Did You Know Kid Icarus: Uprising is Part Collectible Card Game?

With "hundreds" of augmented reality (AR) cards being distributed across via special events, magazines, retailers and Club Nintendo, Kid Icarus: Uprising for the 3DS is more than just a third-person shooter; it's also a collectible card game. Can you collect the whole set?

The initial set of AR cards that came packaged with the Nintendo 3DS were a fleeting novelty—I'm not even sure where mine are now, perhaps in a dumpster somewhere. The cards are making a comeback in a big way with the March 23 release of Kid Icarus: Uprising. Nintendo has created "hundreds" of AR cards featuring the various characters, creatures, and equipment in the game. Viewing the cards with the 3DS camera unlocks a corresponding idol in the game, which in turn reveals more information about the card contents.

It sounds like a sort of Kid Icarus: Uprising encyclopedia, unlocked using magical card codes.

It's a neat idea, but Nintendo isn't just going to hand over a couple hundred pieces of cardboard; players will have to work for them.

The first six are free, randomly selected from a batch of about 20, tucked away inside each retail copy of the game. Easy enough. Nintendo will also ship three cards free to members of Club Nintendo.

From there things get complicated. Nintendo will hand special cards out during big events, such as the upcoming GameStop tournaments in New York and Los Angeles and the game's official launch at the Nintendo Store in New York City. GameStop will distribute five cards during an in-store play session on April 14. Game Informer, Nintendo Power, and Best Buy's @Gamer magazines will all feature special cards in their April issues. WonderCon and PAX East will both feature special card giveaways.

What this all amounts to, basically, is an eBay explosion of Kid Icarus: Uprising cards. The compulsive collector in me is both pleased and terrified at the same time. Try and keep up with card madness at the game's official website.

Kid Icarus: Uprising hits North America on March 23.