Kirby’s Epic Yarn Review

Kirby’s Epic Yarn [Available only on Wii]
ESRB Rating: E
Players: 1-2
Genre: Platformer
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Good Feel
Release Date: October 17th, 2010

Parent Talk: This is an ideal kids game.   Not only is it incredibly vibrant and adorable, it plays like a storybook.  Kirby’s Epic Yarn is colorful and cute, while also simple and fun to play.  The co-op option means parents can jump in as well.  Best of all; the adventure is worthwhile for gamers of all ages.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn is bright and colorful (to an almost ridiculous degree) and is arguably one of the most visually creative games for Wii.  Not only is the game visually unique, but it also runs beautifully in motion and even gives some of the games from the HD consoles a run for their money.  Of course, this is Nintendo we’re talking about, so whenever graphics are concerned, there is much more of a focus on color and uniqueness as opposed to hyper-realism.  Even better, Epic Yarn is a solid platformer that is truly fun and offers a great co-operative experience.

The Great:  Awesome [co-op] gameplay.  Kirby’s Epic Yarn prioritizes fun.  While the game is straightforward, and downright easy frankly, it’s always a blast to play as each level pushes you to explore and find all the treasures.  Core fans may complain about the lack of difficulty, but a hard game doesn’t automatically mean a good game.  With single player, it’s great; but with two, it’s even better.  Co-op makes exploring the levels more satisfying and reminds you of Kirby Super Star.  The stage design perfectly complements co-op, and even the vehicle portions are more involved with two players in the mix.  For example, one of the early stages pits players in some kind of hybrid tank, with each controlling certain functions.  Your partner can even be used as an offensive projectile.

The Good:

+ Stunning.  This is one of Wii’s best visually.  Better yet, the style integration affects not only the eye candy, but how levels are actually played.  Kirby can pull zippers to make pieces of the stage fall down, or literally scrunch the “fabric” of a level together by pulling a string.

+ Extras.  Completing every main level and acquiring each items may take most around six or so hours to complete.  But there are additional levels to conquer afterward, like the hide-and-seek, bead-collecting, and carry challenges.  Additional “patches” can be earned by defeating bosses [and gathering enough beads doing so] which unlock additional levels.   Players can also customize their “room” with collected items.  Littered across stages are different pieces of furniture and other items, which can decorate Kirby’s room.  Wallpapers and items can be obtained by playing levels or buying them from the shop.

+ Clever design.  You undoubtedly associate Kirby games with inhaling enemies and borrowing powers—the franchise’s gimmick.  It was a gutsy for Nintendo to drastically change the series’ formula.  The premise is explained well enough and the new ideas are clever enough so the change doesn’t disappoint.  Yes, the “yarn” appeal may be novel, but it works well and is a sign that Nintendo can change the primary hook of a tried-and-true system yet still make it worthwhile.  Some may be alienated by the abrupt new direction, but it deserves a chance.  Kirby and his pal Prince Fluff can also transform into tons of things, like robots, UFOs, dolphins, fire trucks, rocket cars, or trains.

The Bad:

– Short.  Epic Yarn can be finished in six hours.  For a platformer that’s not surprising, but Nintendo could do better.  Super Mario Galaxy and SMG2 both have extraordinary value.  Kirby’s Epic Yarn emphasizes being a simple game that appeals to the casual market as well as the Kirby fan, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to be short.

– Forgettable music.  The soundtrack isn’t as memorable as other games in the series.  It’s cutesy and fitting for the theme, but nothing stands out at all.  The music isn’t bad per se, it’s just disappointing that the tunes aren’t as catchy.

The Lowdown:

Kirby’s Epic Yarn is easy, cutesy, and definitely aimed at a younger crowd—but it can be fun for anyone.  Core gamers may feel ‘too mature’ to enjoy this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they slipped in for some co-op action.  It’s an addictive and fun co-op platformer that’s a must for Nintendo fans.

13 thoughts on “Kirby’s Epic Yarn Review”

    1. I don’t remember you telling me your wife plays games. That’s pretty cool man. Sarina likes to kick my ass in tinting games, but outside of that she shys away from most other games. I’m hoping Kinect connects with her though ;)

      1. Oh yes I do play games… Mario games in general including the spin-offs, super smash brothers, portal (first few levels), NHL, Halo (as target practice for Steven once!), and Tetris. Not too mention the good old games of Contra on NES and Bust-a-move on SNES!!!

        … lol

  1. Nice review, Tim. Short, sweet, and to the point.

    I’m REALLY surprised that you didn’t enjoy the music though. I’ve been hearing otherwise. Additionally, 4 veteran composers in one game sounds like a blast to me. 3 are the Kirby regulars from HAL Labs, and one from Good Feel…same guy who made the vastly underrated soundtrack of Wario Land: Shake It. Can’t imagine the music disappointing me in Epic Yarn. I’ll have to listen and see.

    Good Feel is growing to become one of those really good developers. Looking forward to getting more games from them.

    1. I don’t think the music is bad at all, on the contrary, it’s good and suits the theme of the game. I just don’t find it as catchy as some of the original games, particularly Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby Super Star, or Kirby 64. In those games, I hummed along to the tunes and they got stuck in my head for days. Here, it was good and all, but as soon as the level was over I couldn’t remember how the song went. But maybe I’m just biased towards the old-school.

      I do agree about Good Feel though, I look forward to whatever they produce next. This game really surprised me. It’s actually way better than I expected and a must-own Wii game.

  2. I have to say that after playing it for about 4 hours, I love the music. I agree with on everything else though!

    1. I must be one of the only people who never really got into Kirby. I’m not entirely sure why that is. I was a hardcore Nintendo fan back when the first Kirby was released, but for whatever reason it just never really happened to connect with me. It wasn’t that it was a bad game, more like there appeared to always be something that came out I was more interested in, around the time a new Kirby launched. Bizarro.

  3. Like Steven, I loved Kirby 64 as well. Quite a gem there, especially if you’re going for 100% completion. Been a fan ever since Kirby Super Star, which is arguably the best one in the series. I’ve always wanted HAL to make a follow-up to Super Star using the same format, and the closest thing we’ve got is the DS remake.

    Kinda surprised you haven’t gotten into the series, Jarrod. It’s one of those platformers that makes you smile instead of cringe while playing, and this new game is no exception. While I’m going to miss the copy ability, I’m glad the developers stepped up and offered something new instead. Going to get a lot of flak from my buddies for playing Epic Yarn due to its cute factor, but I don’t care.

    1. Yeah Ahmed many people are surprised to hear that I never got into the series. Like I said, I think it was just bad timing. I was an omega Nintendo fan when Kirby first hit so there’s no other reason I can think of.

  4. I had an ol black and white Game Boy catridge back in the days with a Kirby game on it. As a kid, these games were really entertaining since you could change “characters” on the fly by gaining new abilities depending on which enemy you inhale.

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