A real-life Mario Party: Super Mario minigames you can play without a console

Okay, so our intro to the Mario Party series was on the N64. Maybe you were that generation as well? Those minigames are stuck in our memory.

Frantically spinning that joystick in your palm, so hard you thought your hand was gonna bleed. All to blow up a balloon, or pull a rope, or out-pedal a giant Boo.

These days, it’s not so bad. The Nintendo DS stylus and the Wiimote aren’t so painful. (As for the Switch buttons… let’s not talk about those…)

And don’t forget all the mini games you can play without even owning a copy of Mario Party. There’s a whole series of real life Super Mario games on sale in Japan.

Strike Air Hockey ATTACK

Now that’s a name! ATTACK in all caps, like you’re a Canadian ice hockey fan.

There are 4 ways to play with this ‘air’ hockey table:

  • Air hockey game (2-4 players) – the standard VS game, fight fight fight
  • Super shot game (1 player) – place all the other unused paddles around the field, then make trick shots to avoid them and score goals
  • Point get! game (2 players) – hit all your pucks into the opposite goal
  • Shooting game (1 player) – set up the yellow targets, and try to only hit the enemy characters

We put the ‘air’ from ‘air’ hockey in quotes for this game, ’cause there isn’t any. No wind blowing to keep your pucks floating just above the table.

Coin Adventure

Subtitle: a ‘loads and loads of coins’ contest.

Make your way around the board collecting coins, so you can kick Bowser’s ass when you finally reach him. The game’s split into 6 stages: 1, 2, 3, 4, Final… and then the real final stage, that boss fight.

Light orange squares with coins… give you coins. Surprise! Dark blue squares with enemies take coins away. Some squares trigger events, like Item Roulette (dark orange), Coin Battle (red), and mini boss battles (pink).

In the final final stage, all squares are red, but you’ll know how they work by then. To defeat Bowser and save Princess Peach, you have to roll a 6. That’s maybe the hardest bit of the whole game…

Piranha Plant Game

Again, move around the board and pick up the most coins from the middle to win. Or play by yourself, and see if you can break your own record. The game’s over when all the coins are collected.

But you’ve got an extra, snappy obstacle to deal with as you play. Piranha Plant – Pakkun Flower in Japanese – has been tormenting us in Mario games as far back as we can remember.

In the middle, there’s a red ‘Challenge Button’. If you’re cursed with double bad luck – stopping on the Piranha Plant square and rolling it on the dice – you’ve gotta press the button.

Close your eyes, push the big red button, and wait for the snap. Luckily, you don’t lose the whole game if the Piranha Plant gets you – only a chance at a coin.

Full o’ Mushrooms

A balance game, for people who have lots of patience.

So, you’ve got a warp pipe and a pile of mushrooms. Greens are 1UP mushrooms, reds are super mushrooms, and clear ones are invisible mushrooms. (Let’s just pretend, okay?)

Take it in turns to stack mushrooms carefully, 1 at a time per turn, on top of the warp pipe. If any mushrooms fall off while you’re doing it, you can’t pick them back up. And if the warp pipe itself falls over, you’re out. Repeat ’til someone wins.

If you’re playing by yourself, there’s a ‘tower balance’ version. Hold the warp pipe down with 1 hand, and stack as many mushrooms as you dare with the other. Then… let go of the pipe. If it doesn’t fall over, you win.

Jump! Tower Game

The tower’s got 3 red rings around it, for balance plates to stick out of. At the start of the game, all characters are at the base of the tower. Put the red ball inside the tower, at the top.

Take turns putting characters on the plates, higher and higher up. You can do it randomly, or roll the die to decide the plate colour (orange, yellow, or blue).

If the ball falls all the way down to the bottom during your turn, you lose. And the characters standing on plates will fly off into the air.

The other way to play’s a bit weird. Put all the characters on the base, set the ball… hold the top of the tower, and spin it around (at least 2 times). The ball decides your fate the same way.

Swap your coins for more than just stars

Put the controller down for a while, and see how well you do at Super Mario minigames in real life.

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