Nintendo's puffy marshmallow hero Kirby alternates between two types of games: Traditional platformers, like the Kirby's Dreamland series, Kirby's Adventure, and Return to Dreamland, and experimental spinoffs like Kirby's Dream Course, Kirby Mass Attack, and one of my personal favorites, Kirby's Canvas Curse. Canvas Curse, released on the DS in 2005, is one of the many Kirby spinoffs that turn the hero into a rolling ball. In this one, players guide his course using the touchscreen. Ten years later (an amount of time that feels staggering now; Canvas Curse doesn't feel like it was that long ago), Nintendo has released a sequel on the Wii U that offers more of the same, but when that content's this good there's nothing wrong with that.
Click here for a Kirby and the Rainbow Curse screen shot gallery.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse shifts its focus from paint to clay, with almost every element of its world portrayed in really adorable claymation. It looks fantastic, animates well, and is wonderfully bright and colorful. The single player game plays exclusively on the Wii U tablet, with its touchscreen serving the same path-drawing purpose as the DS did in Canvas Curse. You don't need to use your TV at all, and in fact I found the game much harder to control when looking at my TV, unless you're playing multiplayer. While player one is always a rolling Kirby, players two through four control variously colored Waddle Dees using more traditional platforming controls. There are even some enemy encounters that only happen during co-op mode!
|Kirby and the Dees|
|Remixing the beat|
|Strange memories on this nervous night in Dreamland|
|The point of it all|
|Rocket Kirby ruins a space duck's day|
|All of the trophies get lovely little stories like this|
While the main game is easy, some of the treasure chests are hard to find, and some, obnoxiously, require you to restart a level if you mess up and miss them, repeating a lot of content. Exploration is satisfying and the simple controls (draw lines to guide Kirby, tap him to make him dash/attack enemies, hold the stylus on him when you get 100 stars to make him get huge and rambunctious) work very well, aside from some minor awkwardness when moving around underwater. Kirby can turn into a tank, a submarine, and a rocket in certain stages to add variety to the game, but these parts feel slower than the main stages. The challenge rooms get pretty tough, mostly because of their extremely strict time limits. If you just want to get through the main game and ignore the side content, it will only take you a couple of hours, but I've spent about 10 hours so far on Story Mode and the challenge rooms and I still have a lot of stuff to unlock.
|I'm seeing double: Four Kirbys|
|I'd buy a Dedede figure that looked like this|
|Good old Rick|