Brought to you by Nintendo, developed by HAL Laboratory, and available On the Nintendo Switch. Kirby’s Dream Buffet is recommended for Ages 3+. Gamers will remember and associate Kirby with previous games such as Kirby and The Forgotten Land.
We’re on a strawberry roll now… Kirby is taking on fall guys!
Kirby’s Dream Buffet is a 2D platform game exclusively available for the Nintendo Switch and is rather controversially associated with Mediatonic’s Fall guys – a multiplayer game with a similar goal. Controversially where ‘Fall guys’ offers the ability to play with 60 online players, Kirby currently offers several different modes enabling the game to be played solo (with AI bots) against a friend locally on an additional switch or up to four others online.
The game has no fixed storyline, you are a Kirby blob, racing through various ‘sweet-toothed’ tracks propelling Kirby through four levels before gorging on giant strawberry cakes to win a gourmet race. The aim of the game is to grow your Kirby in size, who essentially rolls through a marble run and hoards the most strawberries you can. You can fall off a stage, and this results in chaotic button-mashing to get yourself back in the game.
The core of Kirby’s Dream Buffet involves taking your blobby Kirby and unlocking new costumes and colours across a series of courses and mini-games. The person with the highest strawberry count at the end of a ‘gourmet group’ of four matches wins. There are some nice additional food-associated labels that are awarded so if you are not successful in 1st place, you can take pride in being the best ‘hoover’ – especially if you’re anything like me and go for collecting all the shinies.
The order and style of Kirby’s Dream Buffet is grand Prix, something which Nintendo has always done well, especially if old-school Nintendo players have ever picked up any Mario or Sonic games. It has the regular Mario-Kart-like blocks to give you power-ups and racing, or rather ‘rolling’ can be hindered or boosted. There are a total of 135 ranks to unlock – including mini-games, music, colour schemes and costumes. You can play up to two players split-screen locally with online support for up to four plus a local play.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics for Kirby’s Dream Buffet is neatly handled. Regular gamers of any Kirby series will be familiar with the sickly sweet childlike bright designs of Kirby’s world. The colours are vibrant and resemble an explosion in a cake factory. It may be too much for some, but there is the option of turning down the brightness. There are a handful of different courses that are randomly selected. These form a simple pattern and whilst there are detours, the game would benefit from a few more side-tracks in order to completely outway the resulting leader who could be clearly defined from the off if they get a good head start.
The audio levels of the game are good, however, can be repetitive after a while. Personally, the tracks deter concentration from the game and playing with the sound off may be preferred. New soundtracks are offered as a bonus unlockable feature.
As aforementioned, it seems Kirby’s trying to spring off Fall guys and unfortunately, it falls a little short here. The game is intentionally designed to be simple and easy to grasp, but it easily becomes repetitive and tedious. It would fail to hold my attention for longer than an hour.
The solo mode is fair with the AI bots and there are several different modes to make it a little harder to overthrow them. The multiplayer is fun with friends but is limited to switch and would benefit from being crossplay and allowing more consoles to chip in – plus having the ability to have larger multiplayer modes with more than four gamers could make this game a party pleaser. I award Kirby’s Dream Buffet a Thumb Culture Bronze Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.