Nintendo are great at recycling, and with a canon of games as strong as theirs we’re never going to complain. Well, unless Wii Music rears its crotchet-drenched head again. Here we have one of the greatest platformers from the waggly Wii era, spruced up for the Nintendo handheld that isn’t the Switch.
Everybody’s favourite pink glob of, erm, Kirbyness is going along his merry way until that desperate urge for a tomato hit gets him into a whole wild and literally woolly mess. Yep, one chomp of a nasty sorcerer’s magic ‘metamato’ and it’s bye-bye Dream Land and hello Patch Land. Via a sock.
Yes, forget the crotchet, we’re talking crochet here. Not only has Kirby transformed into a piece of yarn – a decidedly handy one that can morph into cars, tankity-tanks, flying saucers and more – the entire world appears to have escaped from a mad craft nut’s (or our Mum’s) sewing kit. Think a traditional 2D platformer that’s somewhat reminiscent of the LitteBigPlanet series’ bric-a-brac vibe, with zips and folds that can reveal previously hidden bits and clothes-type buttons that allow you to reach otherwise unreachable spots.
When we say “traditional 2D platformer”, we mean it (man). Numerous ’80s memories emerge as Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn repeatedly envelops you in a wicked just-one-more-level fugue. There’s a lot of seemingly forgotten classic Wonder Boy going on – even down to levels where you’re rolling and just have to go with the flow – with snippets of everything from Bubble Bobble to Galaga to Moon Patrol chucked into the mix at times.
When not busy appeasing an alarmingly needy landlord, you’re tasked with helping Patch Land’s Prince Fluff stitch his world’s continents back together, after that nasty tomato-bearing sorcerer done went and torned it up. Various luscious lands share a common objective – platforming and collecting stuff such as beads, CDs and bric-a-brac for Kirby’s pad.
Rather than being time-pressured or brain-busting, there’s a more chilled vibe throughout the original ported challenges. You basically can’t fail a level, but aims such as shiny medals mean that you’ll not be wanting to lose any of those precious collected beads, either.
Additionally, some new stuff has been woven into this release, including two minigames and a natty array of very helpful – perhaps too helpful at times – millinery. What will really appeal to those after a bit more challenge though is the new ‘Devilish’ mode. No, the Kirbster hasn’t sold his soul (should pink globs actually possess them, but this isn’t the place for such musings), rather an annoying Pac-Man-ish array of satanic baddies chasing and hassling you through levels has been added. Get through without unravelling and say hello to big bonus time.
Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn is ideal for younger audiences, but challenging enough to keep older gamers engrossed – depending upon their level of cutesy tolerance. If that’s not an issue then we could say that you’d have to be a knit-wit to miss this.
Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn is available now for 3DS.