This Mario Party title is hosted by MC Ballyhoo and his talking top hat Big Top. During the standard game, four different characters compete on one of six themed boards. When playing with fewer than four people, players select which characters the computer will control, as well as their difficulty level and handicap. Players can also select from five different areas to play on from the Play Choices screen by selecting the Select File screen in the beginning. Here, the player is given the choices of five different areas to play on: Party Tent, Star Battle Arena, Minigame Tent, Extras Zone, and the Fun Bazaar. The Party Tent allows for characters to compete on boards in three kinds of battles: Battle Royale (four-player competition; one to four players), Tag Battle (two-vs. two; one to four players), or Duel Battle (one-on-one; one to two players). In the Star Battle Arena mode, one player faces off against one opponent on each board in which when he/she gets to the last board, Bowser will take the star from the player and he/she will face against Hammer Bro or Blooper (which once defeated are included as playable characters) in Bowser's Warped Orbit, then once he/she defeat the character, Bowser will give back the Star Rod and the player will face in a final mini-game called Superstar Showdown. When he/she wins the battle the player wins the game. In the Minigame Tent, players can play several non-board challenges from the minigames. The extras zone has the eight extra minigames that do not appear in board-play with your Miis. Finally, the Fun Bazaar has the player use their carnival cards to unlock minigames and other surprises. In the Fun Bazaar, there is a place where if you buy it with your carnival cards, the player may listen to music and character voices. Minigame records can also be viewed here. For general board-play modes, players take turns (10 to 50 turns) rolling a dice block and moving across the game board, with the goal being to getting as many stars as possible within the allotted turn limit.