New Pokémon Pass app dishes out free content for visiting Target

Pokémon fans can avail themselves of free Pokécontent, for games like Pokémon Let’s Go, beginning this month. This is thanks to a new mobile app that checks them in at participating locations.

The Pokémon Pass app, for both iOS and Android, is available right now. On May 11, fans can use it to pick up a Shiny Pikachu and a Shiny Eevee for Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu or Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee, when they go to their local Target.

According to a news release, Pokémon Pass (which is free) will notify owners when they’re at “designated retail locations” where they can pick up some freebies. They will need both the app and an account with the Pokémon Trainer Club (also free).

The goodies are picked up by scanning a QR code in-store. Future promotions will involve video game content and “digital stickers and wallpapers.”

Here are the specs on the Shiny Pikachu or Eevee players can snag:

Shiny Pikachu

  • Game: Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!
  • Level: 10
  • Moves: Thunderbolt, Double Kick, Double Team, Thunder

Shiny Eevee

  • Game: Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!
  • Level: 10
  • Moves: Double-Edge, Iron Tail, Helping Hand, Facade

Additionally, those who go to a Target on May 11 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time can get tie-in giveaways for the Detective Pikachu movie — such as a Psyduck promo card for the Pokémon trading card game, and a movie poster.


I’m Playing Six JRPGs At Once And You Can’t Stop Me

Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.  

There are about four or five things I tell my friends that make them look at me like I’m deranged, and one of them is how I’m fond of playing the few hours of a Japanese role-playing game and moving on to another. (“It’s kind of like edging,” I say, “but with video games,” as if that’s supposed to make it better.) I recommend it, if you have a pile of games in your backlog that happens to be full of JRPGs.

I recognize that by most metrics, this is an awful way to play these games. It’s a genre full of games that are—almost as a matter of principle—comically slow to start. You’re not really playing a JRPG until hour six or eight, when something awful forces the protagonist to leave his home village, never to return, unless you remember that tiny window in hour 60 where you can go back with the submarine and pick up the whatsit you need to make the strongest weapon in the game.

The length of these games is tolerable—enjoyable, even—if video games are your primary source of entertainment, and JRPGs your chosen vice. As someone who plays a lot of games, and also likes to dive into other media, it is, frankly, absurd. I love it.

I am, currently, somewhere in the middle of some half-dozen JRPGs. Every once in a while, I pick one up, and play for a couple of hours. A couple months ago I decided I wanted to poke around at Final Fantasy XIII, a game I missed the first time around. Occasionally, I’ll chip away at Persona 5 some more, or Ni No Kuni II, a game I wish more of my friends had played. If I’m on the subway and space is at a premium, I’ll pull out my Vita and play Final Fantasy VIII or Xenogears. For a recent, longer trip, I started replaying Final Fantasy X on my Switch, where I usually play through one of the stories in Octopath Traveler or spend thirty minutes trying to remember how fights in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 work.

I love swimming in things bigger than me, getting lost in large sprawling stories full of other stories that branch out in bizarre and bewildering directions. I make a note of the games that really get moving right away, and generally, they’re worth seeing through. Suikoden II rips, as you might know. Tales of Berseria? That game moves. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky? Downright lethargic, too much so for my taste.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never finish most of these JRPGs I keep juggling. Putting a story-heavy game down for a while is a good way to ensure you’ll never touch it again, and I’ve found that to be the case with many JRPGs. And you know what? I’m fine with that. In fact, I think it can be great.

Do you know the premise of One Thousand and One Nights? It’s one of the greatest in fiction—a king learns of his wife’s infidelity, and bitterly decides that all women are the same, marrying virgins only to execute them the next day. Then Scheherazade, the vizier’s daughter, decides that this must stop, and offers herself up as the next bride, stopping her execution with a story so good that the king demands to hear the ending. Only she doesn’t give him one—instead, she offers another, better story. And then another. And another. For a thousand and one nights, at the end of which, Sheherazade has won back her life.

It’s a great metaphor for writing, but it’s also a good one for anyone who loves stories: While there’s pleasure and value in getting to the end of one, sometimes the greatest thing about stories is that there will always be more. More than you can possibly hear or tell, or ever finish. And that can be life-affirming—or life-saving—in itself.

I like JRPGs for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is because they are one of the classic game genres most consistently concerned with telling stories. I love knowing about all the impossibly strange and comfortingly familiar tales out there, picking up on and savoring their melodies, even if I’ve got to move on without hearing the full symphony. (Music, as any JRPG fan will tell you, is a big freaking deal.)

I used to place a lot of value on endings, because endings are how you decide what your story means, and how it will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone who hears it. I still care about endings, but I also realize that there are countless stories I won’t ever get to hear the end of, and that’s fine. Sometimes I don’t need to know the end. I just need another story.


New Amazon Prime Free PC Games Revealed For May 2019

If you like checking out new, creative indie games on PC–and especially like it when they’re free–then you’ll want to keep an eye Amazon Prime’s monthly game giveaways for Twitch Prime members. Last month, Twitch Prime members were able to claim four games–Her Story, Inner Space, Joggernauts, and Keep in Mind: Remastered–at no cost, and for May, Amazon is kicking up that number to five games. Take a look at the new freebies below.

Whispering Willows

First up is Whispering Willows, an indie horror adventure where you play as a young girl named Elena who’s searching for her missing father. Elena has a pendant she can use to project her spirit outside her body, travel through walls, and control various objects in the surrounding environment to solve puzzles. Then there’s Stealth Bastard Deluxe, which is, as the name implies, a stealth game where you control a clone making his escape from a hazardous testing facility. Also included is The Little Acre, a point-and-click adventure with gorgeous hand-drawn visuals that tells the story of a father and daughter who travel to a strange new world.

Majesty 2

Finally, you’ve got both Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim and its sequel, Majesty 2. In these real-time strategy games, you play as the sovereign ruler of a fantasy kingdom, where you can construct and enhance buildings, hire heroes to handle various tasks, and offer rewards to gain their cooperation.

In addition to free games, Twitch also offers free in-game loot on a monthly basis. This month, the offers will include free loot for League of Legends, StarCraft II, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and World of Tanks. Plus, in case you haven’t heard: You can get a year of Nintendo Switch Online for free if you’re a Prime member.

You have through May 31 to download Twitch’s new freebies, and once you do, they’re yours to keep. To claim the free games and loot, you have to be an Amazon Prime member and make sure your Amazon account is linked to Twitch. After the free 30-day trial, an Amazon Prime membership costs $119 per year; if you’re a student, that price drops to $59 per year.


How to link an existing Amazon Prime account to Twitch »

Twitch Prime Free PC Games for May 2019

  • Whispering Willows
  • Stealth Bastard Deluxe
  • The Little Acre
  • Majesty 1
  • Majesty 2


Overcooked And Edith Finch Are May’s PlayStation Plus Games

May’s PlayStation Plus games are here, and even though it still feels weird that there’s only two of them, they’re not bad. As always, these games are only “free” if you have an active PlayStation Plus account.

May’s PlayStation Plus games are:

  • What Remains of Edith
  • Overcooked


PlayStation Plus offers Overcooked, Edith Finch in May

PlayStation Plus subscribers will get access to two PlayStation 4 games as part of the service in May: Overcooked and What Remains of Edith Finch.

Ghost Town Games’ Overcooked is a frantic, multiplayer kitchen sim in which teams of cooks grab ingredients, cook ’em up, and serve them to impatient diners. It’s a great way to test friendships, as well as a rollicking good time. Ghost Town released a sequel in 2018, which made it to Polygon’s best local multiplayer games list.

Giant Sparrow’s What Remains of Edith Finch is an anthology narrative adventure game in which players explore the family home of the eponymous Edith Finch and uncover the stories behind the people who died there. It was one of our favorite games of 2017 and can be enjoyed in a single weekend.

April’s PlayStation Plus games — Conan Exiles and The Surge — are available to download through Tuesday, May 7, when next month’s games go live.


Earthworm Jim game in development for the new Intellivision console

There’s a new Earthworm Jim game in development by members of the original team. The title will be exclusive to the new Intellivision console, which is launching on Oct. 10, 2020.

The original Earthworm Jim launched in 1994 on the Sega Genesis, only to become a critical and a commercial success. It was eventually released on other consoles, including the SNES. The 2D run-and-gun sidescroller was followed up by a sequel in 1995, as well as a high-definition remake in 2010.

Development of this new game will be handled by the original team members, including creator Doug TenNapel and Tommy Tallarico, the series’ composer and sound designer. It no doubt helps that Tallarico is also the CEO and president of Intellivision Entertainment, makers of the upcoming Amico console.

An artist’s rendering of the Amico console from Intellivision. Intellivision Entertainment

Announced in October 2018, the Amico is expected to be a family-friendly device. It will retain the original’s unique omni-directional control disk and include a full-color touchscreen on each controller. Amico will retail between $149 and $179, and games will cost between $2.99 and $7.99 each. Additionally, every title on the Amico will be exclusive to that platform. So, if you want to play the next Earthworm Jim game, you’re going to need to do it on an Intellivision.

The Intellivision team promises more information May 4 during a livestream being broadcast simultaneously on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

Intellivision wasn’t the only legacy brand to announce a new piece of hardware in 2018. There’s also a new console on the way from Atari, which is now part of a French-owned collection of media companies. Its VCS device raised more than $3 million on Indiegogo, with the first $2 million coming in the first day of the campaign. The device is expected to ship to consumers in mid-2019.


Monster Factory: Nothing will stop ‘Slimeburger’ from going to Camden Park

Freddie “Slimeburger” Jr. goes on a journey through Todd’s twisted vision of West Virginia in search of legendary Camden Park.

Special thanks to Brandon McCoy for the use of his song,

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Pokemon: How To Get A Free Shiny Pikachu Or Eevee For Let’s Go

The Pokemon Company regularly gives away free gifts for Pokemon Sun and Moon on 3DS, but fans in the US will soon have their first chance to get some for Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. Beginning next Saturday, May 11, The Pokemon Company is distributing a free Shiny Pikachu and Shiny Eevee for the Switch games. Here’s how you can get one.

The free Pokemon will be available around the country at Target stores. Once the event is underway, players will be able to head to a participating store and, using a new free phone app called Pokemon Pass (which is available to download now from Google Play and the App Store), scan a QR code to receive a download code for the free Pokemon. You’ll need to have a Pokemon Trainer Club account to use Pokemon Pass, but you can create one for free on the official Pokemon website.

Those with a copy of Let’s Go Pikachu will receive a Shiny Eevee, while those with Let’s Go Eevee will get Shiny Pikachu. Each Pokemon comes at level 10 and already knows four moves. You can see each one’s moveset below.


  • Thunderbolt
  • Double Kick
  • Double Team
  • Thunder


  • Double-Edge
  • Iron Tail
  • Helping Hand
  • Facade

Once you’ve claimed the download code, you’ll need to input it in the Switch titles to receive the Pokemon. To do this, first select Mystery Gift from the games’ main menu, then choose the option to receive your gift with a code/password. Input the download code you received and follow the remaining prompts to download your free Shiny Pokemon. You’ll then need to pick it up from the deliveryman waiting inside any Pokemon Center.

The free Shiny Pikachu and Eevee will be available until June 23, so if you’re hoping to add one to your collection, your best bet is to act quickly. In the meantime, you can still get a Shiny Meltan in the Let’s Go titles. The special Mythical Pokemon is appearing in Pokemon Go again until May 5, and if you capture one, you can transfer it to either of the Switch games. For more details, check out our guide on how to catch Shiny Meltan.

Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee launched for Switch last November and have quickly become two of the console’s best-selling games, moving a combined 10 million copies worldwide. A new pair of Pokemon RPGs, Sword and Shield, are also on the way to Switch later this year and take players to a new region called Galar, which is home to an assortment of new and returning Pokemon. You can read more about the titles in our roundup of everything we know so far about Pokemon Sword and Shield.


Five Things You Should Pack For All Those Weddings You Have Coming Up

5 Neat ThingsJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast “[Ask a Clean Person](” Each week, she’ll round up five essential cleaning products, tools and organizational systems to help you live your tidiest lives.   

Wedding season approaches! For a lot of people, late spring and summer means a lot of traveling for weddings — and bridal showers, and bachelor parties, and and and and and! Which means packing things like suits and fancy dresses and shoes that aren’t sneakers. Also, you probably want to look good at all these events, and packing these five things will help to do just that.

Ask a Clean Person and Style Girlfriend are teaming up this month to bring you the latest on what to wear for spring and summer … and how to care for your new wardrobe acquisitions. This week: wedding wear.

Travel Steamer

The Joy Mangano My Little Steamer is small, cheap and it heats up in 2-3 minutes, so you can quickly steam out wrinkles and creases that happen during packing, or on items that have been worn that you want to wear again before they get cleaned. Steamers also have an advantage over irons — namely, that they are not irons because blah, ironing can kind of be the pits, but also that steam can freshen up a stale-smelling garment. A packing tip to bear in mind! Empty the water chamber before you pack a steamer, and consider also stashing it in a Ziploc bag since water can linger even in a chamber that’s been emptied and leak onto your clothes.

Shout Wipes

I just really cannot say enough for Shout Wipes: The fact that they’re individually wrapped and can fit easily in a pocket or wallet makes them so convenient, and the delivery system of a wipe is so far superior to other on-the-go stain removal options, like pens. Shout, in all its forms, is also just especially good on food stains, which makes them great to tuck into a travel bag or Dopp kit in the event you drip bearnaise sauce down your dress shirt at your high school best friend’s wedding reception.

Shoe Shine Sponge

These little things are super convenient, and not only for travel: It’s essentially a shoe buffing sponge that’s been treated with a formula that will add a bit of extra shine to already polished shoes. So look, this doesn’t take the place of properly shining your shoes, but it is really great for a quick sprucing up of footwear in between deeper cleaning sessions and, when you’re heading to a wedding, or funeral, or any other event that requires that you travel with a good pair of shoes, it’s very easy to toss into a bag so you can give your shoes a quick going-over before the big day.

Shoe Bags

I know I’m always saying this but I’m always saying it because it’s true: Shoe bags may seem like a stupid, fussy hassle, but they serve such a real purpose: Shoes are F-I-L-T-H-Y, and using shoe bags when you pack will ensure that they don’t spread their filth all over everything else in your suitcase. This becomes especially true when your travel is taking you and your dress shoes to an outdoor wedding, where you’ll be tromping over grass and dirt and sand and etc etc etc in shoes that you’ll need to pack back up in your luggage — alongside your fancy wedding clothes, no less! — the next day. SO. Shoe bags, please.

A Wet Bag

Wet bags are smart investment for people whose travel frequently involves swimming, outdoor activities or fitness. They’re big enough to fit a full workout outfit, so if you went on a muddy hike before you packed you can stash your soiled clothes in the bag. Or if, say, you ended up with an entire glass of red wine down the front of your white dress shirt and had to rinse it in the hotel room sink, the wet bag will be big enough for you to tote that soggy shirt back home for laundering. Also, you might want to know about travel-sized Wine Away.


Borderlands 3 Gameplay Reveal Details: How Loot Works, New Weapons, Sliding, And More

Borderlands 3 has now had its first gameplay debut in a special stream presentation, shedding a ton of new light on the long-awaited sequel. You can re-watch the stream and find out everything we learned about the game here, but keep on reading for a breakdown of the gameplay that Gearbox showed during the event.

To start, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford and creative director Paul Sage were sure to note that everything we were seeing was rendered in Unreal Engine 4, but the transition hasn’t lost the iconic Borderlands style–or the inclusion of Claptrap to kick off the proceedings. This story revolves around a new faction on Pandora, a cult called the Children of the Vault. Lilith, the Siren from the previous games, is heading up the Crimson Raiders and attempting to investigate the cult.

Speaking of Sirens, the demo starred Amara, the Siren warrior. After a visit to a Quick Recharge station to check customization options, Amara is off and running with a helpful new traversal tool. The Vault Hunters can now sprint-slide or hop over ledges.

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The new Vault Hunters have a variety of new combat tools as well. Guns will sometimes offer multiple firing modes, like a Vladof pistol that can swap between semi-auto mode or a bunch of “micro-missiles.” Similarly, some elemental weapons can swap between elements. The demo also showed cover being destroyed, and explosive barrels can be propelled toward enemies with melee attacks. Plus environmental hazards can be impacted by elements, like oil catching fire or water conducting electricity. You can also revive NPCs, and the favor goes both ways.

In the story, Amara quickly butts heads with the leader of the cult, Shiv. He captures Claptrap, forcing you to take up a shield and get into a melee fight with him. Gearbox promised bigger bosses that will require some more coordination to beat as well. Once Shiv has been taken down, Lilith appeared and explained that she’s looking for a key that will lead to vaults on other worlds.

We also got a closer look at Amara’s skill tree. It’s very similar to the other Borderlands games, with three branching skill trees and one powerful action skill. Each character can choose one action skill to equip, besides Zane who can equip a second by opting out of grenades. Amara’s three action skills are Phaseslam, Phasegrasp, and Phasecast–in the demo, they selected the AOE ability Phaseslam. This time some skills will also have optional augments and modifiers, like an electric Phaseslam.

From there the demonstration transitioned to co-op play. Everyone receives their own stream of loot, and a level balancing tool keeps everyone fighting enemies and receiving loot at their own level. This feature is called “Loot Instancing,” according to Gearbox. If you prefer it to work like the older Borderlands games instead, you can turn these options off and play using the “Classic Mode” setting.

The co-op partner chose to play as Zane, and Gearbox showed off his own skill tree as well. He can make a digital copy of himself called a Digiclone, and swap places with it at will. He can also create an autonomous Sentinel robot or summon a barrier shield.

During the gameplay showcase, Gearbox showed off a new feature that makes Borderlands 2’s disposable guns a little more useful. Now, when thrown away, they can some strange properties. One gun became a bouncy ball that hurt enemies on impact–and also was sentient. Another became a turret, while a third turned into homing rockets.

In co-op, the partners went to the cult’s Holy Recruitment Center to take on another boss called Mouthpiece–the head of the Children of the Vault’s propaganda operation. True to his theme, his weapon is sound, and when defeated the players received a unique gun that shoots soundwaves. At that point, the demo showed a short introduction to the chief antagonists, the Calypso Twins: Troy and Tyreen.

Finally, the demo showed off Sanctuary, your customizable home away from home. Sanctuary is a ship that hops between planets and serves as your base. You can put your favorite guns on display, recover lost loot that you may not have been able to pick up earlier, visit Moxxi’s bar, open Gold Key chests, chat to Tannis, or do business with merchants like Marcus and Crazy Earl. Hammerlock has his own trophy room, where your most important kills are showcased, and Maya is also knocking about too.

The demo then took us to Promethea, the neon city that serves as home to the Atlas Corporation. Two players showcased how co-op plays and, as you can imagine, it was a chaotic mix of explosions, abilities, and loot gathering. A new NPC called Lorelei was guiding the players, and she’s a character that Gearbox said players will spend a lot of time with.

Borderlands 3 is coming on September 13 to PC via Epic Store, PS4, and Xbox One. Check out our pre-order guide for more details. We went hands-on with Borderlands 3 and found that it now supports solo play in a way previous entries in the series didn’t. Check out our full Borderlands 3 hands-on gameplay preview for more on that.