|Mario Party: To The Max|
|Developer(s)||Lone Planet Productions|
|Platform(s)|| Nintendo Switch|
|Predecessor||Super Mario Party (2018)|
Mario Party: To The Max is a party and mini game compilation video game developed by Lone Planet Productions in conjunction with Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo DSGo, Pharo, GhostDrive, The V², and Steam. It is the sixteenth main series installment in the Mario Party franchise, and the first multiplatform game in the series. The game takes inspiration from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and aims to bring together several minigames, boards, etc. from past games, as well as all playable characters throughout the series.
To The Max follows the path of the previous game, Super Mario Party, and for the most part retains the standard style of each player moving on their own around spaces on a board, competing to get the most stars and coins. Unlike the other games, players are now able to choose what amount of spaces they can move using Cards; however, they might not always be able to do this, in which case the standard Dice Blocks are used. This adds a new layer of stategy never before seen in a Mario Party game, as does other new features like the Ultra Meter which charges up and allows each character to use their signature Ultra Move.
The Switch and Pharo versions of To The Max support controllers from multiple generations, a first for the series; players can synchronize Wii/Wii U controllers, systems in the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DSGo families, and Baron smart devices with the consoles, and also connect Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube controllers via adapters. However, this feature is not available on the V2 version or the DSGo version alone, so as to promote the "pure gaming experience" intended for said consoles.
During the main mode, gameplay takes place on one of many large boards. Each board is composed of numerous different spaces linked together, and as players move around, they follow and land on these spaces. Unlike previous games in the series, players can go either direction around the board, but can only change direction at a junction. Otherwise, they must continue moving through the row of spaces they are currently on in the same direction. When a character finished moving, they "land" on a space and recieve a specific effect, such losing or gaining coins or getting an additional card for their deck. Additionally, some spaces give an effect as a player passes by, which is usually different from the effect that a player gets from landing on said space.
The main objective of each game is to acquire the most stars. At the end of the match, the player with the most stars will be declared the victor; if two players have the same amount of stars, then the one with the most coins will instead be the winner. If both are the same, there is a draw. The main way of collecting stars is usually through passing by the Star Space and paying 20 coins in exchange for a star; other events, however, also give a star, like landing on Hidden Blocks or getting a rare Item Game. In addition to collecting stars on the board, three bonus stars are given out at the end of the game; there are actually 8 different possible bonus stars that can be chosen from, but 3 are randomly selected to be distributed to the qualifying characters. If all 4 characters qualify, no one gets a star, as it would not affect the rankings. Here are the bonus stars:
- The Event Star is awarded to the player who triggered the most events via Event Spaces.
- The Coin Star is given to the player with the highest amount of coins at any point during the match.
- The Minigame Star is awarded to whoever won the most minigames.
- The Red Star goes to whoever landed on the most Red Spaces.
- The Blue Star goes to whoever landed on the most Blue Spaces.
- The Running Star is given to the player who moved the most spaces altogether, either by Dice Block or cards.
- The Card Star goes to the player who used the most cards throughout the match.
- The Orb Star is awarded to whoever used the most Orbs.
Each game consists of a set number of turns, determined when a match is set up. At the beginning of the match, turn order is decided upon randomly, or it can be chosen by the match leader. At the beginning of each turn, each player pulls a card from their current deck in the order decided upon at the beginning of the match. After this, the player who ended up with the lowest number will move first, followed by the next lowest number. This gives players that chose smaller numbers the advantage, as they can go before their opponents and avoid certain tactics. Players can also chose larger numbers to move after the others, allowing them to avoid events that would've happened otherwise.
After the lineup cards have been pulled, each player proceeds to make their decisions; they can roll a Dice Block or draw a card to move, or use any Orbs they have in their inventory. Orbs can be bought from Orb Shops scattered around the board, and then used on the player or placed on the board in the next turn.
Once all players have taken their turns for the round, a minigame session will begin, and the minigame will be randomly chosen from a roulette. Coins are awarded after each minigame, and the winner gets the most coins. Right before a minigame begins, each player's panels are displayed; the space they stopped on during their turn gives their panel a certain color, which in turn determines what side they take in the round minigame. This will help decide whether the minigame is a Free for All, 1 vs. Rest, or Team minigame.
- A blue or red panel assigns the player to a specific side.
- A green panel will randomly assign them to the red or blue team.
- A purple panel will grant them the option to drop out of a minigame at the cost of not receiving any coins afterwards. If they decide to stay in, they can choose their color team to decide what type of minigame will best benefit them.
One day, MC Ballyhoo hosts a grand reunion party at Peach's Castle, with all of the playable characters from past parties as guests. They are looking over a photo album as they have their snacks and drinks, reminiscing over all the fun they've had over the years. Suddenly, the ground begins to shake, and a giant spacecraft arrives, with Fawful, Midbus, and Baby Bowser leading an army towards the castle. Fawful explains he's hatched a scheme to host the greatest party of all time -- emphasis on time, as he has created several anomalies in which party locations from their past journeys have been placed. He has pulled Baby Bowser from the past to handle his new timewarp kingdom, and has also hypnotized a new group of familiar faces to assist them. Fawful finally proclaims, "May the best party win!" and sends all his opponents into the first of his anomalies -- DK's Jungle Adventure, the very first board of the very first Mario Party...
Upon waking up, the Mario crew meets up with Brighton and Twila, who have noticed the imbalance of night and day Fawful has been causing with his time shenanigans and offer to help them stop his master plan. Fawful calls out to them from a time hole, and sends a trusted ally, Bowsette, to take care of Mario's group. She is joined by the first hypnotized character, Boom Boom, and the grand party begins.
Just like past Mario Party games, there are a wide variety of extra Modes that add more meat to the game. Many of the modes in the game are similar to past installments, but there are a few new ones that have never been seen before.
| Party Mode|
The main mode where players individiually trek around the board and collect Stars and Coins, aiming to have the most at the end of the game. At the end of each round, a minigame is played to give extra coins.
| Story Mode|
Where the Story of the game takes place. Some boards and characters can only be unlocked by playing through the story, although there may be other ways to unlock them by playing a lot of Party Mode. Plays like Party Mode but with at least 2 CPUs.
Players can take on all of the minigames that have been played through Party or Story mode. In addition to choosing the games, players can also take part in special matches when minigames are randomly selected and played.
| Super Duel Mode|
Each player pilots a special Mech made of parts you can purchase from the Flying Toad House. Some parts can also be unlocked by scanning amiibo.
Hosted by Thwomp, Whomp, and Ztar. The player is able to see special goodies, like Story Mode cutscenes, the credits, options, and extra games. Most of the content here has to be unlocked before it can be accessed.
|Flying Toad House|
Toadsworth acts as the host for his Flying Toad House, where you can spend coins and Stars on additional content.
Based on the Toad Scramble mode from Mario Party: Star Rush, Battle Mode has players assemble Allies and compete against each other and a Boss for Stars.
Tower Mode is a new mode that serves as a successor to the Bowser Mode from Mario Party 10, combining elements from tower defense and Mario Party 9-10. One player plays on a screen controller (such as a Switch in handheld mode, a Wii U Gamepad, a 3DS/DSGo system, or a Baron smart device), while the other four players use controllers without screens.
The four players with traditional controllers, a.k.a. the Rebels, form a team and move together in a special car, and their goal is to reach the end of the board and take down the Overlord's tower. The Overlord (the player with the extra screen) must keep the other players from reaching their tower; to do so, they must place down Hex traps that hinder the other players' movements. Each Hex costs a certain amount of Coins that are earned from minigames each round.
Every turn starts with a minigame, which can be either a free-for-all, a team game, or a 1 vs. Rest game. The Rebels are given number cards to use based on how well they performed in each minigame, whereas the Overlord earns more Coins they can use to buy Hexes.
Flying Toad House
Toadsworth's Flying Toad House, returning from Super Mario Realms, serves as the game shop. After saving your progress in any mode, all coins and Stars the human players have collected so far are stored in the Star Bank, and can be spent in the Flying Toad House, allowing players to purchase trophies, sound/music packs, extra minigames, and even additional characters.
Just as in past games, minigames occur often through the game, where players compete against one another or try to reach a goal. By winning these games, the player is given a bonus, which varies depending on the minigame. Some minigames occur at the end of each round after all of the players have moved, while others only happen when landing on specific spaces. New to the game are Finale minigames, which occur after the last turn ends, and rewards the winning player with an extra star, allowing for great comebacks or mightier wins.
The type of minigame played at the end of the round is decided by the color of each players portrait, whether it be blue, red, green, or purple. If everyone has a blue or red portrait, it is a Free For All game. If there are two Blue portraits and two Red portraits, it is a 2v2. Lastly, if it is one blue and three reds to vice versa, it is a 1v3 game. Any players with green portraits have their colors randomly decided between blue and red before the game is selected.
Purple portraits give the player an option to choose their team to gain an advantage, or drop out of the minigame and sacrifice the chance to win coins to determine a future strategy. If a player with a purple portrait drops out, a situation where the three remaining portraits are all red/blue will trigger a 3-Player game, while a 2-to-1 ratio of red and blue initiates a 1v2 game.
In eight-player matches, minigame selection works a bit differently. Usually, the eight players will be split into two groups, with each group of four playing their own minigame for a total of two minigames between rounds. However, if the portrait colors line up right, a larger minigame with all eight players will begin. These minigames are often expanded versions of the more traditional 4P, 1v3, and 2v2 minigames. If all eight portraits are red or blue, an 8-Player minigame will begin. If one portrait is blue and all others are red, or vice versa, it is 1v7. If half are blue and half are red, it is 4v4.
The types of minigames are described below:
|Free-for-All||Games where all players currently involved compete against each other for 10 coins. These come in 3-Player, 4-Player, and 8-Player varieties.|
|Team Minigames||Games where two groups of players battle for 10 coins. Come in 2v2 and 4v4 varieties.|
|1 vs. Rest Minigames||Games where one player battles a larger group for 10 coins. Come in 1v2, 1v3, and 1v7 varieties.|
|Battle Minigames||Everyone puts money into a pot; winner gets 70% and second place gets 30%. These are triggered by landing on a Battle Space, and give the player who landed on it a purple portrait.|
|Orb Minigames||Triggered by landing on an Orb Game Space. The player who stopped on the space will attempt to win an Orb through a minigame. In some cases they may earn a rare extra Orb or even a Star.|
|Duel Minigames||Two players square off for a bet amount. Triggered by landing on a Duel Space, which gives the player a purple portrait.|
|Fawful Minigames||All players try to survive Fawful and his minions; loser is deducted coins.|
|Tumble Minigames||All players team up to gather coins with Tumble.|
|Finale Minigames||All players compete for a final star.|
Orbs (a.k.a. Capsules) return from Mario Party 5-7, and serve a variety of different functions when they are used by a character. In order to get Orbs, they must pass by an Orb Shop and exchange coins for Orbs, or visit an Orb Machine and get a random Orb for free. At the beginning of every turn, characters have a choice of either using an Orb on themselves or placing one on any Blue or Red space.
Every Orb also has a color; blue, red, or green. Blue Orbs help the player who uses them, Red Orbs are used to hinder opponents, and Green Orbs are focused around other Orbs or trigger miscellaneous events. The list of all Orbs is below:
Twenty-seven (27) characters, all from past games, are avaliable by default when the game is first booted. By going through Story Mode, however, the player can unlock fifteen (15) additional characters. Eight more characters can be purchased from Toadsworth's Flying Toad House, for a total of fifty (50) characters in the base roster.
Ultra Moves (W.I.P.)
This table lists all of the Ultra Moves that the characters can perform.
|Mario||Mario unleashes a fireball that causes all opponents up to 15 spaces in front of him to lose 25% of their coins and half of their cards.|
|Luigi||Luigi unleashes a fireball that causes all opponents up to 7 spaces in front of him to lose 50% of their coins and all of their cards.|
|Peach||Peach uses her flower power to draw 6 random Uncommon cards.|
|Toad||Toad is able to chose any of the 15 spaces in front of him to instantly land on, avoiding any negative obstacles in the way.|
|DK||Donkey Kong plays a short rhythm mini game to put all opponents within a 10 space radius to sleep.|
|Yoshi||Yoshi lays 2 Eggs, each with a Rare card in them.|
|Wario||Wario spins a wheel to either gain 20 coins, lose 5 coins, or double his coin amount. Afterwards he can do double or nothing.|
|Waluigi||Waluigi chooses a single opponent within 10 spaces to hit with a bomb, destroying all of their cards and 25% of their coins.|
|Daisy||Daisy uses her Flower Power to fill her card deck with Common or Uncommon cards.|
|Rosalina||Rosalina sends Lumas to pester all of her opponents. The next turn, they can only draw a card, and the card can only be between one and five.|
|Diddy||Diddy Kong places a banana peel which slips any opponent which passes by the space, stopping their progression and causing them to drop a card.|
|E. Gadd||E. Gadd uses the Poltergust 5k to draw all opponents to the same space as him. Does not activate a Duel if occupying the same space would otherwise cause one.|
|Toadette||Toadette chooses a space within the next 10 to go to, hitting all opponents on the way and stealing one of their cards.|
|Birdo||Birdo shoots the next closest person, or a random opponent if there is none nearby. This steals half of their coins.|
|Lubba||Lubba dances and finds 10 coins.|
|Pianta||Pianta finds a random fruit which contains either a card or a certain amount of coins, depending on the fruit. See here for details.|
|Ukiki¹||Ukiki pulls out a hat relating to a random character and uses their Ultra ability.|
|Shy Guy||Automatically activates if a Battle game is triggered. making it so that Shy Guy does not have to pay into the pot.|
|Dry Bones||Automatically activates if Dry Bones is attacked, preventing him from being affected by any attacking events.|
|Kamek||Kamek casts a spell on an opponent, with a 75% chance of reducing their next move by half and a 25% chance of doubling it.|
|Bowser Jr.||Bowser Jr. gets in his Koopa Clown Car and is able to use three cards on his turn.|
|Bowser||Bowser chomps a Mega Mushroom to grow extra large and move forward with two card draws. Any opponents in the way lose 30 coins.|
¹Ukiki is referred to as Grinder in PAL versions of the game
|DK's Jungle Adventure|
The very first board of the very first Mario Party game, DK's Jungle Adventure had players gather up Stars to open a mystical chest in the ancient ruins. This board's task is relatively simple, just find the Star placed randomly on the board and pay 20 coins to get it.
This forest is haunted by lonely spirits and mischievous poltergeists, and its constant shift between night and day turned out suitable for Fawful's plans in the long run. Can you make it out of Horror Land... alive?
Luigi used to own this island, but it has since been overrun by Waluigi and his Piranha Plant employees, who have transformed it into a sneaky dominion of industry. One thing's for sure -- things on Waluigi's Island will get confusing... and dangerous.
|Goomba's Greedy Gala|
A gambling Goomba used some open space to build a fascinating casino so he could have some good times with his friends. But now, Goomba's Greedy Gala has fallen victim to Fawful's time shifting. At night, it's all fun and games, but when the sun rises...?
Created with dreams of the future, this board has a classic sci-fi vibe that comes with its own futuristic features. After all, you can't breathe in space in real life... In any case, Future Dream is one small game for man and one giant party for mankind, or so they say.
This game only supports the Super Mario series line; however, corresponding amiibo from other series work as well.
|Creates a ring of fire around the user that causes fire damage to opponents.|
|Shoots a ball of electricity at the opponent, stunning them and dealing electric damage.|
|Heals an ally greatly.|
|The user breathes fire at an opponent, stunning them and dealing fire damage.|
Mario Party: To The Max X Super Mario Excursion
On October 17, 2018, Krexxal (t∣b∣c)'s birthday, Lone Planet announced the game's first DLC pack, inspired by the Ghostrealm Studios game Super Mario Excursion. Three new playable characters and a new board are featured in the pack.
|Goomba Mountain is arguably the largest mountain in Mushroom World, with a maze of caverns and pipes guiding visitors all around it. On this board, the Star initially costs five coins, but this price goes up by an additional five each turn, so you'll need to be quick navigating the maze.||