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‘Clubhouse Games’ Breathes Life Into Old Classics With Fresh, Calming Vibes

It’s possible Mario’s Game Gallery, originally released for Windows in 1995 with seemingly little involvement from Nintendo, was the first video game I ever played. It was pretty mediocre. You could play a handful of half-baked games like checkers and yahtzee against Mario, and it’s only notable because it was Charles Martinet’s first gig voicing Mario, a job he hasn’t given up in the 25 years since.

I didn’t care. I loved it.

My inexplicable childhood attachment to a rare, ill-conceived computer game may explain why I was so down to check out Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics for Nintendo Switch. This new oddity comes directly from Nintendo and is exactly what its name suggests: A collection of 51 mostly tabletop and card games from around the world that Nintendo doesn’t have to pay licensing fees to use. It’s available June 5 on the Nintendo Switch eShop.

Do I enjoy playing these sorts of games with physical game pieces or cards in real life? Not really! But neatly package them together in a video game with some light Nintendo aesthetic touches and I am in.

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