On the Nintendo Switch subreddit, one astute poster has figured out how the dice in Super Mario Party work. As it turns out, some of the new custom dice blocks work significantly different than others.
Central to any game of Mario Party is the dice roll. Depending on several factors (including which installment is played or what items are used), players roll one die each turn to move around the game board.
In Super Mario Party, players can use the standard die or a different die based on which character they pick or which partners they find during a game. The standard, six-sided die for every character runs 1-6. However, Wario’s die block, for example, has two -2 coin sides and four 6 movement sides. This gives you four chances to roll a six, with two chances of losing two coins and not moving at all.
After a brief experiment using the new dice options, Austin Wayne (who goes by Trilerium on Reddit) did a statistical analysis and posted his results.
The mean (average) for each die is what you’d expect, most of which falling around 3.33 or 3.50. But, there are a few outliers, like Bowser, that average 4.67 spaces per roll, giving him an overall advantage. For some players, covering a great distance can make or break a game.
The variance (how different the numbers are) shows the more dramatic changes with dice. Donkey Kong and Bowser have a variance of 26.67 and 23.07, respectively. When you look at what their dice are, you’ll begin to understand why. Donkey Kong has three 0, two 10, and one +5 coins (with no movement on that turn). Bowser has 1, 8, 9, 10, and two -3 coin sides. For both characters, they are either moving very large distances or not at all.
Given the data at hand, there isn’t a definite “best” character to pick in Super Mario Party. Items, ally characters, and level-specific events can all impact player movement. But, what the data might tell you is which character is best for you. In an interview with Kotaku, Austin Wayne concluded that there is no “one size fits all.”
“If you’re interested in which characters will win you bragging rights at the expense of your friends on game night, it’s not necessarily the case that a high average die, or a die with a couple of high sides, would be the best choice,” he said. “For example, Bowser should work out nicely if you’re playing a long game, especially after you have a few allies, but you have a good chance (50%) that you’re going to move either 1 or 0 spaces, which is a risk that may cost you.”
Board games like Super Mario Party often focus on risk-reward scenarios without any obvious solutions. But with this insightful data, it may be easier to find which character is your perfect match.