Mario Party: Island Tour
Nintendo's sustained its Mario Party series across a plethora of platforms, and now it's the 3DS' turn with Island Tour, where players compete in a number of new mini-games across several Mario-themed game boards.
Like previous Mario Party games, Island Tour is easy on the eye. Although the boards aren't as big as they used to be, there's still plenty of variety to be found in each of the layouts, and there a lots of little touches that Mario fans will appreciate. Game Sharing's a neat idea too, and it enables up to four people to play locally without requiring three additional cartridges. It can take a while to get started, but you'll eventually be on your way.
A lot of changes made to this edition are for the worse. You no longer collect Stars and Coins, and the new focus on finishing first takes some of the competitiveness out of the game. Most of the mini-games are frustrating button-mash affairs that depend more on luck than skill. There are brighter moments, but they're few and far between. Motion control adds little to the enjoyment of the game, and the single player AI veers erratically between devilish and dull.
Mario Party: Island Tour feels like a step backwards for the series, thanks to an uninspiring mini-game collection and an often grating single player experience. Fans of the series may want to check it out, but others can easily let this tour boat pass them by.