Items are a crucial part of strategy in the Mario Party games, and a few items in particular can give their users a major advantage. The game-long battle for stars and coins can frequently be decided by small margins, so players need to scramble for every possible advantage. A few items in particular have the potential to shift the game greatly in the wielder’s favor.
Items were first introduced to the series in Mario Party 2, and they have been a mainstay of the series ever since. While there have been some variants on items, such as Mario Party 5‘s capsules and 8‘s candies, the general use of items is the same. Some help the player, while others hinder opponents. One would likely assume that the Magic Lamp, an item that brings the player straight to the Star Space, would be the best. However, just like Mario Kart‘s Blue Shell isn’t its best item, the Magic Lamp’s hefty price tag keeps it from being Mario Party‘s best. Instead, there are a few other items that can have devastating effects when used properly.
Mario Party 3’s Barter Box Can Take All Of An Opponent’s Items
The Plunder Chest was an item in Mario Party 2 and 3, and it recently made a comeback in Superstars after being gone from the series for two decades. When used, it would let the player steal an item from an opponent. It was simple yet devious, although it would choose an item at random if the opponent had more than one, diluting its power somewhat. While the Plunder Chest was good, it’s not strong enough to break the game. However, Mario Party 3 introduced a major upgrade in the form of the Barter Box. While stealing stars in Mario Party is commonplace, the Barter Box takes stealing items to a new level.
Similar to the Plunder Chest, the Barter Box could take an opponent’s items. However, it had an added gimmick. True to its name, the Barter Box will cause the user and their selected opponent to trade all of their items. The best part is that while the Barter Box does give the player’s items to the opponent, it can still be used if the player has no other items. This gives it the potential to steal all three of an opponent’s items while giving them nothing in return, turning the tide in a major way.
The Barter Box can not only grab powerful items from the opponent, but it could potentially wreck their plans with a single move, like an item-themed version of Big Boo’s Mario Party 2 star steal. For example, an opponent could pay for a Magic Lamp, only for it to be stolen by a Barter Box before they get the opportunity to use it. Items can be game-changing in Mario Party, which makes the Barter Box’s ability to pickpocket opponents a devastating one.
The Sluggish ‘Shroom Lets Players Control Their Dice Rolls
In Mario Party, there is an undeniable element of randomness. Whether it be the dice rolled to move across the board or the infamous Chance Time, the game will always be random to a degree, even for skilled strategists and minigame players. The ability to take some of the randomness out of the game can provide a major advantage. In Mario Party 6, an item was introduced with that exact effect.
The Sluggish ‘Shroom Orb, also known as the Slow ‘Shroom in 7, makes the dice block cycle slowly through the numbers 1-10 in order. This ability would be useful on any of Mario Party‘s greatest classic boards, making it easy for the player to time the block in order to get exactly the move they need. This can guarantee that the player can make it to the Star Space, avoid a disastrous Happening Space, or otherwise go exactly where they need to. Even better, the Sluggish ‘Shroom only costs 10 coins, so players will have no problem getting one whenever they need it.
Mario Party 6 had a lot of Orbs to choose from, ranging from speed boosts, to teleportation, to painful attacks directed at enemies. Even with all of those options, the Sluggish ‘Shroom will more often than not be the most popular choice. 8 and 9 would feature similar items in the Slowgo Candy and Slow Dice Block, but they were a step down due to offering a smaller dice block as a tradeoff for the slow roll. If Mario Party Superstars adds DLC, then the Sluggish ‘Shroom could be a perfect item to add.
Mario Party 3’s Wacky Watch Can Bring Games To A Quick End
Items can wield a lot of power in the Mario Party games, affecting players, spaces, and sometimes even the Star Space itself. One aspect of the game that is usually unaffected is the turn count, as it always keeps counting down steadily after every turn. There was one rare item in Mario Party 3 that could affect the turn count though, and it was one of the most potentially devastating effects in the series.
When the Wacky Watch was used, it would immediately send the game to the final five turns after the conclusion of the current turn. Not every dice roll in Mario Party matters, but only having five rolls left severely restricts one’s options. There are a couple of reasons for the player to do this. First, if the user has a lead with a lot of the game left to go, the Wacky Watch can give the others very little time to catch up. Likewise, someone who is trailing on the final turn could use it in hopes of giving themselves just enough time to turn the game around.
It should be telling that after the Wacky Watch, the Mario Party games have stayed away from items that affect the turn count. With its ability to drastically shorten games for the user’s benefit, the Wacky Watch is one of the most overpowered items in the series’ history. It may have debuted in the same game as Mario Party 3‘s Game Guy, but the Wacky Watch was far more useful and powerful.
Mario Party‘s items have been a core part of the game since its second installment, and they’re likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. They add an element of strategy that the game needs, as well as a healthy amount of excitement. At the same time, when an item in Mario Party turns out to be overpowered, it could end up being the easiest path to a win.