Recently, Nintendo seems to have developed an insatiable penchant for doubling things. First Mario Kart: Double Dash, then Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, and now, Mario Party 7. In Mario’s seventh annual bash, up to eight players can compete simultaneously for those ever-elusive stars across six boards and 86 brand-new minigames. Eight-player minigames are handled in the same fashion as two-player games in Wario Ware, with two players handling the same controller. While the old maxim “the more, the merrier” definitely holds true here, we can’t help but think that eight players relegated to half a controller each will result in some overly simplistic minigames (not that the minigames in Mario Party were ever especially complex to begin with).

Save the microphone peripheral introduced in last year’s Mario Party 6, the series has hardly deviated from the original formula laid down by the first Mario Party, the game that revolutionized (if not outright invented) the party game genre. How much innovation is possible in a franchise relegated to yearly installments? And what kind of new possibilities could the Revolution’s controller yield for Mario Party 8?