Mario Party Superstars brings back Tug o’ War minigame, with a warning

Mario Party Superstars is bringing back a 23-year-old minigame — and a warning that harkens back to the old N64 controller’s analog stick.

Tug o’ War, a one-on-three game where players rotate an analog stick to pull the rope, is among the 100 minigames launching with Superstars Next week. In the old days, children used their flattened palms for faster winding the sticks, which eventually led to a rope burning effect.

Parents complained that their kids had gotten blisters, bruises, friction burns, and cuts playing Tug o’ War in Mario Party It was bad enough that the Attorney General for New York State (the soon-to-be-disgraced, soon-to-be-ex-governor Eliot Spitzer) got involved.

As CNET reported way, way back in 2002, Spitzer’s office negotiated an agreement with Nintendo for the company to provide four (4) pairs of sports gloves to every Mario Party Owner who requested them. The request must be made with some very complicated proof of ownership or purchase information. It was believed that very few parents actually accepted the offer from Nintendo. Fewer than 100 people complained to Nintendo directly.

It doesn’t look like a warning was ever slapped on Mario Party Back in those days. (Kotaku pointed out that another minigame, Pedal Power, featured the same stick-input; it’s not included in Superstars, However. At the time, said CNET, a recording on Nintendo of America’s hotline for Mario Party “recommends that players avoid injuries simply by manipulating the joystick with their thumb and forefinger rather than the palm of the hand.” Novel idea!

Tug o’ War’s warning in Mario Party Superstars explicitly says “do not rotate [the stick] with the palm of your hand.” But 2000s kids remember that, in the cold, cruel world of Mario Party, where you don’t get participation trophies, you had to be willing to sacrifice a hand. Now that they’re adults, I expect them to pass this lesson along to the next generation.

Mario Party Superstars Nintendo Switch launches Oct. 29

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