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.