Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Review

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is a 2D platformer starring Kirby, but with the addition of the player drawing paths to roll him along.

Published: February 19, 2015 10:00 AM /

Reviewed By:

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Key Art

I am one of the filthiest, dirtiest, crawling through mud console peasants you could ever hope to meet. My glands salivate at the merest thought of my current beau, the Wii U, because Nintendoes do what the other two don't: produce great games. I am a fan of the Kirby games for the Gameboy and have dabbled a little in the home console series, and so I was looking forward to playing Nintendo's latest release Kirby and the Rainbow Curse which came out around a month early for us folks in Japan. Story and plot take a sideline in this title as Nintendo tries to show off what it's good at, creating new and innovative gameplay mechanics.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse - Gameplay

Unlike other Kirby titles where you control Kirby with his infamous sucking and blowing skills, our pink ball of cute is keeping decidedly tight-lipped as you use rainbow ropes to guide his ever-rolling form around the levels. Is this completely frustrating? Yes, but kind of in a good way. The levels aren't so difficult to navigate, and this complex gameplay element creates the challenge that this game is screaming for.

There are other interesting elements that Nintendo has hesitantly introduced. In several levels, you play as rocket, submarine, or tank Kirby each with their own interesting gameplay styles, and in one level, you control two Kirby's simultaneously in order to make it through.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse - Amiibo

Nintendo has also integrated Amiibo functionality into the game seamlessly. Using the King Dedede Amiibo increases your health by two points. Kirby allows you to supercharge at any time you like, and Meta Knight adds bonus attack power but with frustrating-to-control consequences. While this could seem similar to titles such as Assassin's Creed Unity's micro-transactions, where you can pay simply to finish the game more quickly, Nintendo has limited the use of each Amiibo to once per day. This means that the player's advantage through purchasing Amiibos is limited, and the perks are simply for those who are already keen Amiibo collectors like myself.

The elephant in the room is obviously the gorgeous claymation art style. Nintendo has been playing with different art styles for a while, and you can see this attempt in Kirby's Epic Yarn. But the use of claymation here sent me straight on the nostalgia train back to Skull Monkeys for the PS1 and was definitely a welcome visual. The music is cute and fun and really suits the title in every way.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse - a Bit of a Let-Down

Despite all these positives, the title did let me down somewhat. With just 28 playable levels, it is disappointingly short (around 4-5 hours) and seems more appropriate for an indie than a AAA game. Collectors will find several more hours available to them through unlocking chests, figures, Kirby art, and challenge modes, but simple players, such as myself, will feel a bit disappointed. In Japan, it's only a $30 title, and for that, I feel I got my money's worth. However, buyers in more expensive locations might want to wait until there's a sale.

Another thing that Nintendoes is amazing local multiplayer. While the player using Kirby is restricted to the gamepad to draw the rainbow ropes and tap to roll faster, other players can use Wii motes and buttons to control their characters. While this is a big plus in terms of social gaming, being forced to play single-player leaves you at a huge disadvantage. Here your second player can use their expendable lives to clear the path for the less dispensable Kirby.  At times without my second player though, I think I would have become so frustrated the gamepad would have met with an accident.

The Verdict

In conclusion, this is a great title with new and unusual gameplay mechanics which really play to Nintendo's strength in innovation. I enjoyed my time with Kirby, though I think significantly more because I had someone to play with and wished that we could have had a little longer together. It's certainly worth the $30 I paid for it but when comparing it to Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker a game at a similar price point, I would have to recommend the latter.

TechRaptor reviewed Kirby and the Rainbow Curse on Wii U with a copy purchased by the reviewer. It is also available on PS3, Xbox 360, and PS Vita. This review was originally published on 01-02-2015. While care has been taken to update the piece to reflect our modern style guidelines, some of the information may be out of date. We've left pieces like this as they were to reflect the original authors' opinions and for historical context.

Review Summary

Innovative gameplay, but too short and not enough story for me to give a better score. (Review Policy)

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| Former Staff Writer

Georgina is a former writer for TechRaptor, you can find her on Twitter!