Kirby, who turns 30 this year, is no newcomer to the Switch console. In 2018, he debuted the easy-to-use Kirby Star Allies. Also of note is 2020’s casual fighting game Kirby Fighters 2, which we regularly return home to. But the best is coming now.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a 3D bouncy castle set in a post-apocalyptic world. The plot is not very original, but it somehow belongs to Kirby. Kirby is walking through his peaceful Dreamland when the wind suddenly picks up, the sky darkens, and hunters emerge who trap the people of Waddle Dee. Kirby sets out to save them, but the storm is some kind of rift between the worlds, so we all end up on an unknown planet. I take the subsequent awakening on the beach as a joke.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land can make trailers look like a 3D bouncer in the open world, much like the popular Super Mario Odyssey. But it is a mistake. The game is also reminiscent of the great Super Mario 3D World. After completing the prologue, after which we will unlock the central hub in the form of a city, we will complete individual levels through a map, the areas of which will gradually be made available to us. The experience is therefore strictly linear, you go through the levels in the given order.
The game is divided into several themed locations, such as a snowy area or an amusement park, none of which are depressing. The first plains you know from the demo are beautifully colored. We see demolished barracks, we walk around the mall, but after the people, or who once lived here, there is no monument. The ruins of a once great civilization are gradually being absorbed by nature. In a way, it’s beautiful in a way. However, the world is far from empty and empty – otherwise Kirby’s abilities couldn’t stand out.
Kirby can inhale his enemies and copy their ability. For example, when he eats a knight, he wields a sword. This way he can shoot, score a hammer, turn into an air vortex and more. Kibri fans know this well.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land features a pretty fundamental innovation though, a mechanic called Mouthful Mode. This means that Kirby dares larger objects, but she cannot swallow them, only grow into their form. Even so, he acquires their properties. You will drive a car, even races are waiting for you. You’ll be flying through the air, riding a roller coaster, but also housing a vending machine, which will turn into a machine gun firing canisters.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
The level design combined with the use of abilities is magical. The creators are still trying to surprise us with something a little new, which they succeed to the end. The goal of each level is, of course, to jump from start to finish. Along the way, you fight enemies and solve environmental puzzles, however, it’s mostly those who enjoy exploring.
Each mission has different tasks: for example, you demolish sand sculptures, destroy “propaganda” posters or rescue ducklings. You’ll have another Waddle Dee for all that. We then need it at the end of each world to cross the door behind which the boss is. Anyway, if you like to discover secret corridors, rooms, open chests, it will be your pleasure to break through a cracked wall, you will really get what you pay for here. It is extremely satisfying to look around and search for various little clues that will guide you further. Be careful, you only have one level attempt in some tasks. For example, if a giant boulder falls on you and you don’t do what you have to do to complete the bonus task, you’re out of luck and have to repeat the mission.
You can complete all major levels in two co-op. The other player grabs Bandana Waddle Dee, who swings his javelin, both near and far. However, only Kirby can copy abilities. Kirby also acts as the leader, who determines where he goes, while if the other player is out of sight, he will be teleported. In the event of death, Waddle Dee will also recover in a moment, but in any case, in a battle with the boss, he is a useful helper. It is therefore ideal for someone who does not know how to play a lot or for children. You can choose between two difficulties, however, with my son, who will be five this year, we have completed the most difficult game. A few bosses or missions might work, but overall the game is relatively easy, which by the way is nothing new for Kirby. And that didn’t bother us at all.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
In a level, you can not only complete quests and rescue trapped Waddle Dee. There are also capsules with numbers and scrolls, with which you can constantly improve the copied skills to more effective versions. This brings us to the already mentioned city, which functions as a central hub. The more you save its inhabitants, the more new buildings and opportunities will appear here. It’s good, and during the game you really feel like a small town comes out of nowhere.
The important thing is the arms trade, in which you can take and test all the skills that can be copied. Each can be upgraded multiple times, for which you need two things: a scroll and stars. Scrolls with drawings are hidden in levels, stars are earned in bonus missions on the main map. These are short single-player levels, always with a specific ability, in which you must demonstrate that you fully understand its use. If you miss the highest difficulty in the story missions, you’ll come to your senses in these – the later ones require a bit of skill. Also, some bonus tasks may bother you, which is nice.
There are also a few mini-games in the town. For example, you will serve Waddle Dee. For some reason my kids got stuck fishing. It works like QTE, you just try to press the required buttons as fast as possible and depending on that you take out a fish of different sizes or a box. Or you fall in the water. Probably because they can catch together at the same time (each for their own character) and race to catch whoever caught the biggest fish (there’s also a scoreboard), it took them a long time .
I got stuck collecting action figures. Already during my first visit to Japan, I immediately fell in love with capsule machines, so when I saw a capsule machine in the game and hidden capsules in the levels, it was painted. Little by little, four series of figurines are assembled, which you can see in detail, and three can even be displayed on a shelf in your home.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
If you don’t want to complete side quests and explore levels, then the game is short and it probably doesn’t even make sense to buy it. You’ll complete the main story in ten hours, which is a classic for this series. But even after the story ends, it doesn’t end completely. We recorded almost thirty hours at home and the match was played twice. But that didn’t bother me at all, on the second pass we focused more on what we had missed discovering. We haven’t filled it all in yet, but we’re pretty good with the numbers.
It’s also the magic of Kirby and the Forgotten Land – we want to come back. In fact, even the story is not so bad, while the child viewer does not notice it, some fragments related to the fall of civilization are quite dark. Only small complaint, the fact that the conclusion slightly recycles certain characters. And the game shook a little in a few places. But these are only trifles.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a colorful and playful 3D bouncy castle, which I rank among the must-have pieces on Switch. Basically, it’s not difficult or long, but thanks to its nature – discovery and fun – and the things around it have the potential to entertain even after the story is over. They always like ideas and you can play two. The bosses are also beautifully designed, including the final rush. It’s a great accessible game for kids (mine were so excited last at Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury), but even adults can enjoy it. Before any purchase, I recommend, as always, to try a relatively generous demo, which includes a prologue, a first level and a boss of the first world.