Super Mario Party: the 5 best minigames from Nintendo’s ultimate party game

Super Mario Party Nintendo Switch party game

Super Mario Party is only a few days away from launching on Nintendo Switch, on October 5 – and with 80 brand new minigames made just for the latest entry, there’s plenty of snack-sized fun for you to get your teeth into.

Mario Party has always been about group experiences, and the eleventh game in the series, Super Mario Party, allows for up to four players depending on how many Joy-Con controllers you can get your hands on.

We know there'll be a standalone mode for Super Mario Party mini-games. But this is the first Mario Party game to let you play standalone minigames online – with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, at least – meaning there’s plenty of opportunity to compete for first place on those leaderboards.

For now, here’s our list of the five best mini-games we’ve seen on Super Mario Party so far.

Super Mario Party Nintendo Switch party game

1. Lit Potato

For all its chirpy characters, Super Mario Party will continue the series’ longstanding tradition of bringing nail-biting tension to small-scale gameplay. Lit Potato takes on this mantel with glee, giving players and NPCs a handful of ticking bombs to pass round a circle until they literally blow up in someone’s face. Seeing the circle whittle down the final few is sure to put players on high alert.

Players: 2v2

2. Shell Shocked Deluxe

One of the smartest gimmicks to come out of the Nintendo Switch entry is the ability to use two separate Switch screens for 2v2 play, swiping across the touchscreens to decide where you want them to connect.

You can only do this with a handful of games made for the format, but the ability to line up two screens in any configuration you want before firing cannons across the ether is nothing short of a marvel.

Players: 2v2

Super Mario Party Nintendo Switch party game

Shell Shocked Deluxe in full co-op action

3. Nut Cases

Get ready to rumble – HD rumble, that is. The advanced rumble features in each Joy-Con controller open up tons of new possibilities for mini-game play, and Nut Cases makes the most of them: a 2v2 challenge that has you shake crates of acorns to gauge how many are ‘rumbling’ around inside. A truly satisfying one to win.

Players: 2v2

4. What a Racket

What a Racket is a classic Mario Party experience: 1v3 tennis match that gives the larger team regular rackets and the sole player a hugely oversized swatter to knock bob-ombs over the net. It looks simple, but trust us, it’s a lot harder than it looks.

Players: 1v3

5. Drop Quiz

Quizzes are rarely fun, but Super Mario Party’s take is a welcome exception. Drop Quiz plays a short reel of supporting characters like Toad and Kooper Trooper carrying fruit, requiring players to memorize and answer who and what they saw. The catch is that one player will be choosing what question is asked, meaning you’ll be fighting hard to pre-empt your friends’ attention spans and guessing what they might have missed.

Players: 1v3

Super Mario Party Nintendo Switch party game

Honorable mentions

With over 80 mini-games to play, and some potential extra content to unlock if you manage to try out each one throughout the game, we’ve only scratched the surface here. But half of the enjoyment comes from each mini-game’s quirky premise and dazzling puns. 

The likes of ‘Net Worth’ – which needs all four players to time their movements to reel in a fishing net – and underground cave-crawler ‘Miner Setbacks’ deserve plaudits for their names alone. We’ll have plenty more to dive into when our full review goes live next week, though for now you can check out more details in our full Super Mario Party article.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.