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What is Kirby and the Rainbow Curse?

Coming to Wii U (tested)

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Release Date: 2015

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is a new Wii U game that rehashes a classic character in traditional Nintendo style.

A 2D platformer, the new Kirby game is about helping the rotund pink ball move its way to the level-ending glowing door. In the way are the usual array of obstacles, health sapping baddies and dead ends. Your job is to draw a path for Kirby to traverse safely. Think Kirby Canvas Curse just with clay instead of paint.

Utilising the Wii U’s touchscreen GamePad controller, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse requires you to break out the stylus and draw lines of clay for Kirby to roll along – tapping the character gives him a nudge along.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

As well as drawing steady inclines for Kirby to climb – in order to avoid baddies or reach new platforms – you can add loop-the-loops to capture stars or even draw barricades to keep evil critters hemmed in and away from the protagonist.

The mechanic is a simple one – and one we’ve seen many times before – but the levels are an ever evolving array of increasingly difficult setups.

There are also three different level types from which to choose – standard, underwater and tank. While the standard levels will get you familiar with the mechanic, the underwater level flips things on their head before the Kirby tank comes into play, missiles and all.

All three modes follow a similar principle but mix the gameplay and challenges up enough to add an element of variety and complexity to the title. Having sampled all three at E3 2014, we would say underwater Kirby is the most challenging, with variable currents and multiple spiked rivals requiring a great deal of clay line precision.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

These harder levels require you to be more sparing with your line drawing, though. Adding a further dimension to the game, you have a clay meter which must recharge before you can go on penning routes away from danger and towards stars.

Collect 100 stars within a single level and things kick off. Hold Kirby down and the pink blob enters a power mode, steaming through the level, blowing all manner of obstacles and baddies out of its way for a few seconds before returning to its original rolling state.

As fun as the Kirby gameplay is, it feels severely limited. There was little challenge to the levels we played and the puzzle-solving elements of the game are lacking.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

That said, visually Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is one of the best Wii U games we’ve seen to date.

No, its graphics might not trouble the likes of The Order on PS4 or Forza Horizon 2 on the Xbox One, but that’s not the point. Kirby’s colourful and detailed backgrounds actually look like they’ve been moulded out of clay. From finger impressions to tooling marks, it is the imperfections within these faux-clay surroundings that make them perfect.

First Impressions

Although a fun addition to the Wii U roster, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse will not be a game which saves the ailing platform. As fun as it is to play, we are concerned about the title’s longevity. After 20 minutes we were entertained but felt we had already seen most of what the game had to offer, this may be a different story for the children this game is aimed at. With the game not coming out until 2015, though, we fear Kirby may be long forgotten before it even lands.

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