunnel of Lava! begins as a Mechakoopa eats a key, then leaves and returns with other 15 Mechakoopas; the solo player has to proceed to defeat them, as one of them is the one which has the key that opens the exit door. The problem is that some of them begin to breathe fire, and touching it will stun the player, wasting precious time (and the limit is only 30 seconds). The Mechakoopas will also march in a rotating pattern, making the timing to stomp them more difficult. Luckily, as soon as the player stomps the Mechakoopa that ate the key, the minigame ends succesfully.
  • Take It to the Bridge: The minigame Bridge Work puts two dueling characters in a wooden bridge over a river where several Cheep Cheeps are swimming, but many of which are jumping over the bridge. The objective for both players is to avoid being hit by the Cheep Cheeps to avoid losing, and as time passes more and bigger Cheeps will arrive. The last player standing wins, but the minigame ends in a tie if both resist during 30 seconds.
  • Tank Goodness: The minigame Think Thank has three players drive small tanks, while the fourth is driving a bigger one. The objective for the trio is to destroy the tank of the solo player, and viceversa. The small tanks have only 3 HP each, while the big one has 10 HP. There's no time limit, so the minigame will end when the solo player eliminates all three rivals or vice versa.
  • Temporary Platform:
    • The minigame The Final Countdown has all four players stand onto a large platform suspended several meters above a river flowing through a ravine. The platform is divided into nine tiles, each of which runs a different countdown that will make its tile open up after reaching zero. The players have to avoid standing on the tiles that hit zero, while also performing melee attacks onto each other for the sake of sabotaging. As the game's normal counter depletes, the tiles' countdowns will also approach zero more quickly, making it more likely for players to fall down. The last player standing is the victor, though more than one can win if they can survive after 30 seconds. If the last players remaining fall down at the same time, one of them is selected randomly as the winner.
    • The minigame Gimme A Sign has two dueling characters stand each on a row of four platforms with color-coded figures drawn on them. At the center between both is a wooden pier with a Shy Guy holding some flags. When the minigame starts, the Shy Guy will raise a flag with a specific drawing, and the two platforms that match the figure (one per row) will lower onto the river's water level; the players must avoid standing there or else the water will drag them, making them lose. The Shy Guy then raises another flag, making the sunken platform rise again while lowering the one whose figure matches that of the new flag. As time passes, the Shy Guy will raise two flags at the same time, meaning that two platforms in each row will lower; in addition, the Shy Guy will raise and lower flags more rapidly, requiring better reaction and reflexes for the players to jump onto the safe platforms. The player who falls into the water loses and renders the other the victor; but if both players resist during 30 seconds, or both fall down at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: The minigame Pokey Pummel has each player use a mallet to deep-six a very tall Pokey, segment by segment until the head at the top is hit away. Whoever manages to do it first wins, but if five minutes pass and nobody manages to do it, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Tightrope Walking: The minigame Rope A Dope has four pairs of characters cross, respectively, pairs of jagged corridors suspended above a bottomless pit. In each pair, one character runs across the blue corridor while the other runs across the orange one; the catch is that both characters are tied to each other by color-coded ropes, so they must coordinate their motion to avoid either character pulling another into the pit above them, as that would also drag the other character downward due to the rope tying them.
  • Torture Cellar: The minigame Wheel of Woe pits three characters inside an underground torture room inside a dungeon. The fourth player attempts to eliminate the trio by performing various actions with the Mic, namely shooting Bullet Bills from cannons, opening jails to unleash Chain Chomps, or asking the nearby Shy Guy to reverse the spinning direction of the floor (which has holes leading to a bottomless pit). The solo player wins if they manage to eliminate all rivals, but the trio will win instead if at least one of them survives during 30 seconds.
  • Under the Sea: The minigame Be My Chum has three characters swimming within the area of a coral reef next to a stranded submarine, while the fourth player is in a small cove in the surface using the Mic to summon several enemies (most of them aquatic) to eliminate the rivals upon contact. The solo player wins if all three rivals are defeated, but the trio will win if at least one of them resists during 30 seconds.
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: You can purchase the Brutal difficulty in the Duty-Free Shop with the mileage points you accumulate in the other modes.
  • Whack-a-Monster: In the minigame Monty's Revenge, the players have to pop their heads out of the holes for as long as possible without getting whacked by the moles.
  • Windmill Scenery: Windmillville is a cheery Holland-inspired map with windmills that you invest in to get stars. Each windmill will be owned by whoever player deposits the most coins in it, and the number of stars it has will be marked at the top of its entrance. The paths to the windmills are difficult to navigate, as they can only be crossed if the tulips' buds are open (and whenever a player crosses them, they'll close and make the other path's tulips open).
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: At the end of the 8-Player Ice Battle mode, an aurora is visible to symbolize the celebration of the winning duo (before then, the weather is so harsh that the sky is very misty).
  • Wutai: Pagoda Peak is a board set in a gray mountain located in the Far East, featuring many Chinese motifs and many activities based on kung fu training. This board's gimmick is that the Star is always located in the same place (namely the mountain's top where a Koopa master awaits), but the price to pay goes up every time someone reaches the top of the peak or a gong is hit when a player lands onto a certain Event Space, going from 10, to 20, to 30, to 40, until it resets back to 10.