Skim & Watch: MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun

The game I chose to analyze is Super Mario Party, the version to be played on Nintendo Switch. In the game, players compete individually to race to collect the most stars before gameplay ends. It is reminiscent of a traditional board game in that players roll a die moving to the corresponding square where they either earn coins, lose coins, or land upon a special square that may bring about a spontaneous mini game, a chance to earn power-ups, or casting a disadvantage on an opponent. After each player has taken a turn rolling the die and moving, a mini-game ensues in which the winner earns additional coins. The significance of the coins are to enable the purchase of stars through which victory will be determined. Finally, once gameplay is over and the winner is to be announced, bonus stars are awarded for various accomplishments throughout the game.
Super Mario Party has many elements that entice users to want to play and keep playing. To begin, by its nature the game is a collaborative effort that invites and encourages social play. Along the same lines, the incorporation of a storyline to a simple premise of continuously playing mini-games keeps players engaged and away from boredom. The competitive nature allows for the game to be fun and also achieve variability from each iteration. Likewise, the variability in difficulty and randomness of each mini-game adds to the challenge aspect. Finally, the accessibility behind the game of being able to catch on to the rules of play allows for the appeal of the game to have a greater range. Ultimately, through all these aspects, it becomes clear that the game’s core aesthetics are: challenge, fellowship, narrative, and the unofficial aesthetic of competition.

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