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Mario Party DS is a video game published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS in 2007. It's the second handheld installment in the Mario Party series, and the only one on the DS. It is the final Mario Party game to be developed by the series' original developer, Hudson Soft, and for the next 11 years it would also be the final installment to employ the classic formula of the series.

This game focuses around "shrinking" as a theme, and incorporates boards and minigames being made out of normal-sized objects. As revealed in Story Mode, this is because Bowser ends up tricking Mario and his friends into accepting an invitation to his castle for a feast as an apology for all his wrongdoings and, when he gets them right where he wanted, he uses a Magic Wand called the Minimizer to shrink them; Kamek proceeds to throw them away, giving Bowser time to look for certain magical stones called the Sky Crystals, which fell from the skies the previous night. The gang now has to make their way to Bowser's Castle for revenge, but due to their smaller size the trip won't be so easy, and along the way they'll find characters who are facing their own troubles. Since said characters happen to have seized the Sky Crystals, they accept to give them to Mario and and company as rewards for helping them.

Being developed for the Nintendo DS, the game takes advantage of the touch screen and microphone for their use in several minigames, of which there are 73. There are only five party boards, being tied with Mario Party Superstars as the game with the second-lowest amount of boards (the one with the lowest amount overall is Super Mario Party, which has only four). However, the game improves upon its handheld predecessor (Mario Party Advance) by supporting multiplayer tailored for up to four players, and only one of them needs to have the game. Like in Mario Party 4, each board has its own host, though a unseen narrator also covers events.

Instead of Orbs or Candies like in the numbered installments past Mario Party 4, this game brings back traditional items for use in the boards. However, there are also purple talismans known as Hexes which can be thrown into board spaces to trigger a negative effect onto whoever lands onto them (the owner of the throw Hex is exempt from it, however); there are also two Hexes with positive effects (Star Block and Coin Block) which are gold-colored, and benefit anyone who lands onto it, including the owner. Also, though previous Mario Party games featured sporadic boss minigames, this one makes them a major focus, as in Story Mode, there's a boss associated with each board, and it'll be necessary to defeat them after becoming a Superstar in the boards to help or save a troubled character and receive one of the Sky Crystals as a reward. Once the Story Mode is completed for the first time, a Boss Rush mode is unlocked to challenge the bosses back-to-back in succession and try to defeat them in the shortest period possible to set a record.

Finally, the game was re-released on the Virtual Console of the Wii U in April 2016.

This game provides examples of:

  • Achievement System: Each collectible item requires completing a specific achievement. Many of them are self-explanatory (though not necessarily easy or time-saving), but others are based on unintuitive or non-obvious actions.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: In the minigame Dust Buddies, all players have to flee from a vacuum cleaner that is approaching them. As they run forward, various objects like ribbons, buttons and balls will be sucked in, and the characters have to avoid them accordingly as well. The last player standing wins, though more than one can win if they reach the goal line at the end; conversely, if the last remaining players are sucked by the cleaner at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Anthropomorphic Typography: Toadette's Music Room gives the role of selling stars to musical notes. Each note uses words that start with letters that correspond to it when speaking and gives a different price.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Even on higher difficulties, A.I.-controlled competitors sometimes make inexcusably dumb decisions.
    • If an A.I. character lands on a friend field, they will always pick the last player to receive 5 coins alongside them - even if said player is right in front of the star field and gets enough coins to get the star with it.
    • The Grab Bag is an item that lets the user steal an item from another player. You can select the player to be stolen from, but which item you get it random. A.I. players won't even look at the items themselves; instead, they will always steal from the player with the highest port number who has any item at all.
    • If a star is just a few fields after an item shop, the A.I. characters sometimes buy so many items from the shop that they end up with insufficient funds to actually buy the star just ahead of them.
  • Band Land: Toadette's Music Room. It takes place inside the place where Toadette practices music, and the board's paths pass over (or next to) several instruments like drums, trumpets, a piano and a cello. In this board, the Stars are sold by sentient musical notes, one at a time, and each one sells it for a different price (ranging from 5 to 30 coins). In Story Mode, Toadette asks the gang to defeat Hammer Bro., who is messing with the instruments and is so careless that he may end up breaking them.
  • Banister Slide: The minigame Rail Riders has the players slide downward across a staircase's handrail. Since the characters have a reduced size in this game, sliding across the handrail is almost like sliding across a snowy mountain for them. The first player to reach the bottom wins.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Kamek's Library. It's a haunted location with several book stacks, which make up for some of the board's playable paths, as well as a crystal ball Kamek can use to bring misfortune to whoever lands onto one of its nearby Event Spaced. There's also an astral sphere in which a character can draw a constellation to win a random prize (30 Coins, a Star Pipe, or a Star). Like in Neon Heights from Mario Party 7, the Star is hidden in one of the three winged vases that hover in specific parts of the board, while the other vases have either five coins or a spell that sends the player back from start (the price for opening any vase is the same: 10 Coins). In Story Mode, a Koopa Troopa asks the gang to defeat Kamek (who is The Dragon to Bowser in the game) in order to free his grandfather, who is held captive inside a book.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After the shrunken heroes have a few rounds of "fun" in Bowser's pinball machine, he decides to use his rod to shrink them even further. Cue Donkey Kong bursting into the castle, disarming Bowser, and stomping on the rod, restoring everyone to normal. By accident.
  • Boss Rush: The "Boss Bash" mode, where you get to fight the bosses of Story Mode in order as a Time Trial. You don't have to worry about restocking or having to fight the bosses on reduced health — but you DO have to beat them all in a row or you'll fail the entire minigame.
  • Bowdlerise: Due to South Korean content laws, the Korean version of the game removed two minigames themed around simulated gambling, namely Shuffleboard Showdown and Chips and Dips. Also, a part of Bowser's Pinball Machine was changed to replace its gambling-themed event into a whack-a-mole board challenge.
  • Cartoon Meat: The minigame "Rotisserie Rampage" has a team of three try to stay on top of a cylindrical cut, while the solo player tries to spin them off. If all players from the trio fall down, the solo player wins; but if at least one of the trio's players manages to stand atop the meat for 30 seconds, then the trio wins.
  • Casino Park: Bowser's Pinball Machine. Also doubles as Pinball Zone, obviously. It takes place inside a large, elaborate pinball machine onto which Mario and his friends are put by Bowser. It has several assets like a trap zone in which a character can lose all their coins and Stars if they land on any of the surrounding Event Spaces, a jackpot that can potentially reward a player with lots of money, flippers that knock a player all the way to the top of the board, and a roulette where a player can gamble for coins (this part is replaced with a Whack-a-Mole minigame in the Korean version, possibly due to the gambling themes present). The Star obtainment is the same as in Wiggler's Flower Garden, namely the classic style. In Story Mode, after the player wins the board, a series of events happen and all characters return to their normal size, and the Superstar confronts Bowser in the game's Final Boss battle.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: At the start of Story Mode after receiving Bowser's invitation, Donkey Kong runs off first. After getting turned to stone and freed, DK continues his run and is the one who destroys the Minimizer after knocking it from Bowser.
  • Clockworks Area: The minigame All Geared Up takes place inside the internal structure of a wall clock. The players have to climb it by jumping across the cogs and moving platforms. Whoever reaches the topmost platform first wins.
  • Collection Sidequest: There's a wide array of trophies, figurines and badges that can be unlocked by completing achievements related to the game's various modes. Specifically, there are 30 Character Trophies, 71 Board Features, 25 Boss Trophies, and 30 Badges.
  • Console Cameo: After completing Story Mode, a special minigame is unlocked. It appears on the main menu as an item roughly in the shape of a Nintendo DS.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: The minigame Fast Food Frenzy has three characters trying not to get dragged by a fast food shop's conveyor belt into another which will take them away from the area. The fourth player drags multiple fast food products (such as burgers, hot dogs, French fries, drink cups, pancakes, and ice cream cups) in order to obstruct the rivals and potentially drive them away into their defeat. The solo player wins if they succeed in their objective, while the trio wins if at least one of them manages to resist during 30 seconds.
  • Dance-Off: In the minigame Boogie Beam, all players are standing over the lower border of a billboard and dance while listening to the Underground theme of Super Mario Bros.. From time to time, one or more characters will be illuminated by a source of light, and those characters have to show a specific pose while the others (who aren't being illuminated) have to show another. Showing the correct pose yields one point. After 30 seconds, whoever scores the most points wins.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Upon arriving at Bowser's Castle, Mario and the others Remembered Too Late that they're still shrunken with no way to tackle Bowser, which led to them getting captured again and placed in his pinball machine. It’s only through blind luck note  that they manage to beat Bowser.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Bowser reveals the Megamorph Belt out of nowhere right before the Final Boss.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: During the ending of Story Mode, the Sky Crystals are revealed to be components of a magical Nintendo DS that has a game called Triangle Twisters embedded to it.
  • Distress Ball: Everyone picks up one in the prologue of Story Mode. Notice how their archenemy just invited them all to dinner. He's tried to take over the world, kidnap them, and kill them all in the past... but hey, free food!
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: This is the first game in the series to have boss battles other than a Final Boss (usually Bowser). Unlike the future games in the series, however, the bosses have a certain amount of hit points instead of a health gauge and don't turn red when their health drops to half or below, instead becoming harder with every hit. The boss minigames are also single-player games instead of four-player games.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite Bowser's wrongdoings (shrinking Mario and his friends, trapping them into a malevolent pinball machine, trying to shrink them further to crush them and potentially kill them, and finally trying to use his Megamorph Belt to defeat the winner of the pinball party session in a Final Boss battle), Mario eventually lets him and Bowser Jr. play Triangle Twisters with the gang.
  • Excuse Plot: Each of their boards has their own little mini-arc with a problem that Mario and friends have to solve.
    • Wiggler's Garden: A jerk Piranha Plant is ruining the Garden.
    • Toadette's Music Room: A Hammer Brother is harassing Toadette and beating up all her instruments with his hammers.
    • DK's Stone Statue: Dry Bones turned Donkey Kong into a statue and Diddy Kong asks for the gang's help.
    • Kamek's Library: Kamek imprisoned a Koopa Troopa's Grandfather Koopa Krag inside of a book.
  • Fake Longevity: Getting all collectible trophies and figurines will require repeating long, arduous actions multiple times. For example, you have to complete Story Mode with each playable character to earn their respective trophies, you have to defeat each boss multiple times to get all their trophies, and collect up to fifty-thousand MP points to get all the badges.
  • Fast Tunneling: There's a minigame called Mole Thrill where the characters have to dig a tunnel quickly to avoid being caught by a Monty Mole.
  • Feed It a Bomb: The Piranha Plant boss is defeated by grabbing one of the Bomb Seeds it pulls down and shoots at the player's character, then throwing it back when it starts inhaling to get more. After each hit, the Plant will inhale air with greater strength than before to attempt to swallow the player, which requires extra effort to avoid being eaten.
  • First-Person Snapshooter: Camera Shy is a minigame where each player's objective is to take a picture of all other players while looking for them within a cornfield maze. In Duel mode, all it takes is for one dueling character to take a snapshoot of the other. The shot has to show the targeted character in the right position, which is then signaled by the camera's lens in the touchscreen changing their color from red to green. Whoever manages to achieve the objective first wins; but if four minutes pass and no character manages to get a shot of all other three (or the sole opponent in Duel mode), the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Fishing Minigame: In the minigame Cheep Cheep Chance, all characters are standing atop a beach float that has several ropes to capture the swimming Cheep Cheeps with. Each player has to choose and rope and hope that it's one of the ropes that get a Cheep Cheep upward when it's lifted. If it isn't, the player will lose the balance and fall onto the water, losing the minigame; if it is, the player wins. It's possible for more than one player to win as long as less than four do or unless there are only two players in Duel mode; otherwise, the minigame will end in a tie.
  • Game of Chicken: In a Battle minigame, Short Fuse, each player takes turns blowing out a Cartoon Bomb's fuse to shorten it until it finally runs out, eliminating the current blower. The bomb also explodes if the current player refuses to blow at all, so each player has to risk being eliminated via the fuse running out to avoid the guaranteed elimination, which the in-game text lamsphades.
  • Ghost Leg Lottery: The minigame Shortcut Circuit has all characters walk over paths made of computer chips to gather coins (with red ones being worth five each). Each player starts walking a path, but because all coins are placed between the paths and not within them, the player has to grab them by placing adjacent bridges, which are color-coded for each character, so the coins can be grabbed and the characters moves onto a path that is parallel (and next) to theirs. The bridges are placed with the stylus in the touch screen. If a character clashes with another, the former has to wait until the latter passes by before entering their path.
  • Gimmick Level: Much less prominently than in the post-5 installments, but some boards still shake up the Star obtainment formula with inspiration from past boards, with the exception of Wiggler's Garden and Bowser's Pinball Machine following the classic "find the Star and pay 20 Coins to get it" :
    • Toadette's Music Room has Stars being sold at increasing prices that reset like in Pagoda Peaks from "7", but this time they're being sold from sentient music notes players have to locate around the board like in the classic formula. Prices start at 5 coins and can go up to a max of 30 before the cycle is reset. If a player lands on a ? space next to a metronome, the Star will relocate to a new spot at the next highest price.
    • DK's Stone Statue works like Faire Square from Mario Party 6: the Star is always placed in the upper left corner, and a player can buy more than one if they have enough money to do so.
    • Kamek's Library takes inspiration from Neon Heights from Mario Party 7, with three winged green pots floating around the board. They can be opened for 5 coins each, and either contains a Star, five coins, or will automatically take you back to the start.
  • Green Hill Zone: Wiggler's Garden. This board takes place inside a sprawling yard garden where flowers, bushes and tulips are being nurtured; other features include a portable shower and a Piranha Plant that shoots a fireball at whoever lands on a nearby Event Space. The Stars are reached and purchased in classic Mario Party fashion. In Story Mode, Wiggler asks the gang to defeat a Piranha Plant that is causing a mess in the garden.
  • Ground Pound: The minigame Memory Mash requires two teams of players to pound onto large face-down cards to reveal their images. It will only count when a team pounds a pair of cards showing the same image; otherwise, the cards will face down once again. The first team to unveil four matches wins; but if neither team manages to get four pairs in five minutes or if both teams get their respective fourth pairs at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Guide Dang It!: Some of the collectible items have their unlocking conditions hidden, requiring you to figure out what to do to get them. And these conditions are often very cryptic, such as placing first in a board after collecting a specific badge, getting 50 Stars in DK's Stone Statue or collecting all the ones based off of the board features and then placing first in the non-Boss Rush modes six times.
  • Hedge Maze: The minigame Hedge Honcho has all characters, in their reduced size, navigate through a sequence of miniature rows of hedges to reach a pond. In each row, each player has to remove the obstructing leaves by sliding them to a specific side with the stylus. If a bee is posed in one of the leaves, the player has to wait until it flies away, as touching it will provoke the bee and attack the player, stunning them for a brief while. If it's a ladybug, it has to be rubbed several times with the stylus to remove it. Whoever reaches the pond first wins; if five minutes pass and no one gets there before then, or if two characters do so at the same time in Duel mode, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Hollywood Skydiving: In the minigame Parachutin' Gallery, the players are falling hundreds of meters onto the ground after standing on the top of a huge overgrown beanstalk. As they fall, they can steer freely to attempt to pass through color-coded tiles within floating grounds to earn points (in each case, the required tile is shown in the game's top screen). Near the end of the minigame, they deploy leaves to reduce speed, though they're clearly still several meters above the ground.
  • Hot Potato:
    • The minigame Short Fuse has each player taking turns blowing a Cartoon Bomb's fuse, which shortens it until it runs out, eliminating the current player. Refusing to blow at all also eliminates the current player. Another bomb then comes, repeating the process among remaining players until the last one remains.
    • The minigame Boo Tag has all players standing atop a huge amount of treasure within an open chest. A Boo appears and begins to chase the character who is closest to it. If that character is caught, a timer associated with them will start and the character will have to touch another to get rid of it, prompting that character to have their timer run and look for someone to pass the Boo to them. Near the end of the minigame, another Boo will appear, further complicating things. After 30 seconds, whoever got attached to a Boo for the least amount of time wins. A unique trait is that the character tagged with a Boo can phase through solid objects (including the gold ingots), allowing them to get into another character more easily.
  • Human Snowman: In the minigame “Gusty Blizzard”, three characters have to resist a blizzard caused by one character, being covered in more snow the colder they get until they’re frozen into a snowman.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: The game's premise has Bowser baiting the playable characters into a trap and shrinking them with a magic staff called the Minimizer. Thus, almost everything in the game is a Macro Zone, with boards such as DK's Stone Statue (actually Donkey Kong himself turned to stone) and Bowser's Pinball Machine (Exactly What It Says on the Tin), and minigames like Study Fall (a Game of Chicken where the goal is to stop as low as possible on a blackboard) and Rail Riders (where the players get speed sliding down a staircase bannister to see who can jump the farthest across a foyer). Donkey Kong shattering the Minimizer near the end of the story results in the effects reversing, and ultimately the final boss battle and ending sequence have your character at normal size for the first time since the introduction cutscene.
  • It's Up to You: The only way to advance in the Story Mode is if you, the player, are the winner of the series's signature battles royale that make up much of the chapters. If one of the CPU players is the winner, a cutscene plays where the character goes off to fight the boss of the chapter...only to fail miserably, followed by a message that reads something along the lines of: "(Character) could not defeat (Boss)! Only you can defeat (Boss)!" There's a slight humor factor in watching Mario or Luigi going off to fight Bowser only to lose because either Toad, Peach or Waluigi are the only ones allowed to fight Bowser and actually win.
  • Jungle Japes: DK's Stone Statue. The board is placed in the midst of a jungle where Donkey Kong, turned into a stone statue by a curse cast onto him by a Dry Bones. The board's paths go through the dirt ground as well as two mossy tree logs (one of which is being sustained by Donkey Kong in his statue form); features include a large barrel which (upon a player landing onto a certain Event Space) will begin rolling and crushing any character on its way (making them lose money in the process), ropes that connect the logs and can be used as shortcuts, a beehive from which bees holding coins come out when a nearby Event Space is landed on, and some mushrooms. The Star is always purchased in the same spot, and a character can purchase more than one for 20 Coins apiece (like in Faire Square from Mario Party 6). In Story Mode, Diddy asks the gang to defeat Dry Bones to return DK to normal.
  • Level Ate: The minigame Cherry-Go-Round has all characters wield double cherries while standing onto the edge of a large cake (which in turn is located inside a bakery shop). Each player has to spin repeatedly during five seconds to throw their double cherry as far away across the cake as possible. Whoever manages to throw their double cherry the farthest wins; but if no one manages to throw theirs or if two characters attain the same throw distance in Duel mode, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Dry Bones falls to pieces after getting beaten.
  • Locomotive Level: The minigame Track Star has three characters fleeing from a train that is being driven by the fourth, who in turn has to run over them. Prior to reaching a fork, both the train driver and each of the running characters have three seconds to decide whether to go to the left or the right. If a running character runs onto a path different from the one chosen by the train, they'll be safe until the converge point; if the train driver chooses the same path as a running character, then the latter has to press two randomly-designated buttons repeatedly during five seconds to run faster and avoid getting caught, while the driver has to press the A button repeatedly during the same period to speed up the train. When the driver and any remaining characters(s) reach a unified track, the process is repeated. In the event two or three running characters survive and end up choosing different paths on the third fork, the train driver will automatically lose, as there won't be a way they can get rid of all characters no matter what.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: The first three bosses (Piranha Plant, Hammer Bro. and Dry Bones) have to be defeated because they're causing problems unrelated to Bowser's wrongdoings, and just happen to disturb other characters in different ways. Kamek is the only boss prior to Bowser who is aligned to the latter's evil machinations (even then, the main characters' motivation to defeat him is because he was also causing trouble to two friendly Koopas who had no relation to the story's central conflict otherwise).
  • Luck-Based Mission: The minigame Chips and Dips, fittingly for its gambling-based theme, relies solely on luck. Each player selects a facedown card from a scattered deck; when everybody makes their choice, one by one the cards are flipped, and the number shown by each card will determine how many chips will be stacked on the spot corresponding to the character who chose it. The next deck comes to distribute the next batch of cards and the process is repeated, and so on during three rounds. In the last one, one of the cards will show Bowser's face, and if someone inadvertently chooses it then the number of chips in their stack will be reduced to half (plus one if the total is odd-numbered). When the minigame ends, whoever got the highest stack of chips wins.
  • Macro Zone: Bowser uses his Minimizer to shrink Mario and his friends, so they have to travel to Bowser's castle to defeat Bowser and reverse the spell. In keeping with the game's theme of Mario and his friends being shrunken, the five boards are Wiggler's Garden, Toadette's Music Room, DK's Stone Statue, Kamek's Library, and Bowser's Pinball Machine. Several minigames also take place within mundane, normal-sized objects or locations that only seem big due to the main characters' reduced size.
  • Magic Librarian: One of the boards is a library owned by Kamek, Bowser's right-hand Evil Sorcerer. He also serves as the boss of this board in Story Mode, and to defeat him you must stain his face with your pen's ink, causing him to make a temper tantrum that makes several books fall until one of them falls into his head. Repeating this tactic three times will defeat him.
  • Magic Music: The minigame Call of the Goomba has all players attempt to lure as many Goombas as possible by turning a crank to play the Super Mario Bros. Ground Theme with an organ-like instrument. The exact speed and tempo the song has to be played at are shown at the start of the minigame (it can be slow, medium or fast). The more accurate a player's performance is, the more Goombas will be lured into them. Whoever has the largest Goomba crowd after 30 seconds wins, though it's possible for more than one character to win if the amount of Goombas is the same for them; however, if this happens with two players in Duel mode, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The trend is inverted; every boss except Bowser is larger than usual, due to the cast being shrunk. Prior to the Final Boss battle, all the main characters (including the one you're playing as) return to their original size, thus settling the final duel on equal grounds.
  • Memory Match Mini-Game: The minigame "Memory Mash" features teams of two race to claim four pairs of matching cards before the other, flipping them over by ground pounding.
  • Minecart Madness: A unique variation with the minigame Hanger Management where two teams of characters, instead of driving minecarts to travel across rails, are traveling with cloth hangers across wires placed in a house's yard. In each team, the characters have to use their weight to lean the hanger to one side in order to avoid obstacles (getting hit by them will stop briefly the hanger, making them waste time), or position mutually in the center to gain extra speed. In Duel mode, only two players participate and each of them is riding their own hanger. The first team/duelist who reaches the goal wins, but the minigame ends in a tie if both reach there at the same time or neither manages to do so after five minutes.
  • Monster of the Week: In Story Mode, while on-route to Bowser's Castle, Mario and the group assist an ally when they're being troubled by one of the usual series enemies at each area.
  • Mood Whiplash: Though very rare, it is possible to end a minigame with a tie and break its current record at the same time. When this happens, the game first announces that there's a new record with a triumphant fanfare, and then announces the tie with a somber tone.
  • Mook Promotion: The Incredible Shrinking Man plot of Story Mode allows for boss roles by a Piranha Plant, Hammer Bro. and Dry Bones.
  • Mouse World: The plot of the story mode involves Bowser shrinking the player characters to mouse size, and the boards and even the minigames reflect this by using various everyday objects at relatively-giant sizes.
  • Mythology Gag: The sheet music at the start of Toadette's Music Room is from "Let's Get a Move On," a minigame track from Mario Party 3.
  • No Ontological Inertia: DK destroying the Minimizer reverts the playable characters back to normal size.
  • Nostalgia Level: With the exception of Triangle Twisters, which is completely new and is unlocked upon completion of Story Mode, all minigames in the Puzzle category are brought from previous games in the series: Mario's Puzzle Party from Mario Party 3, Bob-omb Breakers from Mario Party 4, Piece Out from Mario Party 5, Block Star from Mario Party 6, and Stick 'n' Spin from Mario Party 7. Each of them has the same music track (Think It Out) and they are also all Single-player which means Puzzle Party plays like Puzzle Party Pro. In addition, it's the first time since 6 where Thwomps have their 64 design instead of their modern day looks.
  • Obstacle Ski Course: The minigame Nothing to Luge has all players racing through the snowy tracks of a sleigh (they fit in due to their reduced size). One character is racing across the one at the right while using a wooden spoon, while the other three race across the one in the left while using a wooden shoe. The trio has to coordinate their controls in order to overcome the curves along the way. Whoever (whether the solo player or the rival trio) reaches the bottom of the hill first wins; but if neither side manages to do so after five minutes or both get there at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Oddball in the Series: Ironically, since all other handheld games altered the classic formula of the series, this makes DS the oddball among those handheld titles for not making any major changes and maintaining the original formula seen in all numbered console installments before 9 as well as Super and Superstars.
  • Palatial Sandcastle: The goal of the minigame Roller Coaster is to be the first to reach a sandcastle built at the end of a sandbox. It's actually a normal-sized sandcastle, but it looks big and imposing for the playable characters due to their reduced size.
  • Phantom-Zone Picture: Koopa Krag, an elderly Koopa, was trapped into a book by Kamek prior to the events of the game. His grandson asks Mario and his friends to defeat Kamek to revert the spell and free the troubled character.
  • Plot Coupon: The Sky Crystals, which fell from the sky and are now in hands of different characters. Mario and his friends receive the first four Crystals as reward for helping them, while the fifth is retrieved from Bowser.
  • Pinball Zone: Bowser's Pinball Machine takes place inside a normal-sized pinball machine that looks huge for the main characters due to their reduced size. It has several contraptions that require careful navigation and planning, because a misstep can completely ruin a character's prospect to become the Superstar.
  • Proactive Boss: Each of the bosses does double duty as a board hazard for the board that leads up to them, doing something to harass the players when they land on certain Event Spaces.
  • Puzzle Boss: To defeat the boss Dry Bones, the challenger has to press the magical switches indicated in the touch screen, and do so in the hinted order. Doing this will activate a hex attack that will cause damage to Dry Bones. Which buttons have to be pressed varies in each battle, but the number of switches pressed is fixed: One for the first hit, two for the second and three for the third.
  • Racing Minigame:
    • The minigame Domino Effect has all characters hop between planks positioned next to each other in a row. A specific button has to be pressed to jump onto each next plank, and pressing another button will make the player hesitate and waste time. Shortly after the minigame begins, the first plank will fall down, making the ones next to it fall one by one in a domino pattern (hence the minigame's name); a player who gets caught by this will fall down and be disqualified. Whoever reaches the goal line first wins; if all players get caught by the domino fall or reach the goal line at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • The minigame Pedal Pushers has all characters driving go-karts across a toy racetrack. Each player has to rapidly press the pedals in an alternating sequence (the left pedal is controlled with the + Control Pad and the right one with the A/B/X/Y buttons) to drive quickly, but has to reduce the rhythm when driving over icy layers to avoid losing balance and getting stunned for a brief period. Whoever completes the lap first wins, but if five minutes pass without anyone managing to do that or if two players in Duel mode get there at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • The minigame Twist and Route has all players driving windup cars across a wooden floor. Each player has to twist the windup keys with the stylus in the touch screen to make their car move forward, and then steer it with the + Control Pad or the A and B buttons. Along the way, they'll find obstacles like notepads, clock plates, nails, pens, cogs, etc. Whoever reaches the goal line first wins; but if five minutes pass and no one gets there, or if two characters do so at the same time in Duel mode, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • In the minigame Raft Riots, the players are driving motorized rafts to race through an aquatic circuit with orange buoys that serve as obstacles. There are multi-colored rafts that boost a driver's speed. The first player to complete a lap wins; but if five minutes pass and no one manages to complete the race, or everyone finishes at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • In the minigame Soil Toil, two teams of characters are each driving a dual-driver car to race through an area with mud patches where onions and carrots are being harvested. Each driver has to spin their side's front wheel (done with the stylus in the touch screen) to advance, though balance is important so the car doesn't merely steer into a side. The first team to reach the goal line wins.
  • Remembered Too Late: Occurs when Mario and the gang finally make it to Bowser's castle only to realize they're still shrunk, so Bowser and Bowser Jr. grab them and put them into their pinball machine.
  • Rise to the Challenge: One of the minigames is called "Crater Crawl". In it, Mario and his friends are inside a volcano, trying to climb to the top as the lava inside it rises. Pressing the A button repeatedly makes them climb, and they also have to watch out for pillars of lava that shoot up, which are indicated by bubbles. The longer at least two players survive, the faster the lava will bubble.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: DS is infamous for having incredibly volatile gameplay even by Mario Party standards. The small size of the boards combined with the relative availability of incredibly broken items and numerous means to get multiple Stars at once means it is entirely within the realm of possibility to go from last place to first or vice versa in a single turn if you get lucky enough.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: This is one of the few Mario Party games (the others being Advance and the GCN installments) to have received a G8+/PG rating for "mild gambling references" in Australia. Every other game in the series (before and since) received a G rating.
  • Schmuck Banquet: The game starts with Mario getting a microscopic shard known as a Sky Crystal, and on cue, Kamek flies over the Mushroom Kingdom, dropping invitations from Bowser to a banquet as an apology for his antagonism. The invitations also land in the hands of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, who rush over to Bowser's Castle for the food, only for Donkey Kong to be turned to stone by Kamek. Mario and his friends arrive at Bowser's Castle, and as promised, the banquet is laid out in the open, but this turns out to be a trap for all eight guests to be locked behind a cage, be shrunk by Bowser, and have Mario's Sky Crystal be stolen. Come the end of the game, the entire banquet is devoured by the Kongs.
  • Sequential Boss: Bowser, unlike the other bosses, changes tactics after he takes enough damage during the Final Boss battle. Prior to it, he wears the Megamorph Belt to turn into a spinning top made of blocks, with the weak point (a gold block with Bowser's face engraved) being near the, well, top; after shooting lots of fireballs, it loses momentum and the side with the weak point falls down, giving the player a chance to punch it several times. Afterwards, Bowser transforms into a 9x9 Rubik-style block arrangement, with the weak point being located in one of the sides; the character has to wait until that side is shown properly so the weak point can be reached and punched. Finally, Bowser transforms into a snake-shaped arrangement, with the weak point being the head; some of the other blocks will shoot fireballs, as will do the weak point for a while; the character has to wait until the right moment to hit it, and also watch out for the fire it may suddenly exhale to avoid taking damage.
  • Shooting Gallery:
    • In the minigame Hot Shots, all characters have to use bows to shoot arrows at targets showing Kamek's face (worth 20 points each) as well as Bowser's face (worth 100 points each). Targets showing Toadette's face appear as well, but they must not be shot as doing so will substract 30 points. Whoever achieves the highest score first wins; but if all characters have the same score, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • In the minigame Crazy Crosshairs, two teams of character have to shoot at Scuttlebugs hanging near a spider web to score points. The catch is that each axis of the crosshair (horizontal and vertical) they're aiming with is controlled by one of the characters, and the projectiles aim at the point where the two axis intersect; therefore, coordination is important to aim properly at the Scuttlebugs and shoot at them before they rise back. After 30 seconds, whichever team shot at more Scuttlebugs wins; but if both get the same score, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game:
    • The minigame Sweet Sleuth has a Shy Guy ask the players for candies, which are initially placed in a dish. During 30 seconds, the Shy Guy will ask for a candy of a particular color, shape and wrapper pattern; thus, each character has to keep an eye on the candies placed in the dish to give him the right one and score a point apiece. Whoever gets the highest score after time runs out wins; if two characters get the same score in Duel mode, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • The boss minigame Hammer Chime, which pits the player against Hammer Bro, involves matching his drum beats to send back an attack to deal damage.
  • Slide Level: The minigame Rail Riders has all characters slide downward through a staircase's handrail to perform a long jump at the end. The character who manages to reach the farthest spot of the floor wins.
  • Sphere Factor: The minigame Roller Coasters has all characters maneuvering small toy balls to race across a sandbox to reach a sandcastle at the end. Along the way, they'll find obstacles like shovels, buckets, moving toy trucks, and building toy blocks. The first player to reach the castle wins. If two or more players get there at the same time (or just two players in Duel mode), the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Squashed Flat:
    • In the minigame Whomp-a-thon, all players are in a sand pit that is surrounded by four Whomps. When the minigame starts, the Whomps will move sideways and one of them will eventually fall down, potentially crushing a character and leaving a hole in the sand with the shape of their body; the Whomp gets up and they all resume their motion until another one falls down, and so on during 30 seconds. The holes left by the crushed characters will obstruct the remaining ones, thus making the evasion of the Whomp crushes more difficult. The last player remaining wins, though it's possible for more than one to win if they survive for 30 seconds. Conversely, if the last remaining players get crushed at the same time, or two players survive in Duel mode, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • The objective of the minigame Toppling Terror for each team is to prevent this from happening to them. A Whomp is placed in the middle, while one team of playable characters is in front of it and the other is behind. In each team, two characters use funnels to blow at the Whomp in order to make it lose balance and fall onto the other team, squashing them as a result. The time to blow is five seconds, and whichever team blows the most will make the Whomp squash the other, winning the minigame.
  • Stargazing Scene: In the minigame Star Catchers, all players stand on a house's balcony and look at the sky during an early evening (at that time, the Sun is almost done setting). When the minigame begins, stars will begin appearing one by one and whoever points at it first (done with the stylus in the Touch Screen) will claim it. Each claimed star will have a color that tells who claimed it: Blue for Player 1, red for Player 2, green for Player 3, and yellow for Player 4. After 30 seconds, the minigame ends, and then the pointed stars will begin disappearing four by four (one from each player), making it so only the remaining stars from the player who claimed the most remains, though those will then begin disappearing one by one at a faster rate. This player is then declared the winner. It's actually possible for two or more players to celebrate a tie if they end up claiming the same amount of stars, because this is a Battle Minigame.
  • Stock Food Depictions: The minigame "Fast Food Frenzy" features pancakes with syrup and butter, burgers with standard ingredients, hot dogs with ketchup and mustard, and yellow rectangular fries.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: This game came out on the Nintendo DS and contains "DS" in the title.
  • Swallowed Whole: In the minigame Cheep Chump, all players are swimming in a pond where some Cheep Cheeps are, and one of them is big and hungry. From time to time, it will position itself close to the water's surface and begin sucking water to create a whirlpool in an attempt to swallow the characters. The objective, therefore, is to dodge the whirlpool to avoid being eaten (if a character is caught by the whirlpool, they can press A repeatedly to try to escape). The last surviving character wins, though more than one character can win if they resist during 30 seconds; conversely, the minigame ends in a tie if all players gets swallowed at the same time. Funnily, the characters who get eaten are later spat upward, likely because the Cheep Cheep doesn't like their taste.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Piranha Plant, where you catch the projectiles he spits at you and throw them back at him. Why is this tactical suicide? On the board itself, he simply breathes fire at you, which cannot be turned against him.
  • Taken for Granite: Donkey Kong is turned to stone by Dry Bones. After Dry Bones is beaten, the curse is undone.
  • Throne Room Throwdown: The final boss minigame takes place in the throne room of Bowser's Castle, with Bowser and Bowser Jr.'s chairs visible in the background.
  • Toy Time: The minigame Flash and Dash takes place inside a maze made of building toy blocks placed onto a wooden floor, and it takes place during night. Three characters traverse the maze with flashlight lamps to find and expose the fourth character, who has to remain in the dark at all costs. The trio wins if they succeed, while the solo character wins if they avoid getting caught for 30 seconds.
  • Two Girls to a Team: For the first time since Mario Party 5, Peach and Daisy are the only two female playable characters in the roster.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: In the minigame Cube Crushers, two teams of characters are navigating through a maze filled with breakable ice cubes, and at the end of each room there are two switches that open the door that leads to the next part. Each team has to punch the ice cubes to break them (they must be careful not to break certain cubes marked with a question mark, as they may end up freezing for a short time; other blocks have a Starman that helps them break stronger blocks, though) and reach the switches, which have to be punched at the same time (each switch is located in a side of the door, so it's required that the two characters approach them separately) so the door to the next room opens. A total of three rooms awaits for each team, and in all cases the door has to be opened the same way. The first team to reach the exit wins.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The boss battle against Kamek has the challenger fly across the former's library with the help of a magical book, and along the way they have to shoot ink at flying books and dodge moving bookshelfs (or move through them if they have open sections with few books). Eventually, the player's character reaches the central room where Kamek awaits, and the objective is to shoot ink at his face while dodging his wand's energy projectiles as well as the books he's sending to them (once again, the player does all of this while moving around with the magical book they're traveling with). When his face is fully covered up, Kamek will react aggressively and make several books fall down, and those have to be dodged as well; when one of the books falls onto his head, he loses health and the procedure has to be repeated. Once three books fall above his head, Kamek faints and the player's character wins the fight.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: In the minigame Peek-a-Boo, the characters are looking for a specific type of Boo that is shown in a Wanted picture above the minigame's map. Thus, only the Boos showing the features that match those in that picture should be touched (with the stylus) once found. If a wrong Boo is touched by any character, it'll fly at that player's screen before moving on. One player has a greater visibility, while the other three have a smaller one each but are part of a team. If the solo player finds and touches more Boos from the wanted variety by the time no more of them are left, then they'll win; if the rival trio finds and touches more instead, then they'll win. If five minutes pass and not all wanted Boos were caught, whichever side got more wins; but if the amount is the same in both sides, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • Wrap Around: The minigame Globe Runners has all players running across a globe whose gravity allows them to fully run around without falling onto the drawer where it's placed; this is also reflected on the map, which is shown as a rectangle instead of a three-dimensional figure and thus can show the characters heading onto a side and reappear in its opposite. The objective for each character is to look for the others and shoot them to score points. After 30 seconds, whoever has the highest score wins.


Video Example(s):


Jon Loses 2 Stars in one turn

In his TRG collab of Mario Party DS with Chuggaconroy (Emile) and NCS (Tim), at Kamek's Library, ProtonJon ends up landing on a star steal space, where he loses a star to Emile, and then gets a Ztar from a Hidden Block on the same space, causing him to lose ANOTHER star.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / FromBadToWorse

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