Mario Party features the life-size physical boards previously seen in Mario Party 2, as well as a range of other game modes that are intended to make the experience unique and different from previous Mario Party games. Board types are different between the various Mario Party games. In Mario Party 2 and Mario Party 3, players take turns playing a single AI-controlled Yoshi character who must collect coins scattered throughout the board to win the game. In Mario Party 4 and Mario Party 5, players take turns playing a board of three Yoshi characters in turn, as in traditional board games. This Board Party minigame is included in Mario Party 6, where, for the first time, the entire board is played with all four players present at once. Different board types feature, for example, different coin collection methods, score tracking and player status limits. The mode remains in later Mario Party games, though only one player can play Yoshi at a time on Mario Party 8, and on all boards of Mario Party 10 and Mario Party 11.
In addition to single-player boards, Mario Party on the Nintendo 64 and earlier systems includes three minigames that are included in place of Yoshi. These include Yo-Mode, Deck Up and Battle Mode. Each board has a specific objective on which the players must concentrate to win. These objectives vary over the 13 games between Mario Parties 1 and 3, but may include collecting the most gold coins, collecting items for a prize, capturing the enemy on a single turn (for Mario Party 1 and Mario Party 2), knocking over as many buildings as possible (for Mario Party 3), or collecting as much as possible of a specific special item (including, for Mario Party 4, the magical Power Star). As in the Yoshi game mode, each minigame has a specific objective on which the players must concentrate to win.
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