Mario and friends take the festivities to the DS in this full-fledged entry in the madcap Mario Party series. Bowser has used his powerful "minimizer" gun to shrink all eight playable characters, which means the boards and mini-games are literally larger than life. Five themed boards range from Wiggler's Garden to Bowser's Pinball Machine, each filled with traps, surprises, and shortcuts. An overhead view of the board appears on the top screen, with the 3D version displayed on the bottom. Once again the goal is to earn the most stars after a set amount of turns. Landing on a colored space triggers a random mini-game, which might be played alone, in teams, or against up to three characters simultaneously.
More than 70 mini-games are included in total, many of which incorporate stylus and microphone use, whether it's slicing a giant cucumber or blowing out enormous candles. Five play options include Story, Minigame, Multiplayer, Party, and Puzzle. Story Mode is a solo adventure across each board, while Multiplayer supports up to four nearby gamers on a single card. Minigame Mode, as the name suggests, offers direct access to each unlocked activity. Party Mode lets you adjust the rules and other facets of the game, and Puzzle Mode features six action puzzle titles previously seen in past Mario Party entries. Also included is a separate Gallery option where players can view unlocked items such as character statues, badges, boss trophies, and more.