Kirby's Epic Yarn
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Game Reviewed: Kirby's Epic Yarn
Developer: Good Feel
ESRB Rating: E
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Kirby has been a star of several video games since his debut in 1992. In this next chapter of Kirby’s story, the evil Yin Yarn sucks Kirby into a magic sock where Kirby finds he has been transported to Patch Land, a kingdom similar to Kirby’s native Dream Land; except, as the name implies, Patch Land is made completely of fabric. The landscape is all fabric, and all of the creatures are made of yarn, buttons, and the like. At the beginning of the story, Kirby rescues the prince of Fabric Land, Prince Fluff, who tells Kirby that Yin Yarn has broken Patch Land apart. In order to restore Patch Land, Kirby and Prince Fluff set out to recover pieces of magic yarn stolen by Yin Yarn that stitch the pieces of Patch Land together.
Gameplay is similar to traditional 2D platform games, but with some interesting elements from Patch Land mixed in. Levels include zippers that reveal new areas and also areas that can be drawn closed like a sack. Kirby discovers that he is unable to use his trademark sucking attack to slurp in enemies, so instead he grabs on to them and either pulls them apart or spins them into a ball of yarn. Kirby occasionally transforms into other things with special abilities, such as a tank, UFO, dolphin, or race car. Kirby also collects beads in each level. When Kirby is attacked or falls into a pit, he loses a chunk of the beads he has collected. Any beads Kirby has left at the end of a level are kept and used to buy various upgrades to Kirby’s apartment. Kirby is also awarded a medal for how many beads he has at the end of a level. Each level also has three hidden items to find. Two items are decorations Kirby can add to his apartment. The third item is a CD that unlocks a music track.
There is also a multiplayer component that is an excellent addition to the game. A second player can join in as Prince Fluff so that two players can tackle a level together. The game also has some challenges you can play to unlock new fabric patters Kirby can use to decorate his apartment. The challenges include finding characters hiding in a level, racing against another character, battling enemies, collecting beads, and carrying a character to a goal, each completed within a certain amount of time.
What Parents Need to Know
The “violence” in this game could be classified in the same category as a kitten attacking a ball of yarn. Kirby can grab enemies and spin them into a ball that he can toss around. Kirby can also squash enemies from above. In some levels Kirby transforms into a UFO that can suck in enemies or a tank that can shoot missiles. Defeated enemies typically break apart into pieces of yarn and buttons. Kirby can be attacked and fall off of platforms without dying.
There are no language issues in this game.
There is no sexual content in this game.
Yin Yarn is referred to as a sorcerer, but the extent of his sorcery is knitting things that come to life that attack Kirby. Some of the rewards you find have text descriptions. These descriptions are visible when you discover the item and when you look at the items you have unlocked in Patch Plaza. Some of the items are said to have spiritual properties, such as a crystal that “would be perfect for the lobby of a psychic” or a pyramid that is said to have healing powers. These objects do not have any function and cannot be interacted with aside from looking at them in your list of collectables. The only indication that there is anything spiritual about these items is in their descriptions.
Despite the small, obscure peppering of spiritual elements, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is an excellent game! The game itself is very visually appealing and provides old school platforming with some new twists that are both refreshing and fun. Gameplay is designed to be easy enough that a beginner could play through the story, but challenging enough that completing 100% of the game can be a significant task. The game could be reasonably played by a child and a parent, providing a great opportunity for some family game time.