Palm-Injuring Mario Party Game Is Back For The Switch With A Warning

Nintendo has brought back the controversial Tug o' War game for the Switch, though this time it comes with a warning.


When Mario Party first released for the Nintendo 64, a selection of its mini-games became infamous for causing friction burns on players' palms when they were required to rotate the joystick at speed. Now one of the most notorious of those games, Tug o' War, is coming back for Mario Party Superstars with no changes to the gameplay, just a new health warning, Kotaku reports.

The warning cautions players not to rotate the joystick with the palm of the hand, in order to avoid physical injury or damage to the controllers. It seems unlikely that many players will pay attention to the message, however. As most Mario Party players found out back in the N64 days, spinning the control stick with your palm is usually the only way to get enough speed to win, especially in a high-stakes game like the 1v3 Tug o' War. Even if players ignore the warning, it's likely enough to cover Nintendo from any liability this time around.

As reported by CNET in 2002, the issue with the original game was serious enough to make it to the New York Attorney General's office, which had received a number of complaints from parents of injured Mario Party players. In that case, Nintendo issued a warning that played as a pre-recorded message to anyone who called the company's Mario Party hotline, advising players to only use their thumbs and forefingers on the joystick.

In its settlement with the Attourney General's office, Nintendo ended up offering free padded, fingerless gloves to anyone with proof of purchase who requested them. In subsequent Mario Party releases, Nintendo simply avoided using the offending game mechanic altogether.

While it's unlikely that the rubber-coated Switch joysticks will cause the same injuries for players as the hard plastic N64 controllers did, it's still unlikely that the frenetic spinning will be good for the Joy-Cons themselves. With Joy-Con drift still an issue for many players, this kind of controller abuse may end up causing even more problems. It begs the question of why Tug o' War--and its fellow joystick-rotating mini game Cast Aways--ended up in Mario Party Superstars at all, when only 12 of the game's original 50 minigames made the cut.

Mario Party Superstars comes out on October 28, when you'll be able to find out for yourself how bad Tug o' War on the Switch will be for both your palms and your Joy-Cons.

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