Though the game has been out for half a year already, it is unlikely that LusipurrCom’s readers have picked up a copy of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Various reasons abound, from the fact that it is an installment in the Kirby franchise, one assumed to be only for babies and small children, to the fact that it is for the Nintendo Wii console, which is not the favorite console of today’s gamers.
However, fans of the Kirby franchise are likely to be pleasantly surprised with this game. The first thing a Kirby fan will notice about this game is that its art is radically different from the rest of the series. Everything in the game is made of yarn (go figure!), and the developers exploit this. Unlike many other Kirby games, such as Crystal Shards and Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby does not gain powers by ingesting his foes.
Instead, Kirby has an innate number of abilities, including turning into a heavy weight, a car, and a parachute. Kirby cannot fly in this game. The next thing that a player of this game will notice is that it is narrated. This is an interesting novelty, as Kirby games rely entirely on visuals to tell a story. The narration is not bad, but more than likely unnecessary. Kirby begins an adventure after being turned into yarn by a magical yarn wizard, who dastardly prevents him from eating more food.
There, he meets up with a blue-yarn companion, who looks remarkably similar to him. After the introduction, the player has the choice to play alone or cooperatively with a friend. Kirby and King Fluff can extend yarn whips to roll enemies up into balls and throw them at each other and destructible obstacles, but they can also pick each other up in the same way. The cooperative nature of the two player mode makes this lighthearted game great to play with a significant other who likes to play video games with you, but does not like fighting or shooting games, while simultaneously helping them feel better about themselves, because they are far more useful than the Star Helper in the original Super Mario Galaxy. It would also be a great game for a parent to play with their child.
Throughout the game the players collect beads, the game’s currency, in order to fill up a meter in each level that unlocks completion medals. This is akin to the ‘True Jedi’ bar and similar bars in the LEGO movie game series. Completion of most levels is not entirely difficult, though it does require some creativity. In fact, the game itself is not too difficult either, with there being no way to truly die and be required to start a level over. The difficulty is in keeping one’s bead count from falling, as it falls when hit, which is mainly difficult in boss battles.
The game’s soundtrack includes music that players of the Kirby franchise have come to expect from Kirby titles. Nothing entirely spectacular, but all good enough that listening to the music on loop is not infuriating. All in all, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a game that is definitely worth playing, but perhaps not worth buying. The best way to enjoy Kirby’s Epic Yarn is to rent it and play it to completion with a significant other, child, or a good friend.