Kirby Star Allies Review
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
There are always plenty of single player games on any system, it is significantly harder to find a game that allows for couch co-op. More than this, it is even rarer that a game is accessible to those who don't game regularly. Kirby Star Allies is both of these increasingly rare things, which makes for a wonderful new entry in the series and a great game to play with someone who doesn't game as much as you. In fact your reviewer played the entire game with their definitely non gamer partner and came away with lots of warm fuzzy thoughts about it.
Kirby games are very rarely all that difficult and Kirby Star Allies does nothing to buck this trend, so in the event you are after something to test your mettle, this is quite simply not the game for you. If, however, you are after a game to play as you sit back and relax, then this may well be your next purchase. While in single player the difficulty can make the game feel a little too simple, in co-op it means that you get to just play a nice relaxing game with friends. The true joy of a lot of Nintendo titles is their ability to be played by anyone, whether you are a long term gamer or someone new to gaming, you can usually find something enjoyable about the titles. This is exponentially more true of Kirby than almost any other game, the fact that it is a platform game in which you can effectively fly really sets the tone.
The controls are incredibly easy to pick up and the first levels are a good tutorial for the both the controls and the mechanics at the game's core. The two key mechanics in this one are the ability to charm your enemies to your side, and the ability to combine certain powers for added effects. For example, in the event you need a flame power for a puzzle, you can go and befriend an enemy with that power, then if you have the sword ability, you can end up with an awesome flaming sword. This gives you benefits like an attack boost and also a few new moves to keep things interesting.
Graphically the game is incredibly cute, everything from the effects to each individual character is brilliantly animated that fits the feel of the game perfectly. The small changes between how enemies look and how the allied version of them look is great and each attack has a beautiful style to it as well. Granted the main character is just a pink blob but hey, that little pink blob still has plenty of personality. The small cut-scenes when you combine powers are a nice touch and the UI is also very clear and fits in well with the aesthetic.
The story is fairly standard stuff but is still entertaining and while the campaign isn't that long the addition of mini-games helps to give the game a little more longevity. Not to mention the extra characters that keep getting added post release are a little incentive to go back in order to team up with some classic Kirby characters from years gone by. Overall the campaign will take between six and eight hours depending on your play style and how well seasoned the people playing are.
While Kirby Star Allies isn't going to set the world on fire, it has charm in bucket loads and is a great game to play with someone who doesn't normally play games. The accessibility makes it perfect for teaming up with your kids or a partner who isn't normally drawn to gaming and making sure you can all have a fun time. As such it is a great addition to your collection if you have people to play with and may well be a great gateway game into the wonders that video games can provide.