Medical masks are one of Animal Crossing’s hottest looks

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Medical masks are one of Animal Crossing’s hottest looks

The public narrative around Animal Crossing: New Horizons is that the slice-of-life game couldn’t come at a better time. With folks cooped up inside to avoid COVID-19, and the trashfire state of the world having a calming game is more than an escape. It’s a godsend.

And sure, Animal Crossing does appear to be breaking sales records right now, as people flock to an island where hard work always pays off and kindness is the rule of the land. But despite New Horizons’ reputation as a reprieve, one of the most popular trends sees players wearing medical masks, a curious reminder of the borders beyond the Nintendo Switch game. On social media, medical masks are perhaps the most common piece of attire you’ll see in shared screenshots. Even at Polygon, several staffers also have characters wearing medical masks.

Fallout 76 Wastelanders update delayed another week due to shift to remote work

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Fallout 76 Wastelanders update delayed another week due to shift to remote work

The free Wastelanders update for Fallout 76 was supposed to come out late last year, but has been delayed yet again due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic slowing down work on the project at Bethesda Game Studios.

“For the safety of everyone, we have transitioned to remote work, and are limiting our in-person interactions,” the studio tweeted. “However, this has affected our ability to do the final testing we need for Wastelanders, and we must move the release date a week, from April 7 to April 14. We’ve done everything we can to minimize the delay and can’t wait for everyone to play.”

Bored with your board games? Try the Board Game Remix Kit for free

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Bored with your board games? Try the Board Game Remix Kit for free

Plenty of us are stuck inside as the world attempts to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Kids are home from school, parents are working from home, and all but the most essential businesses have been shut down in many communities.

To get through this, we’ve got to keep our distance — and lots of folks are stepping in to make doing so a bit easier. World of Warcraft players have been offered double XP for the next month. Microsoft opened up a new educational category in Minecraft, offering free education content — like a Minecraft tour of the International Space Station — to students home from school. But if board games are more your thing, there’s stuff for you, too.

Star Wars Episode I: Racer is getting a Nintendo Switch re-release

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Star Wars Episode I: Racer is getting a Nintendo Switch re-release

During its Nintendo Direct on Thursday, Nintendo announced two new Star Wars games that will be making their way to the Switch soon. The first, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, was released on the Switch eShop today, but Nintendo also revealed that 1999’s Star Wars Episode I: Racer, a podracing game set during the first prequel, is coming to Switch as well.

Star Wars Episode I: Racer originally came out for Nintendo 64 back in 1999. The game featured a variety of tracks and the different racers from The Phantom Menace. During races players have the ability to boost, but have to manage engine temperature, and it wouldn’t be podracing if you couldn’t violently ram your opponents into the walls of the course.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s next fighter comes from Arms

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s next fighter comes from Arms

Arms, the 2017 fighting game for Nintendo Switch, loans one of its combatants to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Fighters Pass Vol. 2 lineup. The fighter will be available sometime in June, Nintendo said today.

It wasn’t clear, from this morning’s flash Nintendo Direct Mini, exactly which fighter (or fighters) will be part of the game. The promo showed a lineup of 15 different fighters and told fans to stay tuned for a June announcement.

Pokémon Sword and Shield’s new legendary form depends on your route

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Pokémon Sword and Shield’s new legendary form depends on your route

Pokémon Sword and Shield’s first expansion, Isle of Armor, will be out by the end of June — and with it comes a new legendary monster, Kubfu. While adorable, the brawler evolves into a more menacing Urshifu whose fighting style will depend on how you play the expansion.

According to a mini Nintendo Direct released this morning, Isle of Armor will present players with two routes. Fans will have to take on the “Towers of Two Fists,” which include the Tower of Darkness and Tower of Waters. Notably, players can only climb one of the gauntlets, not both. The tower you defeat will determine Urshifu’s form.

BioShock, Borderlands games coming to Nintendo Switch in May

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BioShock, Borderlands games coming to Nintendo Switch in May

On Thursday, Nintendo surprised fans with a new Nintendo Direct Mini presentation including a bunch of new information about games and game updates coming to the Nintendo Switch. The Direct Mini touched on everything from Pokémon Sword and Shield to a slew of 2K Games coming to the console, as well as new information about Animal Crossing: New Horizons events incoming later this year.

The selection of 2K Games titles will be released on Nintendo Switch on May 29. Here’s the full list:

Ring Fit Adventure adds a rhythm game mode with music from Splatoon 2, Breath of the Wild

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Ring Fit Adventure adds a rhythm game mode with music from Splatoon 2, Breath of the Wild

Nintendo’s fitness game for Switch, Ring Fit Adventure, is getting a major update today, including a new rhythm game mode and the option to play with a female-voiced version of your in-game companion, Ring.

Ring Fit Adventure’s new rhythm game mode includes 12 music tracks from the game itself, as well as music from other Nintendo Switch games: Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There’s even a Wii Fit music medley included.

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch will be released this May

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Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch will be released this May

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition for the Nintendo Switch, first announced in September 2019, now has a release date. The remake will arrive on May 29, and includes a few new features. The release will also be accompanied by a new art book, Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Works Set.

Xenoblade Chronicles was developed by Monolith Soft and released in 2012 in North America. It follows main character Shulk on a quest for revenge after the destruction of her home. The spring release date for the new edition of the game was made public during Thursday’s Nintendo Direct, along with a few new details on the game.