Mario Party 8, as its name suggests, is the eighth installment in the Mario Party series. These games typically involve one to four players choosing from a cast of classic Mario characters and battling each other through a series of competitive mini-games. Mario Party 8 follows this formula exactly, adding to the mix new game boards, characters, and new mini games that take advantage of the Wiimote.
There are six different modes to choose from, with the main mode being the Party Tent. This is the board game mode where one to four players choose from one of the six different boards and try to complete them. The boards are 3D interactive versions of regular board games with a beginning, ending, and spaces in between. Each player takes a turn rolling the dice and then moving ahead on the board. Different spaces have different results with many of the spaces triggering one of the game's 65 mini-games. Winners of the mini-games are awarded prizes and points which help determine the overall winner.
Each of the 65 mini-games has their own objective, and usually involve accomplishing a small task such as hitting a nail with a hammer, or filling a jar with sand. Criticisms have been levied against MP8 lamenting the fact that many of the games don't seem to take enough advantage of the unique control mechanisms of the Wii.
The other game modes are the Minigame Tent which lets player play any of the games they've already encountered in the main game. And the Extras Zone which is a collection of 8 mini games that are entirely separate from the rest of the game, and use your Miis instead of the regular Nintendo mascots.
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