The loveable pink ball makes a 3D debut and shows off some of the most weird and wonderful ways Kirby can use its absorbing power.
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KIRBY AND THE FORGOTTEN LAND the new platformer in the long running Kirby Series from HAL Laboratory is both familiar and new enough to have something for all players.
Kirby’s familiar powers return, absorbing enemy abilities from sharp weapons like swords and elemental powers which will be familiar to anyone who has played a Kirby game in the last 20 years.
The new “Mouthful Mode” ability which allows you to stretch over larger objects like cars, traffic cones, vending machines, scaffolding staircases is both hilarious fun and honestly quite a bit broader than I thought.
It’s hard to beat “Carby” when you partially swallow a car and use it to race or smash your way through obstacles, but some puzzles will have you combining multiple different objects to move forward.
As you’re taking in the world and almost literally the objects that make it up, such as increasing your diameter by absorbing water, or picking up a cone to turn triangular to slot into a matching hole.
Bosses share some of your abilities so pick wisely
It’s also reasonably challenging but nothing that feels like a roadblock, even the boss battles at the end of each stage feel fun and achievable.
The bosses mimic some of the abilities you can unlock, so as you play you’ll be learning a little bit of what each final enemy can do.
Before you take on each level’s final challenge you’re presented with a few powers to choose from, as you try to work out what might be best against the unknown enemy.
Sometimes the weapon of choice may not be as helpful as you’d think but when in doubt, as long as you know how to dodge, you can easily spam attack and still be satisfied that you defeated the boss.
Each of the levels are visually different from the last, building on the skills you developed in earlier puzzles.
The art in the game is truly a sight to behold with cinematic views of an overgrown post-apocalyptic city, large desert mountains or the brightly coloured amusement park.
This is a world that has been destroyed mysteriously when you arrive but it doesn’t feel sad, with soundtrack and visual design making for a colourful playground.
A post-apocalyptic playground that is so colourful you won't feel gloomy as you explore ruins
It’s light and if you’re like me you’ll feel in awe as the game guides you through this strange world to save your friends.
Once you’ve saved enough friends, the Waddle Dees, you’ll unlock new fun things in town, and you’ll have plenty of motivation to repeat the levels to increase your count.
Each stage tells you how many Waddle Dees need to be found but there are also secret Waddle Dees too if you want to unlock more items back in the village.
I found the best way to unlock these secrets was by exploring every nook and cranny, sometimes even just eating an icecream or scaring a bird can lead to finding a secret Waddle Dee.
Adding to the replayability factor are time trials for you completionists which will build up Waddle Dee Town even more with a colosseum, item shop, and once you’ve rolled credits a cute band called the “The Deedly Dees' ' that plays the game’s soundtrack.
If you’ve saved 155 Waddle Dees the Fishing Pond opens up and it’s fun to try to beat your previous score by mashing the face buttons to reel them in, with button prompts becoming more complex as you try to land the big one.
There is plenty here to collect with rare stones, “Gotcha” figurines of Kirby and other characters in the world as well as Present Codes which can be found in game and online which unlock different items.
Even though you’re retracing your steps a fair bit, it always feels like there is a little bit more to achieve each time.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is easy to pick up, beautiful to look at and fun to play by yourself or with friends in co-op.
You might just find yourself spending way too long absorbed in this cute world as the time just slips on by.