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Playable as a standalone product or with Nintendo's e-Card Reader peripheral, Mario Party-e is a card game inspired by the Mario Party series. Up to four players can take part in the game, which begins with five cards being dealt to each player from a deck of sixty-four. Thereafter, each player takes a turn to draw a card from the deck. The cards themselves are divided into several categories: Coin, Item, Blocker, SuperStar, Chaos, Duel, and Search cards. As in the console Mario Party games, coins are the currency and can be used to purchase items, challenges, and other necessities from competing players.
Analogous to the console games, certain cards can drastically alter players' fortunes. Some may be used to steal coins or items, or even force players to swap decks with one another, among a host of other surprises. Eleven of the cards in the deck are encoded with Nintendo's "Dot Code" technology, allowing players to scan them into the e-Card Reader system in order to play specific mini-game events on the Game Boy Advance. These events require players to complete tasks that involve rapid-button pressing, timing, and sometimes guesswork. One mini-game charges players with stopping Wario's car as close to the edge of a cliff as possible without it falling off. Other events include 'Cast Away Mario," "Bolt from Boo," and "Mario's Mallet." ~ Gavin Frankle, All Game Guide