Kirby's Epic Yarn is the first Kirby non-racing, non-handheld console game since 2000's Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards on the Nintendo 64 system. Originally developed as Keito no Fluff (which literally means "fluff of yarn") which featured a different character, Nintendo decided to turn the game into a Kirby game. The main character of Keito no Fluff (Prince Fluff) becomes Kirby's sidekick in this latest adventure game. Together, they both have to save Patch Land and defeat the megalomaniacal Yin-Yarn.
Release Date: 10/14/10 (JP); 10/17/10 (NA); 03/25/11 (EU)
Developer: Good-Feel, HAL Laboratory
ESRB Rating: E10
Kirby returns to a home console in Kirby's Epic Yarn. In this iteration, Kirby and the whole world are made of yarn, buttons, beads, and fabric. Since Kirby is made out of yarn, most of his signature moves and abilities are gone and replaced with new ones.
Everything is peaceful in the world of Dream Land. However, there have been rumors of a wizard named Yin-Yarn turning the denizens of Dream Land into yarn. One day, Kirby spotted his favorite food, a bright red tomato, on a bush. Kirby opened his mouth and sucked in the tomato. Unfortunately, the tomato was actually a magic "Metamato" that belonged to the evil Yin-Yarn. The evil sorcerer punishes Kirby by sending the pink warrior to a strange land through a magic sock.
Kirby found himself in a land known as Patch Land. Everything in this world was completely made of yarn. To Kirby's surprise, he too was made of yarn. Then he saw a yarn monster chasing a blue yarn boy. Kirby tried to defeat the monster by sucking it in, but he discovered that the air went straight through him. Kirby tried to figure out another way, and suddenly, he transformed into a car. He picked up the boy and drove him away from the monster. The strange "Metamato" that Kirby swallowed earlier gave him equally strange new powers.
The boy introduced himself to Kirby as Prince Fluff. He explained how the sorcerer Yin-Yarn has separated the world of Patch Land. Suddenly, Prince Fluff is attacked by another yarn monster. Kirby transformed into an anvil and smashed the monster. A magic yarn came out of the defeated monster, and the yarn stitched up two pieces of Patch Land together. Now, both Kirby and Prince Fluff travel together to find more of the magic yarn to restore Patch Land.
The game is played using the Wii Mote held sideways. Kirby may not have his signature abilities and powers, but he does gain several new ones. Instead of swallowing his enemies, Kirby along with Prince Fluff use a yarn-lie whip to defeat the enemies. A simple tap of the attack button will cause an enemy to fall apart. Holding down the attack button will cause an enemy to turn into a ball of yarn that can be thrown to destroy other enemies or obstacles. Kirby and Prince Fluff can also defeat enemies by launching themselves into the air and transforming into an anvil to smash them. Kirby and Prince Fluff cannot float in this game, but they can both slowly glide by transforming into a parachute.
Aside from using it as a weapon, Kirby and Prince Fluff can use their whips to interact with certain areas of the game to reveal new paths or find new items. Kirby and Prince Fluff can use the whip to transform into a pendulum and swing themselves to platforms. The two heroes can also use it to pull down buttons to bring ledges closer to them. Patches can be removed in this manner to reveal decorations or beads.
At certain points in the game, Kirby and Prince Fluff will transform into a variety of vehicles and objects. However, these transformations are limited to certain areas and stages. Kirby can transform into the following: a tankbot, digger, spin boarder, saucer, fire engine, off-roader, train, rocket, and dolphin. Each one of these super transformations have their own unique powers, and the stages will cater to these transformations when required.
Similar to Animal Crossing, players get their own room courtesy of Dom Woole (the game's version of Tom Nook) which they can decorate. Decorations and fabric can be found for sale in the town shop, scattered and hidden across the various levels, and are rewarded/as rewards for playing mini-games. Paying Dom Woole beads adds more rooms where mini-games can be played. Players can take pictures of their rooms and post them on the Wii message board.
Mini-games are unlocked as players find the appropriate decorative objects and place them in the newly added rooms. The mini-games all involve replaying certain areas in all of the non-boss stages. The objectives of these mini-games are based on hide and seek, transporting, bead collecting, defeating enemies, or racing. All of these games have a time limit.
The graphics are fantastically done. Each stage has its own distinctive theme such as a toy theme, a space theme, or a dinosaur theme. Kirby as well as Prince Fluff will fluidly transform into a car while running or into a submarine while in the water. Classic Kirby characters such as Waddle Dee and Waddle Doo are hilarious to see as yarn. Even yarn King Dedede and yarn Meta Knight are amusing to watch.
The soundtrack of the game perfectly fits a Kirby game. Every stage has its own theme music which players can listen to if they find the CD hidden within the stage. Classic Kirby themes will not be heard until late in the game.
This game does have two player co-op which makes it more enjoyable to play with a friend. The boss battles are innovative and do require some skill. Completing a stage with a certain amount of beads will reward players with a medal (wood, bronze, silver, or gold). Players will replay levels to find every hidden object or achieve a better medal. Some of the mini-game objectives are rather challenging.
Some people may not like this Kirby game. People dislike the fact that Kirby cannot die in this game. When Kirby is damaged or when he falls into a hole, players simply lose beads. The game is also rather short, there are not enough decorations in the game (players can run the store out of inventory near the end of the game), and the graphics are a bit too childish. However, this is a fun Kirby game and is worth checking out.
Kirby's Epic Yarn receives an 8 out of 10.