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Mario Party Advance – GBA

Mario Party Advance – GBA

Mario Party AdvancePlatform:  Game Boy Advance

Developer:  Hudson Soft

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date (NA):  March 28th, 2005

Genre:  Party Game (sort of), Puzzle

Rating:  7 out of 10


Mario Party AdvanceMario Party Advance is a truly unique entry in the Mario Party series.  So unique in fact, that it’s difficult to discuss it in comparison with its brethren.  In lieu of relying on the strong multiplayer component of console releases, Mario Party Advance takes an entirely different approach to moving around a game board and playing mini-games.  While a multiplayer mode does exist, it is secondary to the “main” game and Mario Party Advanceinvolves little more than linking 2 GBA’s together and playing a few mini-games.  It may seem a little paradoxical to develop a version of a primarily multiplayer game for a system designed to be played by a single player, but amazingly, this game captures the spirit of Mario Party while providing a unique and satisfying single player experience.

Mario Party AdvanceMany of the concepts from the Mario Party franchise are contained in Mario Party Advance, but the gameplay itself is quite different.  The usual quest to gather up stars has been replaced by a system of quests, which after completion, award the player a star of sorts.  In all there are 50 of these quests to complete and luckily any progress made is cumulative.  The primary mode is called “Shroom City” and begins with the option of choosing Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Yoshi as the playable character.  What makes this game interesting is that the characters are not simply interchangeable versions of each other.  Each character begins at a different place on the immense game board, and each character has exclusive attributes needed to complete specific quests.  All of the characters must be used in some capacity to finish all 50 quests.

Mario Party AdvanceThe game starts with a finite number of “mushrooms,” which amount to available dice.  Once these rolls are used up, the game ends.  This amounts to several “games” being played before all quests can be completed.  Scattered around the game board are chances for additional die rolls as well as a slew of mini-games that provide additional mushrooms.  Quests themselves range from winning simple mini-Mario Party Advancegames to puzzle-like events where the player must visit multiple spaces and gather up certain items.  Combined, this all makes for interesting and varied gameplay and ensures that monotony and tedium do not easily set in.  Moving around the game board is very open ended leaving the player to decide what direction to go, what quests to undertake, and even which spaces one chooses to land on.

Mario Party AdvanceAlong the way mini-games and “gaddgets” (from Professer E. Gadd of Luigi’s Mansion fame) can be unlocked and collected.  Outside of the Shroom City mode, these games can be played alone or in some cases with 2 to 4 players with the use of a link cable.  The “gaddgets” are interesting items that cause the GBA to mimic a device such as a ghost catcher or x-ray machine.  There’s no real point to these gaddgets other than the process of collecting them, but it is sort of neat to play around with them.

Mario Party AdvanceIt’s difficult to go into copious detail about Mario Party Advance because there is so much to do and despite the game board set up, the game is very non-linear and full of an almost infinite number of choices each and every turn.  This is a great game to spend hours huddled up in a corner with, and the replay value is through the roof.  Even though finishing the entire game is a very long process, the limited number of mushrooms/die rolls per game make it easy to pick up and put down without getting confused about what has and hasn’t been accomplished.  Although Mario Party Advance may be a Mario Party title in name only, it is still a fantastic game, well worth playing the GBA for hours on end.

Reviewed by The Cubist

Mario Party Series
Main Series

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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