Traditionally rooted, 'Kirby's Return to Dreamland' returns to everything we love about the little puffball that could.

Kirby and his an vagabond crew of heroes help out a stranded alien recover lost ship parts in 'Kirby's Return to Dreamland.' In typical side-scrolling form, Kirby be-bops through the level-after-level modulating into the perfect weapon of fluffy cuteness. Aided by his “unlikely” clan that consists of past foes, Kirby offers up enough variety to keep us engrossed. The formula hasn't changed and that's OK because "Return to Dreamlnad" is exactly what we expect out of a Kirby game. Kirby has all the charm in the world and his adventures (including this one) are fun for all ages. So for the quick answer -- should pick up “Return to Dreamland?” it's a yes. "Return to Dreamland" totally stacks up and will please any fan.

So you know the verdict, but what about the rest of the game? For starters, Kirby is one cute little bugger. A gaming-icon whose buoyancy works easily captures younger gamers interest. Following the instant appeal is a solid game with enough humour making sure that Kirby stays fun. Kirby even has a little surprise, with a spin that comes later in the game. While Kirby might not be on a grand scale like Zelda, Kirby is no less of a star.

Kirby's presumptive ability to duplicate others powers makes a return with a few new twists. Not only does have a new list of powers, Kirby has powered-up versions called 'Super Abilities.' 'Super Abilities' don't last forever as they are timed, but all five of these new skills are great additions. When Kirby uses these amped up versions of his "copy" powers, the world is paused while Kirby continues being his bad-supernatural self. Used to destroy the environment and/or take out the bad guys, you'll love the feeling of pulling out your Ultra Sword for some good ol' swiping (I'll keeping the other "abilities" for a surprise.) Now I know you're sensing some big destruction and its true, Kirby is one powerful puffball, however parents don't worry, even with all this "destruction" Kirby is still a kids game at heart.


Glazing over the copy abilities we have the Super Sword, the adeptness to control fire and ice, Kirby's trademark “Beam,” the strong, yet limited Hammer weapon. Adding onto the new is some of the old, like the return power to turn into water, leafs and rocks. Transforming is the name of the game and when each fraction debuts, you will love the little guy for it. Kirby is a lot of fun, you just never know what is going to happen next. "Return ot Dreamland" is innovative with a great sense of constant progression.

All this fun can be shared via co-op support for up to 4 players. Joinable at anytime, getting into the action will only cost 1 life from the Kirby's shared life pool. The other players warp into the skin(s) of the other members of the “unlikely” crew (including a different coloured Kirby.) In the chance that Kirby doesn't have any lives left, the new constant will be penalized a small bit of their life. At least Kirby has a good sense when it comes to timing their checkpoints, so its never too taxing getting friends added to the mix. For some reason, Kirby never got too confusing while playing with other players, making for a good alternative family game.

Collectively you're looking around six to eight hours to finish the game, a little more if you are hopelessly addicted to collecting. Being addicted to collecting isn't a bad thing because acquiring more gears unlocks special stages and mini-games. Also unlocked once you finish the adventure is a slightly tougher retelling tale of “Dreamland” that will please those who didn't want the adventure to end. And lets not forget the “Arena” mode, which is a little battle friendly mode to keep you busy. The item-specific challenges have the most weight here, however we can help to think that Nintendo could have done more.


Kirby's Return to Dreamland is a pure joy to play, and while it's not as enterprising as 'Epic Yarn,' it stays closer to the Kirby of old that we remember. Best yet, you will be smiling the whole time you rummage through the eccentric land of Pop Star. Add in 4 player support and you go a great game for the family that doesn't involve wiggling your whole body (just your arms.) Kirby we love you, don't stop now little puffer, you're on a roll.

  • Another fun adventure
  • New powers (and super abilities) are great
  • Built with 4 player co-op in mind, seamless drop-in
  • The charm remains, we love this little puffer
  • Kirby plays it safe, not as dynamic as Epic Yarn
  • More mini-games are needed
  • Might be too simple for experienced gamers
Quote: "Kirby's Return to Dreamland is a pure joy to play, and while it's not as enterprising as 'Epic Yarn,' it stays closer to the Kirby of old that we remember."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 12.02.11

Similar Games: Kirby's Epic Yarn (8.8)


Kirby's Return to Dreamland

HAL Laboratory

November '11