Mario Party DS is almost identical to its console entries. You and three other live friends or CPU-controlled characters roll dice, jaunt around a board, land on spaces that give you good or bad luck; much like a traditional board game. However, at the end of each 'turn,' you play one of dozens of minigames
- some that pit all players against each other, and some that split players up into teams of various configurations. The point of the game is to earn coins
from completing mini-games successfully or by having good luck on the board, and using that currency to trade for stars that appear on the board. The player with the most stars wins the game.
Mario Party DS' gameplay is similar to that of other Mario Party
games, but with obvious differences due to the Nintendo DS' inferior hardware and unique capabilities. All minigames are obviously controlled via the Nintendo DS touch screen, microphone (there is an option to turn off these minigames), and face buttons. The game has eight playable characters: Mario
, Princess Peach
, Princess Daisy
, and Waluigi
The game is played on a large game board, of which there are five (Wiggler's Garden, Toadette's Music Room, DK's Stone Statue, Kamek's Library, and Bowser's Pinball Machine). Each character gets to move an amount of spaces around the board (depending on what number they roll on the Dice Block
), and landing on certain space triggers different things. Red and blue spaces alter the amount off coins the player receives (or loses), ? spaces trigger certain effects depending on the stage, and mole shop spaces allow the player to purchase items.
Mario Party DS includes a new puzzle mode as well, in which the player can do various puzzle games from previous Mario Party games. Included puzzles are Mario's Puzzle Party (Mario Party 3
), Bob-Omb Breakers (Mario Party 4
), Piece Out (Mario Party 5
), Block Star (Mario Party 6
), Stick and Spin (Mario Party 7
), and Triangle Twisters (which is unique to Mario Party DS).
Mario Party DS contains 74 minigames in total, varying in type. There are only four minigames that make use of the DS' microphone, while many utilize the face buttons and touch screen capabilities. In addition, there are four minigames where the players are gathering coins during the minigame, rather than playing a minigame for the ultimate goal of coins.
The Mario crew's adventure begins late one night. Five dazzling objects shoot across the sky and fall to earth. One falls near Mario! The next day, Mario
tells the crew what he found. It's a Sky Crystal
! Just then, there's one more surprise. Kamek
flies over head with invatations with the Bowser seal on them. The invitations read: "Hey chumps! I'm throwing a Big Bowser Bash to apologize for being such a big jerk. So I've got a buffet of free grub laid out for all of you. Come 'n' get it! - Bowser"
Bowser's party invitation also gets into Donkey Kong
's hands. DK races off to Bowser's Castle to get first crack at the snacks. Who can resist? Free eats can't be beat! The Mario crew also goes to the bash. Is it too good to be true? Of course! A cage falls over Mario and the rest of the gang and Bowser reveals himself and a mysterious staff. "Bwahaha! You fell for one of my traps AGAIN? Now gimme that Sky Crystal! See my Minimizer here? Guess what it does! It shrinks you all down to size!" Just then Bowser shrinks all of the Mario Crew! "Bwahaha! Your Sky Crystal is mine! Now all I need are the other four! Kamek, I'm done with these peewees. Give 'em the boot!"
Shrunken down! Flung far away! It's a complete mess for the Mario crew! The miniheros pick themselves up and look at the megaworld around them. But there's no time for sight seeing! Not when there's work to be done! Our heroes must find the other Sky Crystals, beat Bowser, and return to normal! The entire Mario crew leap into action! They all want to be the one who saves the day! Even the best of friends can be fierce rivals when it comes to being a heroic Superstar! And so our tiny heroes set out on their big adventure to bring down Bowser.
Throughout the story, Mario and the crew began their journey to search for the other 4 Sky Crystals and the 5th one is located at Bowser's Castle, where the final battle takes place. At the end of the story, the gang returned to normal to face off against Bowser and get the last crystal but when Bowser is defeated, the final scenes of the story goes like this: "Aw, phooey! This stinks!" Just then the 5th Sky Crystal appeared. "NOOO! Not my Sky Crystal!"
Now that the 5 Sky Crystals are together again, what secret will they reveal? The crystals formed into a DS which contains the minigame Triangle Twisters that the player can now use later after the credits roll. Bowser then said: "Bah! How can a bunch of pathetic peewees get all of the Sky Crystals?! Gah!... gather the sky's crystals... to reveal an incredibly fun challenge... That's the ol' legend is here at the castle! And i was getting it all for myself. Until you guys wrecked my plans. Whuzzat? You want me to play WITH you?... What a bunch of weirdos you are. If you're going to beg a big shot like me... how can I say no?"
So Mario and the crew untied Bowser and his son and decided to play along. And so the partiers grew bigger than ever! The more, the merrier! From that day forward, Mario and the crew enjoy the biggest parties around! Just then, DK and Diddy Kong ate all of the food that Bowser had left earlier in the game and the story ends.
DS Download Play
Much like only one person needs a Mario Party disc or cartridge when you play at home, Mario Party DS can send data through DS Download Play to your friends; only one person needs the actual game card in their system to play a four-player multiplayer game. Loading and sending times are fairly short, and there is no noticeable lag or connection problems in close-range.