Mario Party Advance
After Bowser forces the Gaddgets and mini-games out to the residents of Shroom City, it is up to Mario and the gang to retrieve all of these Gaddgets back in multiple quests to help out the residents.
- The main theme from the majority of the Mario Party series of having a board to play on and attempting to gain coins and stars has been completely thrown out of the window here. As a result, this game shows very little faith to the main Mario Party series.
- This game only focuses mostly on its single-player mode, Shroom City, and the mini-games and Gaddgets, which makes this game repetitive and become boring quickly.
- Poor multiplayer support.
- Quests tends to be either extremely easy or tedious due to extra requirements required that often means going to different areas many spaces away and then back.
- Alongside, more than often quest requirements are rather vague or misleading. For example, there is a Shy Guy at the train station who needs coal, but he doesn't state where it can be found. This can lead to wasting more mushrooms trying to find the right section.
- Some quests require trial-and-error to be able to pass, such as the Klepto quest, and the Dolphin quest. Enjoy having your mushrooms devoured while you're finding the right place or answer to the quests.
- Very few mini-games (only 50, the same amount as the first game), but most of them (42 to be exact) are only singleplayer. Only eight mini-games are duel/multiplayer.
- There is no mini-game practice nor an image or video of the mini-game gameplay during the instruction screens (the latter is something that has been used since the first Mario Party game), meaning new mini-games will be harder to understand for an average player, and by the time the player understands the minigame basics, they had likely already failed the minigame at least once. Technically, you could use practice as a power-up in Mini-Game Attack, but otherwise, you cannot practice a mini-game.
- Some mini-game instructions are also misleading, such as Flippin' Out, which state you need the R button to swing when it's really the B button, and you mostly have to press A to jump off a pole as the B button is mostly useless anyway. Alongside, the instructions of some mini-games do not state which sides of the D-Pad have to be pressed, which means that a player might be confused when they see two D-Pad symbols on the minigame instructions. Some minigame instructions might also list the same button twice which can confuse a few players.
- Some mini-games are very hard to complete in Shroom City due to tight timing or very high target scores, examples being Sled Slide and Sort Stack. In most cases, there is little to almost no room for error and usually messing up once in a minigame is all it takes to lose the entire minigame.
- After you gain all of the Gadgets and the mini-games in Shroom City, there is little replay factor. For the most part, you are required to grind Challenge Land modes in attempt to gain enough coins to get the remaining items in the shop, which includes a Power Star Gaddget that costs 100000 coins (good luck trying to win fifteen mini-games in Mini-Game Attack or all the eight duel mini-games in Duel Attack to get the required 100000 coins, because the mini-games only gets a lot harder over time and messing up once will force you to start over).
- Although it helps in the early game, it eventually gets annoying being required to play a Mushroom Challenge minigame in Shroom City every three turns. It also makes Shroom City even more tedious to complete.
- No voice acting at all. Even the announcer at the start of mini-games that says "Start" or "Finish" has been replaced with a Lakitu. While it would be excusable if it was an early Game Boy Advance game, this game was one of the last GBA games to be released and previous Mario games such as Super Mario Advance and Mario Golf Advance had voice acting. Even the previous "handheld" Mario Party game, Mario Party-e had voice acting.
- If you manage to complete most if not all mini-games successfully and complete all tasks quickly, it takes only about a few hours (6-18) to complete Shroom City, and it is also easy to complete Shroom City in a single run too (minus a few quests that are character-specific, such as a quest from Mr. I that requires playing as Peach and one from Dorrie that requires playing as Yoshi).
- Only four playable characters, being Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Yoshi. Also worth noting this is the only game where Wario isn't playable either.
- As stated above, this is the first main handheld Mario Party game.
- Alongside, besides the rare Mario Party-e, this is the only Mario Party game released in 2D.
- Good graphics for a late GBA game.
- The music is quite decent and many of them are nice references to Mario Party 3 and 4.
- Speaking of Mario Party 3, this game is also the only one to introduce gamble mini-games, which was mentioned in a few questions in the M.P.I.Q. minigame of the earlier game.
- Tumble from Mario Party 3 also marks a return in this game as well as the main host over Toad in Shroom City.
- Some of the Gaddgets are pretty nice to play around with, and there is actually more Gaddgets (61) than mini-games. Some Gaddgets are also multiplayer as well on a single console, meaning that it is possible to play all Gaddgets properly without the need for another Game Boy Advance.
- However, the duel battle modes requires another Game Boy Advance to play with another person. There is also a 100-player battle or attack, but it's mostly all players playing the same minigame in an attempt to beat a record on a single console.
- The game also comes packed with a paper Bonus Board, which can be played by cutting out the parts from the game's manual, and using the game to roll the dice and play Gaddgets and mini-games. Despite having an additional game that could be played in reality, it is mostly required to practically finish Shroom City first in order to make the most use out of this Bonus Board, and its gameplay is different than the rest of the series (you have to run around the board in attempt to land on a Star Space with a Star Piece, and you need to find a star in a random box to win).
Mario Party Advance was met with mixed reception from critics and mixed-to-negative reception from gamers. It is currently the lowest rated Mario game on Metacritic, with a critic score of 54/100, and a user score of 5.2/10. Prior to the release of Mario Party: The Top 100, this game is often considered by fans as the worst Mario Party game.