Beginning as something of an underdog within Nintendo’s vast sea of IPs (though a still very well liked one), the little pink puffball known as Kirby has gone on to steal the hearts and minds of a great number of gamers from all walks of life. It’s not hard to see why- the aesthetics of the series are a good 80% cute and adorable with 20% set aside for some Slightly Spooky and Atmospheric Stuff, and the gameplay is consistently multi layered and deep without being impenetrably complex. You can make the pretty sound argument that Kirby perfects the Nintendo formula of “deeply charming visuals and music with ultra tight and well designed gameplay” more so then any other IP they lay claim to. And make no mistake; Kirby: Star Allies is no exception to the rule. In fact, it is a game as fiendishly good as it is fiendishly cute.
For starters, Kirby can be accompanied in his travels with up to three allies, which can be controlled either by AI during single play or by companions using other Switch controllers if so desired. If there are any companion slots free, Kirby can throw hearts at enemies to turn them into allies during gameplay. Having allies on your side grants the player access to extra abilities and skills, which is itself a boon, but further sweetening the pot is the fact that Kirby can combine his own abilities with those of the allies, a feature absent from the series since Kirby: Squeak Squad. There is even the option to make use of special attacks and abilities in specific circumstances through the Friend Action mechanic, and the Dream Friends function allows Kirby to summon characters from prior series entries to come to his aide- these include Rick, Coo, and Kine (from Kirby’s Dream Land 2), Gooey (Kirby’s Dream Land 3), and Marx (Kirby Super Star) currently, but there are plans to include more throwback characters as DLC later down the line. This results in an extremely playable experience with a wide number of approaches and strategies that suit any and all prospective players’ preferences, and crank the replayability of the title through the roof.
The game also features a heft number of throwbacks and references to prior series entries, making it something of a love letter to the franchise as a whole, but to mention them would be telling; you’ll just have to get the game yourselves to find out what sort of surprises await you, in addition to all the facts we’ve already tantalised you with!