Super Mario Party has been quite a hit on Nintendo Switch, even if we may not think of it in those terms. Nintendo's most recent figures put it at 7th in the system's best-selling games having shifted nearly 14 million copies, showing the appetite for multiplayer fun on the little system.
It's a strong entry in the series, though perhaps predictably its online play was underwhelming at best, limiting you to a small range of minigames to play with friends or strangers; it was a rather throwaway mode. Somewhat out of the blue, Nintendo has confirmed (on its Japanese website, hat-tip to ResetEra) and now released a big free update to significantly boost online play.
Here are the details [Update, equivalent information from Nintendo of America is live]:
- Three Modes playable online - Mario Party, Partner Party, Free Play (minigames). This makes boards playable online for the first time, and most importantly when playing online all characters and boards are available, regardless of in-game progress.
- You can choose Friend Match (playing with those on your friend list) or Private Game, where lobbies are password-protected. This seems to rule out random players in these expanded modes, which makes sense.
- Up to four players, but if there are two players on one system you can only connected with one other system. When it is one player per system up to four can connect.
- Supports the Invite Friend feature on the system.
- Free Play now allows you to play Vs. or co-op in 70 mini games.
Overall the update is significantly boosting the number of mini games playable online, but more importantly is allowing you to play boards with friends online for the first time.
Nintendo has also confirmed some Nintendo Switch Online promotions for Japan in the announcement, so we'll keep an eye out for equivalents in other regions.
The update is live now, so get downloading! Are you excited about playing Super Mario Party boards online?