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It is targeted at younger players and as such has very simplistic story and dialogue and is generally less difficult than its console counterparts. It has no standard Party or multiplayer mode, although a few minigames can be played multi-player by sharing the buttons (for example, Player 1 using L and Player 2 using R) or by competing for high score. The primary portion of the game consists of story mode where the player travels around the board and seeks out NPCs to get quests from. The player moves with mushrooms and must win more mushrooms in minigames in order to continue playing. If the player runs out of mushrooms, the game ends, but there is no penalty other than that the player cannot complete the current quest. Anything earned or unlocked will be saved.
The minigames are also different than the console counterparts, in that instead of competing against human (or even CPU) opponents, the player has to accomplish a certain goal.
Mario Party Advance introduces "minigames" known as "Gaddgets" which generally serve no purpose and are sometimes considered a waste of space on the cartridge.
Modes of play
The objective of Shroom City is to find citizens of Shroom City that will give quests to the players, who must complete them to receive rewards. Most quests will award a Gaddget, but some will grant special mini-games in which players can win coins. Mushrooms are used as dice, and the game ends once a player has run out of mushrooms (characters start with five). Every three turns, players are forced to play a Mushroom Challenge mini-game. For winning the Mushroom Challenge, players receive three mushrooms (at random times, they are given chances to win six mushrooms). Losing the Mushroom Challenge results in no reward. There are also mini-game spaces on the board; if a player lands on one, he or she can play a mini-game for more mushrooms. If Tumble appears, he or she will get 2 mushrooms for clearing the mini-game. But if Koopa Kid appears, he or she can only win 1 for beating the mini-game. In addition, the player will lose one mushroom if he or she fails. There is also another space on the board that causes a player to have another turn without rolling another mushroom. Shroom City also has various areas: Town Area, Seaside Area, Jungle Area, Desert Area, Snow Area, and Horror Area. Some parts in it are just like Animal Crossing.
In Play Land, the cartridge owner can play any mini-game previously unlocked in Shroom City. One format is similar to Who Wants to be a Millionaire and 1 vs 100 where the player plays up to 15 mini-games to win 1,000,000 coins. The player can drop out at any time between games and earn the coins or play on to risk their winnings. Also, the player has helps such as second chance if the player fails to win the game, they can play it again. Practice, similar to the second chance but can practice it many times. Extra options help adds two more options to the three should the player not feel confident in playing the original three games. Gamers can also trade or give away mini-games or Gaddgets and play a special game called Penguin Race, 4-player (or fewer) game, the outcome of which is determined by mini-game high scores.
In Party Land, multiplayer games are made available. Two gamers can access Duel Games with a single game pak, or play Secret Battles and Koopa Kid Battles with two paks. There are two special modes, 100-Player Battle and 100-Player Attack, that use a single Game Boy Advance and are centered on beating another player's high score, or making one's own high score last the longest.
In Challenge Land, gamers play different modes to earn coins, which used to buy extra Gaddgets. The modes include Mini-game Attack, Game Room, Duel Dash, and Bowser Land. In Mini-game Attack, coins are rewarded for completing games without failing, and, for every level (which are called 'attacks') successfully completed, increasingly large coin rewards are granted. Game Room holds special "coin games", which are typical Casino games, such as slots and rubbing spaces on a card. Duel Dash pits the player against a computer opponent for a series of Duel games. There are three difficulty modes: Easy, Normal, and Hard, with the harder modes awarding larger amounts of coins. In Bowser Land, Bowser's roller coaster deposits the player on a randomly chosen Koopa Kid mini-game. Completing the coaster in the right amount of time will grant the player coins.
A Gaddget is 'a wonderful toy with many functions'. They are earned by completing quests in Shroom City, beating Bowser's many Koopa Kid mini-games, and buying them with coins in Challenge Land. Some of the many Gaddgets include: Dessert Menu, where the player can make a dessert by picking three things from three categories, Tap-Tap Sumo, where one plays a popular Japanese game with Goomba characters, and Screen Clean, in which one's Game Boy Advance screen is cleaned by the game. The hardest one to get is Power Star, which players must buy with 100,000 coins.
"Just count the sheep until you fall asleep! Great for insomniacs of all ages!" Cardboard cutout sheep slide from left to right on the screen, moving upward to pass over a cardboard cutout fence. A simple tune plays in the background. Options: On/Off
"If you rub it right, a genie may appear and grant your deepest wishes!" Use the D-Pad to move a picture of a piece of cloth in circles around a lamp.
"Press the buttons with a friend to measure your compatibility levels!" The player and a friend each press two of the GBA's buttons. A flashing heart gives their compatibility in a percentage.
"Be the envy of all your friends with this dreamy Power Star! Show it off!" The most expensive Gaddget. A star floats up and down and sometimes sparkles. Options: None
"Who needs a real dog when you've got this virtual best friend by your side?" Watch the dog walk around, sleep, etc. Options: None
"This windproof flame will never let you down! Too bad it's not warmer..." Press A to play an animation of a lighter-style flame.
"Ahhh... Turn your GBA into a nice, cool fan! You feel cooler just looking at it!" An animation of a fan. Press A to change speed.
"It's a beautiful night. If you see a falling star, make a wish! Don't blink!" A cardboard cutout of a castle at night with blinking lights. A shooting star passes every few minutes. Options: None
"Make a wish and close the lid with any button. Have someone you like open it!" A heart bounces up in down in a round window surrounded by frilly pink things. Pressing any button closes one fifth of the lid each time, until the lid is closed. Pressing another button opens the lid to reveal the heart, which sparkles and resumes bouncing.
Mario Party Advance had generally mediocre reviews, and is considered the worst in the series.
Mario Party Advance comes with a paper board that can be used in conjunction with the video game for an enhanced multiplayer experience. The game acts as a dice-roller and mini-game chooser. The mini-games that are played are 4-player Gaddgets.
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