‘Kirby’ is big fun fit for small screen

By Austin Miller, @AMiller_DE

Everyone’s favorite pink ball of goo, Kirby, must love Limp Bizkit because he keeps rolling, rolling, rolling in an all-new game.

“Kirby and the Rainbow Curse” has the little blob fighting to restore all color to the world after a foe turns Dream Land into a black-and-white nightmare and is the first Kirby game in high definition, which looks great.

The game has a claymation art style, resembling the “Wallace and Gromit” films. But after putting several hours into the game, I have found “Rainbow Curse” to be a much more vibrant take on claymation.


Walls and platforms have finger impressions and bumps, making the game feel like a small child put together each stage by hand with Play-Doh. Instead of looking at a screen, it looks like players have stumbled into a kid’s arts and crafts class taught by Michelangelo.

There are plant veins which look like a plastic knife was used to add fine details. The world has little man-made imperfections, making it perfect.

The best comparison to this game is the stop motion movie “Lego Movie” where everything on screen, including fire and water, is made of little Lego particulates. This game is similar, in the fact every little thing is made of clay.

And it plays as well as it looks.

Players do not directly control Kirby, but instead draw lines on the Wii U gamepad controller, which shows exactly what is on-screen. Poking Kirby with the stylus gives him a little jolt of speed to help defeat enemies.

Momentum, speed, inertia and other terms your high school physics teacher talked about while you dozed off in class are in play. Unlike for Sandra Bullock, gravity is your best friend.


Navigating worlds is a real treat after the first couple stages. Subsequent levels are filled with enemies and obstacles. Once the training wheels come off, “Rainbow Curse” turns into a punishing little puzzle.

I always self-impose the challenge of not letting Kirby hit the ground, which adds a little fun when trekking for stars becomes repetitive.

“Rainbow Curse” does pack a lot of fun into a console game, but it would have been better served on a mobile platform.

Players are forced to look at the tablet-like gamepad to push and poke our pink pal around, while completely ignoring any TV they paid lots of money for. The Wii U’s ability to be played away the living room is cool, allowing players to keep playing “Mario Kart” while they go get a drink or go to the bathroom. (Writers note: please do not take controllers in the bathroom, you dirty animals). But I do not want spend hours looking down at a 6 inch screen, when I have a 32 inch TV.

It is as if Nintendo forgot about its wildly successful portable 3DS system.

“Kirby: Canvas Curse” has a very similar game mechanic which was released for the original DS in 2005.

People have asked Nintendo to release older games on phones and tablets for years. This game would be perfect for an iPad, which the Wii U’s gamepad is essentially cloned after. Nintendo has owned the portable gaming market for more than 20 years, but everyone and their brother has a cell phone.

When practically everyone plays “Candy Crush,” why not turn them on to something with a little more substance?

The graphical power to showcase the game on the 3DS could be missing. Nintendo has lagged behind Sony and Microsoft in the graphics department for too long, so it makes sense to use the power of the Wii U.

As adventurous as the “Kirby” franchise is, a 3-D, third-person style game is something I look forward to, and hope Nintendo does soon.

Nintendo found success with 2-D side-scrolling games with “Mario,” “Yoshi” and “Metroid,” but Kirby should take a page from Mario and learn to move forward instead of just left and right.

“Rainbow Curse” is a solid all-around package. It has great graphics and an artistic style previously unseen in video games.

It is also the perfect length. Running around collecting things becomes tedious after a while, but the game is finished before it becomes more homework than hobby.

3.5 stars out of 5