For Mario Party 10, I believe you need at least one amiibo to launch the amiibo party game option. Once inside the amiibo party game, other players can play without amiibos, but where the amiibo players appear as their 3D models in the game, the non-amiibo players look like classic cardboard cutout boardgame pieces on plastic insert stands. It's not a game changer in any way. However, the amiibo players can throw the dice by placing their amiibo on the gamepad to start the dice spinning and lifting the amiibo to throw them.
I played Mario Party 10 with my 8 year-old son a few times this weekend. It's the first Mario Party game I've ever played. Even my wife got in on it a couple of times. We tried all three modes (amiibo party, Bowser party, and Mario party) and I found it to be a lot of fun. I really liked the dynamic board game feel and most of the minigames were clever.
After the first game we realized that your running score during the game really doesn't matter much. While you may feel like you're falling hopelessly behind, the game can turn around quickly. Even when something seems horribly unfair or extreme (like the Boo stealing your stars every turn), you're never out of the game and you will most likely bounce right back soon enough.
My son LOVED playing as Bowser in the Bowser party. His excitement was barely contained when it was his turn to try to stomp on us
. I have to say that a couple of those
minigames were really brutal and could easily wipe out most of the team, but the game offered quite a few opportunities to restore the team to keep the game going.
We the badminton game included among the bonus games was a lot of fun too.
I bought a bunch of the Super Mario Bros amiibos to play with this game. I thought it gave the game more of a boardgame feel when placing your piece on the gamepad. However, this only works in amiibo party. For the other modes you're just using the wiimotes
. Yes, make sure you have working wiimotes because the Wii Pro controllers do not work with this game. Also, be prepared to break out your wii sensor bar as a few elements in the game require pointing. Fortunately I had an old wireless sensor bar sitting around because the wired one probably wouldn't reach in my current setup.
Those amiibos are a bit of a pain though. Not being able to leave them on a base like Skylanders or Disney Infinity means repeatedly touching and lifting the amiibos from the gamepad, and following directions on the screen. A number of times we had corrupted data and the amiibos had to be restored. It's a simple harmless process (nothing is lost), but it can be tedious and disruptive... especially for the younger ones who don't really understand what's going on. I'm guessing it's because occasionally the amiibo isn't held properly on the gamepad during a write or it's accidentally lifted too soon.