Mario Party: Island Tour Review
Mario Party: Island Tour Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Nd Cube
Pub: Nintendo
Release: November 22, 2013
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: N/A Mild Cartoon Violence

Compared to Mario Party DS, this entry is much better looking. However, when put beside other 3DS games--even Mario games--Mario Party: Island Tour doesn't do justice to the brand. The mini-games are functional, but lack any extra touches that could have added at least visual appeal to the mostly bland gameplay. The game boards have more pop, but unfortunately, they're broken up too often by the stale mini-games. And the 3D effect is more in line with what amateur developers put forth–an eye-straining experience that does little to enhance the experience.

Mario Party: Island Tour Screenshot

The music was a surprising breath of fresh air. I expected rehashed tracks from the Mario archives, but instead was greeted with completely original orchestrations. It is all still appropriate in the Mushroom Kingdom, but with a perky new sound. Of course, the character vocal spots and environmental effects are all the expected fare, but I guess some audio elements must be left alone.

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The Mario Party series has been around for a long time now, yet even after so many iterations, it doesn't feel like each subsequent entry is a departure from its predecessor. In some cases, that is a good thing, but in Mario Party's case, it needs more than new music and a spin on game boards to evoke a sense of innovation. The mini-games must be more than simple variations of past offerings or lackluster uses of system features (like the touch screen and microphone). And the series absolutely needs online multiplayer, no exception. That said, I still had fun with Mario Party: Island Tour, and it was nice to have a brief but satisfying match while out and about.

By
Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: November 27, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
Not very current compared to what we've seen from other recent entries. Mario should know better than to get stingy with visuals.
3.7
Control
For the most part, you won't feel cheated out of a win because of the controls. The touch screen and tilt mechanics could have been more innovative.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Wonderfully light orchestrations that had me humming new tunes. Everything else in the audio (vocals and effects) is the same regurgitated fodder.
3.4
Play Value
A nice variety of game boards to play. But the single-player campaign is a throw-away, and there's still no online multiplayer.
3.5
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Join 4 players locally in new multiplayer* modes.
  • 7 new game boards, each with different rules and characteristics.
  • New boards and modes that take just minutes, ideal for portable play.
  • 80+ minigames exclusive to Nintendo 3DS.
  • New single-player multi-floor mini-game tower.
  • Use the StreetPass feature to meet and battle with other partiers.
  • Party with up to 3 other people with Download Play.

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