The first video game in what would become a hit franchise for Nintendo launched on this day in history.
Mario Party was released in the United States for the Nintendo 64 video game console on February 8th, 1999. The game, developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo, was a type of board game in video game form.
In the game, players picked one of six popular characters from the Mario franchise and traveled around a board. The goal was to have the most stars by the end, which could be obtained in various ways, mainly through purchase by coins. Primarily, those coins were earned in mini-games which occurred at the end of each turn. Those mini-games involved a variety of types–from combat to puzzle to racing and more. Some were free-for-all, others pitted a single-player against three others, some were team-based.
This first Mario Party included some games that involved spinning the analog stick on the controller rapidly. Many people got blisters from using the palm of their hands instead of thumbs as suggested. This mechanic has not been used in the franchise since.
The game was a big hit, especially in multiplayer mode, and would sell well. Many sequels have been released on several Nintendo platforms.