Series: Join The Game Press "A" to join NPR's new column on games and gaming culture — from the latest console titles to what's on our tabletops.
Special Series

Join The Game

NPR's new column on games and gaming culture

In the Pokémon Snap games, you're not capturing mons and forcing them to fight — you're taking pictures of them in their natural habitats. Screenshot by Kaity Kline/Nintendo hide caption

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Screenshot by Kaity Kline/Nintendo

Wish on stars in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the next morning, jewel-bright star fragments will wash up on your beaches. Screenshot by Amal El-Mohtar/Nintendo hide caption

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Screenshot by Amal El-Mohtar/Nintendo

Super Mario no Sweater let you design a sweater and send away to have it made for real. Screenshot by Brittany Vincent/Royal Industries Co. Ltd hide caption

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Screenshot by Brittany Vincent/Royal Industries Co. Ltd

Genshin Impact has a huge world to explore, and a surprising amount of content for a free-to-play game. Screenshot by Kaity Kline/MiHoYo hide caption

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Screenshot by Kaity Kline/MiHoYo

Nintendo's Switch console is less powerful than competing consoles, but offers a more interesting gameplay experience. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images