Game Review: Kirby’s Return to Dream Land (Wii)

The round pink puff is returning to his enemy-sucking, ability-copying roots with Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, a new 2-D platformer for the Wii. And now, up to four players can join in the fun!

Return to Dream Land is a typical Kirby game. Kirby runs and jumps around brightly colored 2-D areas, and can suck in and spit out enemies. Some bad guys, when swallowed, let Kirby copy their abilities for him to use for his own. Both new and familiar copy powers alike appear in this game. Some enemies even give Kirby powered up copy abilities, too!

The big new thing here is now four players can join in and jump out at any time. You can choose to be a different colored Kirby, or one of his other friends, like King Dedede, Meta Knight, or Waddle Dee. Kirby’s other friends don’t have copy abilities, though.

Only bad thing about the multiplayer is that it’s not as well thought out as say, New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Everyone shares lives, but if the player one Kirby dies, everyone has to return to the last checkpoint. Best thing to do in this case is to let the most experienced gamer be player one.

Some may complain that the game is too easy and short, but the great thing about Kirby games is there are always hidden challenges to keep older players interested. Hidden about each stage are objects that, when found, unlock bonuses like mini-games and extra-challenging time trials. So while even the younger players can plow through the game, older games can still find challenge and fun. And everyone can play together, too!

Kid Factor:

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Cartoon Violence. Defeated enemies just disappear in a cloud of smoke and turn into stars and that’s it. When most people think of good games for kids, they usually think of Mario. And Mario games are really great, but I think they’re also pretty hard and could frustrated younger kids. That’s why I always recommend Kirby games first. Reading skill can be helpful, but not necessary, as there are picture cues to show you how to play as well. Definitely a great choice for the whole family.

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