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Sega revives world’s greatest rhythm game Samba de Amigo for Switch

Samba de Amigo: Party Central to shake maracas on Switch this summer

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Sega shook up the rhythm game genre in 2000 with the release of Samba de Amigo for Dreamcast. The game let players shake a pair of dedicated maracas controllers to the beat of Latin bops like Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” Los Del Rio’s “Macarena,” Quincy Jones’ “Soul Bossa Nova,” and, of course, Reel Big Fish’s cover of “Take On Me.” Sega hopes to recapture that maraca-shaking new-millennium magic with a sequel, Samba de Amigo: Party Central, coming to Nintendo Switch this summer.

Sega announced the new Samba de Amigo at Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct. It’s the second surprise Dreamcast-era revival so far this year.

Samba de Amigo: Party Central will include 40 songs from a variety of genres (e.g., EDM, pop, Latin), a slew of minigames (like Love Checker!). The game will also feature online multiplayer in World Party mode.

The original Samba de Amigo was developed by Sega’s Sonic Team. It debuted in arcades and was later ported to Sega Dreamcast. Players who wanted the full experience at home invested in a set of (relatively) pricey maracas controllers, which shipped in short supply. Sega and Gearbox Software released a port of the original game for Wii in 2008.

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