Well, this is unexpected. Having launched back in 2018, Nintendo's decided to roll out a brand new update to Super Mario Party without any prior warning. While the main board game modes were previously offline only, for the first time in Mario Party history, we now have fully-fledged online multiplayer.
Launching today, this update allows us to play all four Mario Party boards with friends online, supporting 2-4 players. If you aren't friends on your Switch, Nintendo has also implemented a password system for online matches, similar to Rocket League's private matches.
Super Mario Party Gets A Surprise Online Multiplayer Update On Switch
Partner Party - where two players team up to grab the most stars - is also available online, and between both modes, 70 out of the 80 minigames are now available. If you've not got your own copy, then fear not. Two players can participate online from one Nintendo Switch console.
Previously, Super Mario Party had a limited online offering, and players could choose from a selection of ten minigames to compete in. Furthermore, an "Online Mariothon" was included, where we'd compete in five randomly selected minigames.
It proved rather limited, so we're pleased to see Nintendo making this effort now. The timing is certainly unusual, and we'd suspect the COVID-19 pandemic has played a part in this decision, but it's certainly better late than never.