After reading all of the negative reviews about this game I was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. Some of the points in those reviews have turned out to be true, others not so much true.
The Mario Party line of games is like a Bill Murray movie, either you like them or you don't. Most of the people I know who enjoy the Mario Party line of games do have a favorite but they also like all of them. Just like with Bill Murray movies!
I tried out the Donkey Kong board and the Boo board tonight. I played the Donkey Kong board solo and my daughter joined me for the Boo board. Yeah, I know only losers play Mario Party alone but, I just happened to have a little bit of time to myself before she got home.
The game play is typical Mario Party. There are no great innovations in this game other than the use of the Wii-mote. Some of those uses are good and some are just annoying.
Take the Alpine Skiing game for example. I found it simply annoying trying to tilt the Wii-mote side to side to guide my guy down the hill. The Lasso game though was great! Just twirl the Wii-mote then throw it out and pull back.
Not all of the games I played used the motion sensor technology of the Wii-mote, and that is good. Some just have you use it like an NES controller. Others use it as a gun.
In all other respects the game is classic Mario Party. You roll the dice to move around the board and try to get the most stars. Animations were fast enough to keep me entertained when it was not my turn. There is not an abundance of text to read either (cough Super Paperwork Mario cough) so game play is smooth.
The boards I have played on were good. The Donkey Kong board is your basic starter board while the Boo board changes every time someone gets a star.
Mini-games follow the standard formula that is based on who ends their turn on what colored space. I played through a good variety of mini-games that covered the gamut of 3-on-1, 2-on-2, and 4-way games.
The only complaints I have are the same ones I had for Cooking Mama on the Wii: The Wii-mote is not designed to test fine motor skills.