DropMix Review – IGN

DropMix Review – IGN

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One of the most exciting music games of recent years, but not without its problems.

Putting cards down onto a DropMix board is as close to magic as I’ve felt with a game for quite some time. Part-game, part-DJ deck, this Harmonix-Hasbro mixed media experiment is completely unique, and an absolute joy for anyone even vaguely interested in music – which makes it incredibly sad to say that questionable business decisions in how to release the game come close to crippling its appeal.

The basic concept is simple. Every DropMix card is the “stem” of a song – say, the vocals from ‘Ms. Jackson’, the drums from ‘It’s Tricky’, or the strings from ‘Call Me Maybe’. Put them into one of the game board’s five slots, and a Bluetooth-connected device with the free DropMix app will start playing that stem. Add another card, and the two stems play together, automatically matching their key and tempo.

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It’s a very neat system – the NFC chipped cards respond to being placed on the board near-instantly and, brilliantly, the game always knows which card is on top of a stack, meaning you don’t need to remove stems to place new ones. Add up to five stems and you’ll have created a full song, perfectly in sync and, often, good enough to save to the game’s memory to be played back later.

Stems can be vocals, lead melody, rhythm sections, percussion or, best of all, cards that can be any of the four, and reconfigure the entire mix around them after a breakdown – there’s nothing like hearing the “ooh-AH-AH-AH-AH” of Disturbed’s Down With the Sickness absolutely destroy and then assimilate Gloria Gaynor.

It is, frankly, incredible how well all of this works. Harmonix has brought its years of experience with repurposing licensed tracks, and created its most ludicrous, amazing feat of musical engineering yet. With absolutely no skill required, anyone holding a stack of DropMix cards can create genuinely excellent (or at the very least interesting) music.

I’ve turned Evanescence into an electro-pop act, morphed Duck Sauce’s ‘Barbara Streisand’ into an apocalyptic march, and made Ed Sheeran sound close to likeable. It’s a discovery tool of sorts, too – for instance I’ve found out that every song in the world is made better by Sean Paul’s vocals from ‘Temperature’. That’s just a fact in my head now.

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It’s not just a fancy toy, however. Alongside a Freestyle option, DropMix comes with two game modes, Clash and Party. Party’s the simpler of the two, allowing up to five players to play the most distractingly cool game of Go Fish ever conceived. The game calls out elements of cards – card colour, type of instrument, or invented ‘power ratings’ – and the group has to check their hand to meet that request as quickly as possible. You’re playing co-operatively for a high score (all tracked by the app, thankfully), while making a single, evolving track in the background.

DropMix is at its best with Clash, though. A 1v1 or 2v2 competitive game where players construct or use pre-made decks in a race to earn 21 points. You do this by placing new stems, filling empty card types and taking over the full board, while attempting to stop your opponent from doing the same.

It’s a simple game complicated beautifully by a couple of factors. Effects cards can be played anywhere on the board, and can change various elements of your hand, existing stems or points totals. Alongside those, players can swap one of their two actions per turn to smack the pleasingly chunky DropMix button, a risk-reward measure that spins a roulette wheel that /could/ force your opponent to discard cards (and points) on the board – plus frees up the canvas for an entirely new mix.

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You could feasibly play this game without any music, but the feeling of “owning” the mix – or having to pause the game because your Frankensteined-together, cross-genre banger is simply too good to ignore – adds a brilliant reactivity to just playing cards. And the more cards you own, the better the game gets, with players able to construct decks that allow for cascading card combos, not to mention outlandish mixes. That’s where the problems set in.

The starter set comes with 60 cards, constituting four themed decks (essentially: hip-hop, pop, rock and electronic). Don’t forget that you already need an iOS or Android device to play the app and, if you want decent sound, some speakers with a 3.5mm output, because the board’s hogging your Bluetooth connection. That’s not cheap, particularly outside North America, where the starter set’s price has been jacked up considerably.

It offers a decent number of cards, and will keep you going for some time – especially if you start deck building – but chances are you’ll begin to want more. That’s OK! Harmonix offers four more pre-made, 15-card decks along the same genre lines as the starter pack, all of which offer some of the more interesting Effects cards.

But even buying all four of those won’t complete your collection. DropMix also offers two ‘series’ of $5/£5 blind booster packs, featuring cards that can’t be found in any pre-made decks. Disappointingly, full mixes of songs have been deliberately spread across all three means of getting cards, purposefully fuelling people’s desire to buy more blind packs.

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Put it this way: imagine if this was a video game, and these cards were DLC. Imagine if an RPG gave you a helmet, and told you the rest of the armour set was DLC – but the chestpiece was in a DLC expansion, and the boots and gauntlets were found in loot boxes. Now imagine, instead of armour, it’s the four constituent parts of The Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’. You get it.

It makes DropMix a complicated recommendation. At the centre of all of this is a game I’ve never seen before, and that I don’t think any other developer in the world could replicate – DropMix, as a concept, is a triumph. But it’s surrounded by a tangle of money-motivated decisions that not only lock off content that makes playing the game and your music better, but actively tries to hook you into paying more, possibly for duplicate cards.

The Verdict

Ignore the problems, and Harmonix and Hasbro’s collaboration has resulted in one of the most exciting music games of recent years – and it’s a huge shame that those problems are so hard to ignore.

Editors’ Choice

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Giveaway (Final Days): Destiny 2 Collector’s Edition

Giveaway (Final Days): Destiny 2 Collector’s Edition

 

Hey, guardians! We’re giving away three (3) Destiny 2 Collector’s Edition sets for our Fireteam Chat sweepstakes. Be sure to check out the official sweepstakes link to enter by following us YouTube Fireteam Chat.

ENTER HERE (Contest Link): https://gleam.io/JgcfM/fireteam-chat-destiny-2-collectors-edition-sweepstakes

  • The Destiny base game in a SteelBook case
  • A Destiny 2 Expansion Pass for two upcoming expansions with new story missions, cooperative activities, competitive multiplayer, new weapons, armor, and gear
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Knightfall: “You’d Know What To Do” Review

Knightfall: “You’d Know What To Do” Review

This is a spoiler-free review of Knightfall: “You’d Know What To Do.”

History’s Knightfall delivers a fascinating story centered around the Knights Templar and their quest to find the Holy Grail in the early 14th century. Like the network’s flagship series Vikings, Knightfall proves why History needs to develop more original dramas.

Knightfall goes big and bold right from the beginning with a large-scale battle set in the city of Acre. For a TV budget, the assault on the stronghold looks great, but it’s the use of intricately placed cameras that make the sequence shine.

Typically, an actor that wears a helmet, like Thor, finds a reason to take it off, in order to better show the actor’s face. Studios don’t want to pay someone millions of dollars to hide beneath a helmet. Instead of taking the helmets off, Knightfall puts the cameras inside the helmets. It’s a brilliant choice because it creates a feeling of claustrophobia that adds to the intensity of the fights.

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KOS-MOS is Making an Appearance in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

KOS-MOS is Making an Appearance in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Just ahead of Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s worldwide release, Nintendo and Monolith announced beloved character KOS-MOS Re: will be making an appearance in the epic new JRPG as a Rare Blade.

The game’s official Twitter account revealed KOS-MOS Re:’s inclusion with a new look at the character. Originally making her debut in the Xenosaga RPG trilogy on PlayStation 2 as KOS-MOS, the android character played an integral part in the series’ plot, meant to be a “savior” of humanity in the trilogy.

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Ultra Wormholes – Pokemon Sun & Pokemon Moon Wiki Guide – IGN

Ultra Wormholes – Pokemon Sun & Pokemon Moon Wiki Guide – IGN

The Ultra Wormhole is uncovered late into the story of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon on Poni Island, and can be accessed at will at the Altar of the Moone/Sunne.

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This page details everything you need to know about the Ultra Wormhole mechanic, including every Pokemon found in Ultra Wormholes, and how to determine which Wormholes go where.

Jump To:

To get to a portal to another world, you must ride on Lunala or Solgaleo through the main Ultra Wormhole first, which plays as a mini-game.

As you travel through the wormhole, keep the following in mind:

  • If you lose too much speed, you will get sucked into the next wormhole regardless. Make sure to keep stocked up on the glowing gold balls to maintain momentum so you can avoid unwanted wormholes.
  • Try using Solgaleo. We’ve found the four-legged beast to be much easier to control than Lunala. You can change which Legendary Pokemon you use by speaking to an Ultra Recon Squad member at Megalopolis.
  • If the motion controls are discombobulating, turn them off. See the section below for details on how to – it’s not as simple as finding the option in a menu.
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When Ultra Ride is first unlocked, you’ll be forced to traverse the Ultra Wormhole with motion controls. This is absolutely not ideal, and can be quite disorientating. 

Changing this requires an odd, hidden method. First, fly to Heahea City on Akala Island. From the Pokemon Center, make a right, and enter the last building on the corner. Go into the Gamefreak office on the second floor and talk to the Aether Paradise employee to the left of the entrance to change the controls. 

You can tell how rare a Wormhole is by the rings that appear around it. They progress from no rings, one ring, two rings, and two rings with extra colorful aura.

The farther you go while riding Lunala or Solgaleo, the more likely you’ll find a very rare Wormhole that leads to a place many thousands of lightyears away.

The rarer a Wormhole, the more likely you’ll find a rare Pokemon inside, including Legendary Pokemon. Keep in mind it’s not guaranteed – the chances are just higher. Check back soon for screenshots.

If a Legendary Pokemon is accidentally knocked out, it will still appear. Once a Legendary Pokemon is caught, it will no longer appear through Ultra Wormholes.

There are five different colors of Ultra Wormholes, which represent different environments, ultimately determining which Pokemon you’ll find as well.

These are:

  • White Ultra Wormholes: Ultra Beasts
  • Yellow Ultra Wormholes: Cave
  • Red Ultra Wormholes: Cliffs
  • Blue Ultra Wormholes: Water
  • Green Ultra Wormholes: Field

See each individual color section to see what Legendary Pokemon you’ll find there, and check back soon for all Pokemon. 

White wormholes will always have Ultra Beasts on the other side. Some are rarer than others, but all are catchable in infinite quantities. See the Ultra Beasts page for information on the remaining beasts.

There is a huge chance to find Shiny Pokemon in Ultra Wormholes. 

Non-legendary Pokemon are determined to be Shiny upon entering the wormhole. This means you can save and soft-reset as you wish, and the Pokemon will still be Shiny, allowing you to recapture it until you attain the desired Nature. 

This isn’t the case with Legendary Pokemon. You can effectively soft-reset, resetting that Legendary Pokemon’s Chance to be Shiny each time.  

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Marvel Comics’ Big Missed Opportunity – I’ve Got Issues – IGN

Marvel Comics’ Big Missed Opportunity – I’ve Got Issues – IGN

Marvel Legacy has one glaring problem.

Marvel Legacy is the publisher’s latest relaunch, an attempt to course correct by embracing its most beloved classic elements. Borrowing a move from DC Rebirth, Marvel showed how they’re going to do that with an oversized one-shot, Marvel Legacy #1 by Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic and various artists, that set up several exciting plot lines. However, Marvel has already missed a huge opportunity.

Warning: beware of spoilers for Marvel Legacy #1!

The big events in the one-shot included the debut of a new Avengers team from 1,000,000 B.C., a glimpse of the children of Fantastic Four’s Reed and Sue Richards after a long absence, and the return of Wolverine from the dead, but here’s the thing: this all happened two months ago and there are still no comics to buy that immediately follow up on any of it.

Marvel doubtless put a lot of time and energy into the Marvel Legacy one-shot. It’s the keystone for an entire relaunch, after all. It succeeded in telling a vast yet personal story that warms your little nerd heart, but ultimately it exists to compel readers to buy more Marvel comics, and that’s where it stumbles. The main threads of the story concern the Avengers 1,000,000 B.C., the Richards kids, and Wolverine. Most other characters only appears for a page or two. Yet this is what you see when you reach the end of the issue:

There are 12 comics advertised, all crowded onto a two-page spread with a bit of text as to what each series is about. Captain America Steve Rogers only appeared on one page in the one-shot, yet his comic series is the first recommended to readers. The Avengers and the Champions seem to be in quite the pickle, but that wasn’t set up in the story. Neither was Klaw, who is going head-to-head with Black Panther; what about the Wakandan space stuff? There are two X-Men comics advertised, but neither feature the returned Wolverine. The reveal of the Richards kids is the final twist at the end of the one-shot, but nothing points out that Marvel Two-In-One is probably where we’ll see them next.

There’s a major disconnect between the story of Marvel Legacy and these follow-ups. Where’s the logic behind promoting these books? Not that I want to turn this into a Marvel vs. DC argument, but at least DC Rebirth’s post-story ads were full-page covers, the first of which told you where you can find Wally West, the fan-favorite character who returned in DC Universe: Rebirth #1.

Not all of DC’s ads had clear links to the events of the one-shot, mind you, but DC at least capitalized on the long-awaited, emotional return of one of its most beloved legacy characters. It makes you wonder why Marvel didn’t have a series lined up for Wolverine, who has been dead for years. Maybe it’s because there are already three other versions of Wolverine running around the Marvel Universe. What’s the big deal about one more?

But that doesn’t explain why they didn’t reveal the comic where the Avengers 1,000,000 B.C. will be seen again, either. That team was the focus of Marvel’s heavy promotional campaign for the one-shot and played a key role in the story, yet there’s not a series where you can read their next adventure. Given that Odin wielding Mjolnir, Ghost Rider riding a fiery undead wooly mammoth, and the rest were so well-received by fans, it’s baffling why Marvel didn’t have a new comic teed up. Not every reader is dialed into Aaron’s Twitter feed where he said he’s working on a new comic featuring those characters.

It’s anyone’s guess when that will materialize, but in the meantime, Marvel is promoting the “No Surrender” Avengers crossover for winter/spring, which begs the question: why set up those supposedly all-important plot lines and then spend the next several months focusing on something that only got a barely noticeable setup in Marvel Legacy #1?

Yes, all things in good time, but why not strike while the iron is hot? Just about every comic reader I’ve talked to about Marvel Legacy #1 has been confused as to what to read next. Marvel Legacy #1 did what it was designed to do, these people are hungry for more Marvel, but they don’t know what to spend their money on.

And before you say it, yes, DC didn’t have an immediate follow-up to the big Watchmen twist in DC Universe: Rebirth #1, but that was a stinger designed to tease something to come in the future. Wally was the core of the story, and they immediately made good on his return. Was the core of Marvel Legacy #1 Valeria Richards’ poignant desire to come home, the proto-Avengers and the danger of the deranged Celestial, or Wolverine’s long-awaited resurrection? It’s hard to say, but either way, you can’t buy any comics featuring them.

There has been a little movement on the Wolverine front in the form of a couple teasers, but he still doesn’t have a series, and what’s more concerning, the teasers imply his return will be dragged out over time, meaning it’ll be even longer before he actually gets his own comic, and by then the hype of Marvel Legacy #1 will have long gone cold.

I’ve Got Issues is an ongoing column by Joshua Yehl. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.

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Masters of the Universe: DC Movie Veteran David Goyer to Direct He-Man Film – IGN

Masters of the Universe: DC Movie Veteran David Goyer to Direct He-Man Film – IGN

The film will open in theaters on December 18, 2019.

Sony wants a DC movie veteran to helm the Masters of the Universe reboot.

TheWrap reports David S. Goyer, the writer behind Christoper Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel, and Batman v Superman, is in talks to direct the He-Man film. Goyer also wrote the most recent draft of the script. The movie will hit theaters on December 18, 2019.

Goyer will be replacing McG, who left the project earlier this year. There’s still no news regarding casting, including who might play the warrior Prince Adam (He-Man).

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The original story for Masters of the Universe is set on the planet Eternia and follows Adam, who turns into the mighty He-Man in order to battle the villainous Skeletor. The franchise started out as a Mattel toy line and then became a children’s TV series in 1983.

A live-action film came out in 1987 and stars Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and and Frank Langella as Skeletor.

While you wait for He-Man to hit theaters, check out this Battle Cat concept art from the film.

Alex Gilyadov is a freelance writer for IGN. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Ski Speeders Intended to Be ‘Heaps of Crap’ – IGN

Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Ski Speeders Intended to Be ‘Heaps of Crap’ – IGN

“They are old and not meant to instill confidence… weapons of last resort”.

“Underwhelming” is not a word you would immediately expect to associate with an epic movie franchise – particularly one on the scale and size of the Star Wars universe – but, according to Pablo Hidalgo from the Lucasfilm story group, that’s exactly how the latest vehicles in a galaxy far, far away should make you feel.

As reported by EW, the ski speeders feature in the forthcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi (you may remember them as the unbalanced-looking surface skimmers kicking up red dust in the movie’s first teaser). Described by Hidalgo as “basically heaps of crap”, the ski speeders are designed to demonstrate exactly how outmatched the Resistance fighters are in their battle against the First Order.

“They are old and not meant to instill confidence . . . weapons of last resort”, Hidalgo explains. They highlight the difference between the military efficiency of the First Order and the ragtag nature of the Resistance, using “whatever you have on hand, even old, outdated stuff”.

It’s not the first time the movie has taken pains to remind us of the desperate situation our heroes find themselves in. The latest trailer teases some dark turns for the franchise, and with The Last Jedi reportedly the longest film in the franchise there’s certainly time for things to get worse before they get better.

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For more on Star Wars, check out our rundown of the latest additions to the franchise’s alien menagerie, read about the brand new trilogy beinh developed the The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson, or see what Rey actress Daisy Ridley has to say about stepping down from the franchise after Episode IX.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits movie theatres worldwide December 15 (December 14 in Australia).

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The Best Gifts for Kids – IGN

The Best Gifts for Kids – IGN

No kid likes a boring gift.

The problem with buying gifts for kids is that everyone tends to visit the same stores and the same toy aisles. That means kids get a very narrow range of presents at best, and duplicate gifts at worst. It’s time to break the mold this holiday season and get more creative with your gifts for the kids in your life.

To that end, we’ve selected a wide range of gift options for kids of all ages.

They eat, sleep, cry, and look adorable. They’re infants, and their needs are pretty basic. Here are some gifts that will make their lives a little more comfortable.

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LED Cat Lamp Babies love lights, and this cat-shaped one glows in seven vibrant colors, in addition to the standard nightlight shine.

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Kids Sock of the Month Club Baby socks are the size of thimbles, so it’s no surprise that they vanish all the time. Fix that with a subscription to Kids Sock of the Month Club.

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Wicket Plush You’re never too young to get acquainted with the wonders of the Star Wars universe.

Also consider:

Once they start walking and talking, kids develop a whole new set of needs and wants. Here are gifts any toddler will love.

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Star Wars Galactic Heroes Figurines This pack of 10 action figures offers a kid-friendly, cartoonish take on Star Wars characters.

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Star Wars Little Golden Books Lots of kids’ books can put parents to sleep. But throw a little Star Wars in there, and you get a story that’s palatable for all ages.

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Puffy Stickers Kids and stickers go together like peanut butter and jelly. Don’t fight the pairing. Indulge it.

Also consider:

Looking for more gift suggestions for little ones? Check out IGN sister-site WhatToExpect.com’s Mom Must-Have Awards

Ages 4 – 6

When kids reach this age and can play with more complex toys and games, the fun really begins. These gift ideas will please even the pickiest children.

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Go Cuckoo Board Game Kids will love to build a nest stick by stick and see if it’s sturdy enough to hold the cuckoo and her eggs.

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Star Wars Where’s Wookie Move over, Waldo. Chewbacca is hiding in crowded scenes all across the galaxy. Can you find him?

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National Geographic: Break Open 4 Geodes All kids love to bash things to bits. Channel that energy into science with these beautiful break-open geodes.

Also consider:

Ages 7 – 12

All bets are off with this age group — they can enjoy all kinds of gifts. Go nuts and buy these cool presents for the school-aged kids in your life.

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Harry Potter Illustrated Editions These lovingly illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series bring the classic books to life like never before.

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Crystal Growing Kit Bring the science with this kit that comes with everything kids need to grow seven kinds of crystals.

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NERF: Elite HyperFire Blaster Don’t come to a NERF party with a sub-par weapon. This beast, which can send off five shots a second, is practically a WMD.

Also consider:

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LEGO Chain Reactions Moving Machine Craft Kit This isn’t your standard LEGO set. This one lets you build 10 different machines that actually move, so kids can learn as they build.

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LEGO Minecraft Mushroom Island Bring Minecraft into the physical world with this LEGO set pulled right from the kid-favorite game.

Also consider:

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Animation Studio stop-motion kit Give the child in your life a firsthand look at moviemaking with this stop-motion animation kit.

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3D Printing Pen Who says drawings have to be two-dimensional? With this unique pen, kids can draw their creations in 3D.

Also consider:

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Nintendo 2DS Whether you pick up the excellent 2DS XL or the sturdy and affordable wedge-shaped 2DS, now is a fantastic time to catch up on the system’s extensive and excellent line-up. Just check out the kid-friendly games below.

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Super Mario Maker With Super Mario Maker, kids can create and play through their very own levels in the Mushroom Kingdom.

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Kirby Planet Robobot Platformers don’t get much more creative and delightful than Kirby Planet Robobot. This game oozes charm.

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Pokemon Sun Kids can spend dozens of hours exploring the vast world of Pokemon Sun, collecting all the monsters they find.

Also consider:

Need Even More Great Gift Ideas?

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