“Kirby: Epic Yarn” is the wonderful surprise of the show, even beating out the joy spread by “Donkey Kong Country Returns.” This is not to say that Kirby is a better game, because even based on the demos it’s clear that it’s not. However, the Donkey Kong/Retro relationship had previously been rumored. It was on everyone’s minds. Kirby came out of nowhere. AND HE’S SO DIFFERENT! This Kirby is made out of a couple strings of yarn. He doesn’t inhale enemies, he turns into a car and parachute on a whim, he moves through a world of cloth and zippers! This game is so weird and delightfully cute. And it’s two players! The game isn’t super hard based on the demo, and I have a feeling it won’t ever be anything ridiculously challenging, but it’s such a peaceful and relaxing little 2D platformer with some creative ideas.
It’s a hard game to write about. I could spend an hour describing exactly how it looks, but you really need to see it for yourself. Videos don’t even properly do the game justice, though they help. It doesn’t matter that you can see what it looks like. You just need to run through a level as Kirby, sliding under pieces of cloth, peeling open pieces of the level, squeezing the life out of enemies, and doing more things that require this game to be described with lots and lots of comma heavy sentences. The first time I went underwater (which involves Kirby moving to a blue piece of cloth and swimming around, I was so remarkably impressed with the ingenuity that went into this title. Reading that sentence back, it makes little sense. This just reinforces my point. You need to play the game for yourself. Or I need to be a better writer. Probably both.
As mentioned, the title supports two players. The second player controls a blue Kirby look alike named Prince Fluff. He wears a crown and has the ANGRIEST EYES. He’s so adorable in his unbridled rage. This game is so delightful. He has an animation for looking up so I kept pressing up over and over in quick succession to make it look like he was arguing with Kirby. I had way too much fun doing this.
Worth noting is that “Kirby: Epic Yarn” looks an awful lot like this old Japanese commercial for a Kirby game that came out a decade ago. It’s so interesting that it can’t not be shared.