Mario Party - Nintendo, 1998

Mario Party is a virtual board game for four players on the Nintendo 64, starring Mario and the cast and characters of Shigeru Miyamoto's Marioland. There are a number of basic boards, and more you can unlock as you play the game. The gameplay consists of rolling a die, to see how many spaces you get to move, and then dealing with the consequences of the space you land on. These range from gaining/losing a number of coins to playing a mini action game where you can earn bonus coins. As you progress around the game board, you can purchase stars with coins on one spot on the map. The winner of the game is the one to have collected the most stars at the end of the game.

The twist in this game is the events. After everybody completes a full turn, a minigame is randomly selected in which all players compete for coins. Some minigames pair people into teams, others are a free for all, and yet others pit three players against one poor unfortunate soul randomly. The variety of these minigames and simplicity to learn make this a good party game for a laid-back group that doesn't mind waiting/talking during other peoples turns. Things are usually fast and funny enough to entertain, however. At the end of the game, "bonus stars" are awarded for various criteria, making the final outcome of the game somewhat mysterious until the end. Also, some spaces allow players to trade stars with another player, and other dramatically game balance altering effects, so nobody is truly out of the game at any point.

Over all, a good, fun game if you have a group of friends to play it with. Playing with computer opponents, however, is highly discouraged and boring.