You might be thinking "WHAT!?", or "Caryl, you're absolutely bonkers", and although that may be true, do hear me out—this opinion comes with both love and frustration. Mostly frustration, though.
When I bought the new Super Mario Party for the Switch a few weeks ago, it was with a ton of nostalgia and great memories of minigame fun with my friends. I was excited! So excited in fact, that the SO and I played after work the same day it arrived from Amazon. And the experience just kinda fell flat, to be perfectly honest. Yes, the minigames were...fun. Fun enough anyway. But the biggest problem I have with everything was just how frustrating it is to play.
I've been playing board games for probably a good 5 years after almost entirely moving away from video games (with exceptions here and there, of course). And boardgames here mean much more than just your average Monopoly and Scrabble. It's games that immerse you, offer a lot of great, strategic decisions, and gameplay that not even video games can achieve.
I don't know if it's just a matter of being spoiled on so many great boardgames or if my game tastes has just "matured", but I definitely feel like my tolerance for games "like" Super Mario Party has lowered. What I mean by that are games that don't feel rewarding enough and revolve around a game system that has no real control over winning. I'm totally reasonable if I lose a game and it's my fault for that, but if I spend half the game trying to get ONE -expletive- star, just to get it stolen while someone's got 8 stars, THEN WE GOTS A PROBLEM.
In all fairness though, Mario Party probably wasn't about the winning as much as it was about the crazy, fun, and kooky minigames you could just jam with your friends. But if I'm more or less looking for that same feel, there's actually a really great handful of board games that will still invoke uproarious laughter, silliness, and be super light enough to have any friend be involved and still feel fun even when you lose. In fact, if you're like me, and Mario Party just doesn't scratch the same itches as it used to, you might find these three games to suit you and your friends/family much better:
Remember those toys you'd get from those little vending machines in the mall or grocery store and you'd get this stretchy squishy toy? (Mine usually came as a frog or something). Well, this game basically takes that toy that's sitting in thousands of boxes in the factory and turns it into a hilarious quick game of dexterity.
You'll take your sticky tongue doohickey and try to slap it at the same time as other players in an effort to grab certain bugs to score points. Good luck trying not to get your tongue stuck on someone else's though. It just easily becomes a huge mess and pure chaos trying to unstick your tongue and still get your much needed bug.
Ghost Blitz is a game of reflexes and attention to detail. There's a pile of wooden pieces in very specific shapes and colours, like a red couch, white ghost etc. and a whole deck of cards showing images of the pieces.
The idea of the game is to be the fastest one to grab a piece from the middle of the table. The one you grab is the object that you DON'T see on the card that flipped from the deck. The hard part is that you have to grab the object that is not shown in object or its colour. The only exception is grabbing an object if it's shown EXACTLY in its shape and colour as the actual physical pieces on the table. Be the fastest and also the most perceptive because the second-guessing is real when you're under pressure.
You know Jenga? Well, yeah, of course you do. Well Junk Art is a bit like that where you get a bunch of wooden pieces...except all the pieces are in funky shapes. From planks to spheres, the idea of the game is that it offers you more than TEN different mini game modes utilizing the blocks in different ways of competition.
Try to build the tallest tower in a minute, pass cards with images of the pieces to other players, forcing them to place it on their structure etc. There's A LOT of different ways to enjoy this game with people of all ages.