In just a few weeks the next big Switch title from Nintendo will be released and the system will finally get the Kirby love it deserves. Kirby: Star Allies, brings everyone’s favorite pink puff-ball back into HD for a traditional platforming adventure in Dream Land. Nintendo recently released a demo for the Switch eShop giving players a chance to check out what the game is all about and so we’re giving our early impressions of Star Allies, a game that, while definitely visually stunning might not have a lot of depth.
The demo features two levels, an easy stage set in the bright overworld of Dream Land a second ‘harder’ level set against a dark cavern. The gameplay is practically what you would expect from a Kirby game in that you are moving left to right, defeating enemies, stealing their abilities and navigating through the level. What’s different here is that you can recruit enemies to your cause and by combining their abilities with your own you can create all new power ups. While not as deep a mechanic as the similar hook in Kirby 64 it is fun to experiment with different abilities. One thing that I do hope makes it into the final game is the ability to remap the button as jump and attack are inexplicably swapped from the older Kirby games.
The levels themselves (at least the two offered in demo) are set up quite similarly to more recent Kirby where you use your acquired abilities to solve simple puzzles across a 2D level in order to uncover secrets (in this case puzzle pieces lifted from the StreetPass Mii Plaza) and culminate with a boss bottle with a battle against Whispy Woods in the easy level and a bought against a buff King Dedede in the harder one. It seems like a pretty traditional Kirby game more akin to Triple Deluxe on the 3DS which is fine but I do hope the final version has a bit more variety like what we got in the more recent Planet Robobot.
Visually though the game is all brand new and an absolutely stunning game, especially in HD, and quite possibly the best looking Kirby game ever made though I do have a soft spot for Rainbow Curse‘s claymation look. The environments are all sharp, colorful and brimming with detail so that every blade of grass is well represented and the character design, while timeless are well designed and just as detailed. The soundtrack is also your typical Kirby goodness with bouncy tunes that will keep you entertained throughout the adventure.
The demo itself is quite short and does not give us a concrete example of everything we’ll see in Kirby: Star Allies but from what we did get to play it seems like the game will be a solid, if not too adventurous, Kirby adventure. The new abilities, especially those opened by combining the elements of two different powers are fun to experiment with but I do hope that the game opens these up more and for the levels to get a bit more complex in design. That being said it does seem like we are on the cusp of another great Kirby game and I can’t wait to get my hands on the final game in just a few days. Make sure to check back later for our full review of the game.