A new Kirby game was announced at Nintendo’s E3 press conference with a release date of 2018. The trailer included little in regards to specifics about the game, and even titled the game simply “Kirby” without any taglines.
Kirby has been a beloved franchise since the early 1990s after the release of Kirby’s Dream Land. Since then the franchise has had a mass of games on console and mobile platforms. The Kirby series has even found its way into multiple game genres in much the same way as the Mario franchise has. While several Kirby games have come out in the past couple years, this new entry will mark the first home console release of a Kirby game since the Kirby and the Rainbow Curse launched at the beginning of 2015.
The trailer for Kirby shows off a colorful and seemingly straightforward Kirby game. It is a platformer, with enemies to suck up and steal abilities from, bosses to fight, and puzzles to solve. It includes the ability to turn enemies into allies that will then accompany Kirby through the gameworld, fighting on his side. These allied characters can even be controlled by other players, turning Kirby into a multiplayer team adventure. The special abilities of characters can also be combined to create new abilities – for example, ice and stone powers combine to turn Kirby into a curling stone that can slide along the level.
The launch will be good news for Kirby fans looking to see a new major release of the beloved, pink hero. It will also be a welcome addition to the Nintento Switch, as it will be another opportunity to showcase the Switch’s multiplayer and portability. If someone is out playing the game and a friend walks over and wants to join in, all they have to do is make an ally in the game and hand over a controller.
While it’s great to see more games coming that will take advantage of the Switch’s features, there does remain the question of what this Kirby game will do that’s new and noteworthy. The ability to have friends jump in as enemy characters and ally with you has appeared in the franchise in the past – albeit slightly different – as has the ability to combine powers from multiple enemies.
The teaser trailer may not show much that looks new or innovative, but given Nintendo’s way with first-party games, it seems likely that Kirby will be a hit and interesting game mechanics and puzzles will be scattered all throughout the game.