Kirby’s Return To Dream Land
Put On Your PJs and Get ready for an Awesome return to Dream Land!
What It Is
It’s been nearly 20 years since Kirby’s Dream Land, the first Kirby game, was released for the Nintendo Game Boy. There have been many Kirby games since then, including last year’s new take on the Kirby franchise (and one of TimetoPlaymag.com’s Holiday 2010 Power Ups), Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but it has been nearly 15 years since Kirby’s last Dream Land game (Dream Land 3). Return To Dream Land marks both Kirby and the franchises return to the Dream Land series, and it is good to be back.
The familiar side-scrolling game levels that made Kirby such a beloved game in 1992 are back and so is Kirby’s main weapon — the ability to inhale his enemies and then hurl them out as projectiles. There is a story behind this game, but I was too eager to start playing and skipped through what looked like a particularly wacked-out plot. The story appears to have something to do with a Viking space ship that crashes, and it’s up to Kirby to find the broken pieces of the ship to put it back together. The broken pieces are scattered around Planet Popstar, a world made up of various lands that each have their own distinct and unique look.
Why It’s Fun
Return To Dream Land is a great combination of adventure game and insane platformer (like Super Mario Brothers). In addition to inhaling and exhaling enemies, there are also a huge amount of weapons located throughout the lands that look like gumball machine prizes and each give Kirby some sort of new ability. The weapons vary from a sword with hat (the hat is just for looks), the ability to lob globs of water, a magic leaf and an umbrella. Some of the enemies in the game grant Kirby awesome power ups when inhaled, including a rainbow sword that not only slices through enemies, but the ground they are standing on to reveal buried treasures.
All of the lands on planet Popstar have cute names like Cookie Country, Raisin Ruins and Onion Oceans. Even the enemies are cute — flowers that shoot acorn bombs, snowmen and gum drops floating on umbrellas. Don’t let all the cuteness fool you though because those gum drops are just as deadly as the giant eels and sharks in Onion Oceans.
Who’s Going To Love It
Return To Dream Land looks and feels like a contemporary take on the original Kirby game, which is going to appeal to longtime fans of the series. At the same time, the relatively easy difficulty of this game makes it a great introduction to the kids of Kirby’s original fans.
What To Be Aware Of
Up to four people can play together, and players two through four can join player one’s game at any point. There are three additional characters to play as or all four players can be Kirby in four different colors. The additional players can also leave the game whenever he or she wants to. This is a great feature for adults who want to hop into a young kid’s game to help them get past an area where the kid might be stuck.
You can always return to a completed stage to collect all the stars, but what makes returning to a completed stage both fun and worthwhile is finding the energy spheres. There are multiple energy spheres hidden in each stage, and the entrance to the stage tells you how many spheres are in the stage. The energy sphere can be used to unlock sub games, challenge rounds (timed levels), alternate stages and “Copy Room Abilities”. The sub games are mini-games that have nothing to do with the main story but are a lot of fun to play. The first game that you will unlock is Ninja Dojo, where you have to hit a moving target with a Chinese throwing star. It’s addictive.
5 out of 5
It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!
Video Game Information
Kirby’s Return To Dream Land
Rated: Everyone 10+
Players: 1 - 4
Launch Date: October 24, 2011
Date of Review: October 27, 2011