|System: Wii U|
|Dev: HAL Laboratory|
|Release: February 20, 2015|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild Cartoon Violence|
While Kirby doesn't copy enemy moves in this game, some stages let him transform into special forms like Tank Kirby or Kirby Submarine. These forms control fairly well, especially in comparison to the sometimes-awkward alternate form controls we've seen in past Kirby games. I particularly enjoyed the shooty fun of Tank Kirby, although I wish he rolled just a touch faster when I wasn't actively tapping him to go faster (can't really do that while tapping the screen to shoot down a huge swarm of enemies). In general, these alternate forms manage to add variety in the game without feeling like annoying roadblocks that must be overcome to get back to the core gameplay.
Up to three friends can join the GamePad player on Kirby's quest, but my spouse and I found multiplayer to be a bit frustrating. Secondary players control Waddle Dees, who traverse the levels using traditional platforming controls. The problem is that the level design is balanced primarily around having fun with Kirby and his ropes. Sure, Waddle Dee can help out by killing enemies with a spear, but it's easy for Kirby and the Waddle Dees to get in each others' way. It's too easy to accidentally pick up Kirby and throw him into a hazard (that was an accident, right dear?) or to get teleported around willy-nilly because the camera faithfully follows Kirby. Plus, Kirby gets to do all the fun stuff like making loop-de-loops to collect stars. It feels like the two ways of controlling characters just don't mesh well, making Rainbow Curse a game that's best enjoyed solo.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is charming, lovely to look at, and fun to play—at least by yourself. It's nice to see Nintendo take advantage of the Wii U GamePad for something besides being a very expensive map display, even if that means the game's TV display is somewhat redundant. Kirby fans will be delighted by this series entry, especially if they remember Canvas Curse with fondness. Other gamers should definitely give this one a try. It has that good ol' Nintendo quality and sense of playfulness in spades.
Date: February 23, 2015