The Kirby series has been a staple of gaming for a long time now, around three decades. And to cap this, HAL Laboratory and Nintendo made Kirby and the Forgotten Land, a new mainline entry to the Kirby series. But first, what is the Kirby series in the first place?
What is the Kirby Series?
The Kirby Series is a set of action-platformer games that centers around a pink, round hero/eldritch abomination named Kirby. He fights to save his home, Planet Popstar, from any threats. Also, to destroy those that dare interrupts his mealtimes. The usual gameplay of the Kirby games involves Kirby swallowing his enemies whole and either spitting them out as projectiles or obtaining their unique powers.
All told, there’s been 16 mainline Kirby games released, with 20 games being the various spin-off games. Overall, they’ve been popular with a lot of people from all age demographics. Partly because of how cute Kirby is, and the fact that the whole eldritch abominations thing is canon. Hell, there’s even an ancient race of magic users/technological geniuses who went to war with one another due to their differences. The lore of the Kirby series is pretty wild, all told.
What Is Kirby and the Forgotten Land?
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a 2022 platformer released by Nintendo and created by HAL Laboratory. This game is the 17th main installment in the series and the first mainline game to be in Full 3D. Spin-offs don’t count. The game was created to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series and has a lot of the core things that fans liked about it. And yes, this includes more deep dark Kirby Lore.
Anyhow, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is only available on the Nintendo Switch, sadly. Both the Digital and Physical copies of the game cost $60.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land Review
Now that we’ve talked a bit about the Kirby series, let’s go to the review of Kirby and the Forgotten Land. We’ll start with the gameplay, the game’s setting/story, the graphics, combat, what game modes are available, online features, and lastly, Co-op/Multiplayer.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the first platform game in the series with full 3D gameplay, where the player must guide Kirby through various stages to save the Waddle Dees at the end. Kirby has the usual spread of abilities in the Forgotten Land as well. He can suck in enemies and objects that he can spit out or consume to gain a Copy Ability. We’ll talk more about Copy Abilities in the Combat and Controls section. In addition to this, there’s also a new “Mouthful Mode” where Kirby can swallow and control larger objects, such as cars and vending machines.
Instead of doing Waddle Dee genocide like in previous games, in the Forgotten Land, Kirby now rescues them and makes sure they’re safe. Once they‘re rescued, they immediately go to Waddle Dee Town, the game’s main hub, which increases in size the more Waddle Dees Kirby rescues. There’s a total of 300 Waddle Dees that players can rescue in the game and try to get them all to obtain cool stuff on Waddle Dee Town.
With each threshold, Waddle Dee Town unlocks new functions, and even minigames for Kirby to go for. The Minigames, in particular, are incredibly good, and each has a cool reward at the end for those that wanna stick with them.
Lastly, the game also supports amiibo functionality, which players can use to get items and money in the game.
The story starts on Planet Popstar, as per usual, and Kirby is just vibing with his friends. And then a freak storm happened, sucked Kirby alongside his Warp Star into another world called, unimaginatively, New World. Anyhow, Kirby is sucked there, and then he has to find a way back home. But not before saving the local Waddle Dee population, kicking King Dedede’s behind again, and committing a feat by swallowing whole hordes of his enemies.
Well, that’s the overview of the whole story. However, even when going to the brass tacks, it’s not that complicated. Kirby meets a new friend when he goes to the New World who goes by the name of Elfilin. When they meet up, Elfilin was about to be kidnapped, and the local Waddle Dee population was just abducted by the Beast Pack. Don’t let their fluffy, adorable appearance fool you; they’re dangerous and would like to beat up Kirby and get Elfilin.
This game is adorable if it weren’t for the fact that Kirby lore states that the titular mascot of the franchise is an eldritch abomination borne from a darker eldritch abomination. Well, at least we can rest easy because Kirby’s just too pure and adorable to do that. He’ll just swallow everyone one by one instead!
Anyhow, other than this, the plot tends to be a pretty typical one. Kirby gets isekai’d into another world, and he finds out about the plight of the local populace. He then saves them before fighting an Eldritch Abomination to save the planet/galaxy. If you’re looking for a deep plot in-game, don’t look here. If you’re looking for cross-generational Deep Kirby Lore, then this game has it in spades.
Graphics-wise, Kirby and the Forgotten Land has typically warm colors and adorable things all over the place. Kirby still looks like a cute, pink ball, and there’s no changing the Waddle Dees here. Everything in Kirby and the Forgotten Land looks adorable with a few exceptions, specifically some of the bosses. But we won’t talk about that because of spoilers.
Combat-wise, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a pretty simple affair and is similar to previous Kirby games with the added caveat of 3D. Kirby usually has only 2 ways of defending himself: either he runs away, or he swallows enemies whole. However, certain enemies in the game give Kirby access to Copy Abilities, which he can use in combat.
Kirby’s various Copy Abilities each have their unique gimmicks based on the enemy Kirby just swallowed whole. However, Kirby can upgrade these Copy Abilities to improve their damage, as well as add additional bonuses to their usage. Depending on the Copy Ability in question, these can be downright broken. One thing to note is that the Copy Ability evolutions need to be found before they can be upgraded on the Weapon Shop. So keeping an eye out for scrolls in the game’s levels is paramount to getting the upgrades.
Kirby with a gun. Nothing that groundbreaking, except when Ranger gets its final evolution, where the charged attacks now shoot a slow field to the enemy.
Ranger evolves into Noble Ranger, and finally Space Ranger. The Ranger Copy Ability can be obtained by swallowing a Bernard.
The crash is a single-use Copy Ability that causes Kirby to explode. That’s it. Charging this causes the explosion to get bigger and do more damage. The evolution of this ability is completely bonkers as it turns Kirby into Dio Brando and time stops in the immediate vicinity. All in all, definitely a boss killer Copy Ability that should only be taken when close to a boss battle.
Crash evolves into Time Crash once upgraded and can be obtained by swallowing a Bomber enemy.
Next on the list is the Hammer Copy Ability, which allows Kirby to bonk his enemies until they submit. Simple enough, he just smacks them upside with the said hammer. Do note that it does have one of the shortest reaches in terms of range, so it’s up to the player to keep a good distance while still smacking enemies.
Hammer evolves into Toy Hammer, and finally, the Wild Hammer once upgraded. There’s another evolution obtained in the endgame, which we’ll not include due to spoilers. The Hammer Copy Ability can be obtained by swallowing either a Mookie or a Wild Bonker enemy, though swallowing King Dedede’s hammer also gives you the Copy Ability.
Next on the list is the Cutter Copy Ability, which gives Kirby a ranged attack that comes back towards him. This allows it to deal damage when thrown and on the return trip back to Kirby. The next evolution gives Kirby a 2nd cutter that can be thrown in quick succession. And finally, the last evolution is a buzzsaw, trading speed for extra damage. The last evolution also ricochets on walls, giving it extra deadliness in tight areas.
Cutter evolves into Chakram Cutter, and finally, Buzz-Saw Cutter once upgraded. The Cutter Copy Ability can be obtained by swallowing a Sir Kibble.
Fire is exactly what it says on the tin: it allows Kirby to breathe fire and light enemies on fire. In addition, Kirby can also continue spewing flames to his enemies so long as he doesn’t get damaged and the player keeps holding the button. The evolution of the Fire Copy Ability gives players even more reasons to develop pyromania with the 1st evolution giving Kirby molten rock as projectiles. Meanwhile, the last evolution gives Kirby Dragonfire. Welp, those enemies better get their life insurance down pat.
Fire evolves into Volcano Fire, and finally, Dragon Fire once upgraded. The Fire Copy Ability can be obtained by swallowing a Glunk or a Hot Head.
Next on the list is Bomb Kirby, which allows Kirby to throw bombs at his enemies. Yeah, that’s it. Also, he doesn’t get recoil damage when he stands near the bombs, so there’s that. When upgraded, Bomb Kirby gains the ability to chain bombs, as well as turn his bombs into homing bombs.
The bomb evolves into a Chain Bomb, and finally, Homing Bomb once upgraded. The Bomb Copy Ability can be obtained by swallowing Foley, a Balloon-Meister, or a Poppy Bros Jr.
Next on the list is the usual Sword Kirby, which just gives Kirby a sword. But the sword has a lot of utility because it’s quick and really strong. When evolved, it deals even more damage but slows it down a bit until the last evolution, which has all the upsides of the previous evolutions.
Sword evolves into Gigant Sword and Meta Knight Sword once upgraded. This Copy Ability also has an evolution available on the late-game that’s on Spoiler territory so we’re not talking about it. The Sword Copy Ability can be obtained by swallowing Blade Knight or Wild Edge.
Next on the list is Drill Kirby, which allows him to burrow underground and pop out to deal damage. While underground, Kirby cannot be hit except by some abilities which makes this great for evading attacks. In addition, when Kirby digs a circle around an enemy, he does a Quake Surge, dealing massive damage to those inside the circle.
The next 2 evolutions are just this with added quirks. Pencil Drill shoots pencil missiles when Kirby stops digging, while Twin Drill allows Kirby to dig faster. Also, Twin Drill has a buzzsaw that Kirby can use to deal damage when he’s underground.
Drill evolves into Pencil Drill and Twin Drill once upgraded. The Drill Copy Ability can be obtained by swallowing a Digguh.
Next is Tornado Kirby, which means you turn into a tornado. This means Kirby can twirl enemies around him when in Tornado mode and then fling them all over the place when he’s done. This gets even worse when Tornado is evolved, as it not only increases the range but when it’s fully upgraded, leaves lightning storms on its path. When Kirby stops, the max upgraded Tornado also discharges an electric blast around him, damaging enemies.
Tornado evolves into Fleur Tornado and Storm Tornado once upgraded. The Tornado Copy Ability can be obtained by swallowing Fleurina or a Twister.
Next on the list is Sleep Kirby, which puts him to sleep the moment he gets it. That’s it. Why this seemingly useless ability is placed in the game, you ask? Because a sleeping Kirby regenerates his HP. Once he’s done sleeping, the Sleep Copy Ability will immediately expire, like Crash Kirby. The evolution of this gives Kirby the choice of when he’s sleeping, as well as having a 1 in 3 chance of getting either a temporary HP, Attack, or Speed buff for 200 seconds.
Sleep evolves into Deep Sleep once upgraded and cannot be obtained by swallowing enemies. Instead, there’s a special Sleep powerup that Kirby can swallow which gives Sleep Kirbys.
Next on the list is Ice Kirby, which is the ice version of Fire Kirby. However, it does have the nifty ability to freeze enemies when hit enough times. When upgraded, Ice Kirby gains a few nifty abilities. For one, he can now ice skate on ice areas, which is cool.
Secondly, Ice Kirby has different abilities in its evolutions. The 1st one allows Kirby to make a snowman when he doesn’t hit anything with his ice breath. Kirby can then kick said snowman to his enemies, dealing damage. And finally, the last evolution is a more offensive version that throws icicles instead of an ice breath. This has a longer range compared to the previous 2, while also dealing a bit more damage.
Ice evolves into Frosty Ice, and Blizzard Ice once upgraded. The Ice Copy Ability can be obtained by swallowing Chilly, or Wild Frosty.
Last but not least is Needle Kirby, which turns him into a porcupine. He rolls around the area and impales his enemies with the needles, which will stick them. Once released, he can retract the needles, and throw the enemies around, dealing massive damage.
The evolutions are even more dangerous, as the 2nd leaves damaging clutter every time the spikes retract while the last one leaves crystal spikes on its trail.
The needle can evolve into Clutter Needle and Crystal Needle once upgraded. The Needle Copy Ability can be obtained by swallowing Needlous or Jabhog.
Lastly, we need to talk a bit about Mouthful Mode, Kirby’s newest ability that he gained when he got sucked by the space vortex. Mouthful Mode gives Kirby the ability to sort of half-swallow certain objects in the New World. This allows him to get certain abilities based on what he inhaled.
Here are the things that Kirby can swallow to use Mouthful Mode:
Kirby gains the ability to glide through the air to navigate through stages. This Mouthful Mode ability is usually found on stages with flight-related challenges and levels. In addition, he can also take out flying foes by doing a barrel roll, slamming into them to deal damage.
Pretty much gives Kirby the ability to use a car. Surprisingly though, all of Kirby’s cars have nitrous in them. How that happens, we have no idea. But at least he can use the Nitrous to gain speed to ram enemies and obstacles!
Turns Kirby into a cone that has a slower movement speed due to his run cycle being a slow waddle. He can, however, slam his cone head down breakable terrain to reveal new paths/secrets.
This Mouthful Mode is only usable when Kirby finds a water dome. He swallows it, and then he wiggles himself to pop the water dome open, revealing secrets, items, or imprisoned Waddle Dees.
All of the Mouthful Mode abilities look incredibly funny, but the Lightbulb one takes the cake. It turns Kirby into a lightbulb as well as gives him the ability to power machines up with electricity. Do note that Kirby’s walk speed will slow when the lightbulb is on, which gives a really funny image of lightbulb Kirby with his mouth lit up.
Pipe Kirby turns him into a rolling deathtrap to any enemies he comes across. He’s practically unstoppable at this form and is used to destroy certain parts of the area map.
Next is Hoop Kirby, which gives him the ability to exhale wind gusts that can be used in various ways. The main use though is when Kirby is on a boat, as it allows Kirby to propel the boat in a burst of speed.
Kirby turns into a coaster cart, which is fun and turns the game into a thrill ride. He can lean left and right to get coins and items as well, so there’s that.
Scissor-Lift Kirby is another Mouthful Mode that doesn’t have that much screen time, but it is useful. It turns Kirby into a scissor lift that can move around horizontally with a wall behind him. He can also extend up and down like the usual Scissor-Lift and can then pop back out when he wishes.
Stairs Kirby is also a pretty obvious Mouthful Mode in the list. It turns Kirby into stairs that he can reposition when he walks around. To attack, he slams himself down, instantly killing any enemies he squishes.
A Lot Of Water
Kirby turns into a water balloon after sucking a huge amount of water from a spigot and then spraying it at enemies and dirt. That’s it. This slows him down though, so keeping a close eye on enemy positions is key when using this Mouthful Mode.
Next, are vending machines, which allow Kirby to fling soda cans to his enemies, which are, of course, one-hit kills. Unfortunately, he has a limited stock of soda cans, but he can replenish them with cans that appear every once in a while.
Last but not least are lockers. However, this is similar to the dome Mouthful Mode where Kirby just removes it to open pathways and reveal secrets. Nothing too special.
Other than the usual game of defeating adorable enemies and saving Waddle Dees, Kirby and the Forgotten Land has a few minigames for players. These usually give Kirby some currency, and then a cool statuette for Kirby’s house if all challenges are completed
There’s a total of 3 minigames in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and then there’s the game’s boss rush mode, the Colosseum. We’ll talk about those below:
Waddle Dee Café: Help Wanted
Straight up puts Kirby in an unenviable position of being a café employee, and yes, the Waddle Dees are very annoying here. They keep waiting for a few seconds before they say their orders and they get uppity if Kirby doesn’t get their orders right or on time. It’s hectic, but it gives good rewards once completed.
Nothing special, just fishing. Getting the big fish in the minigame rewards the most currency, so make sure to not let any fish getaway.
This is just the Breath of the Wild minigame where Link has to lead a ball down a maze to the indicated point. The same premise here, and it uses the Nintendo Switch’s gyro controls to tilt the board. As per usual, completing the minigame gives a boatload of currency.
Last but not least is the game’s boss-rush, the Colosseum, which pits Kirby against the game’s bosses one after the other. At least, the bosses that he’s already faced. There’s also a secret boss in the Colosseum that should be a treat for fans of the series.
Online Features and Co-Op
Sadly, there are no online features on Kirby and the Forgotten Land. This includes Online Multiplayer. That doesn’t mean that there’s no Co-Op though, as there’s a local Co-Op feature that uses the 2nd controller. The 2nd player will control Bandana Waddle Dee, Kirby’s bandana-wearing friend and possible significant other? They did kiss on one of the games, though on this game they just high five. Though they also sleep together at Kirby’s house. The lore is iffy on this, trust us.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land vs Similar Games
Now that we’ve talked about Kirby and the Forgotten Land, let’s talk about other similar games. We’ll start with Super Mario Odyssey, followed by Luigi’s Mansion 3, and lastly, Psychonauts 2.
Super Mario Odyssey
First off is Super Mario Odyssey, and you might notice a bit of a trend here given that 2 of the 3 of the games on this list are from Nintendo. This is for a good reason though so bear with us for a bit.
Super Mario Odyssey has a lot of the things going for it. Great graphics, really interesting gameplay for a Mario game, and a few interesting secrets scattered throughout the world. It also helped that the game is made specifically for the Nintendo Switch, so the gameplay part is fresh and new for a lot of Mario fans.
As per usual with the Mario series, Princess Peach is kidnapped, again, by Bowser. This time though, Bowser ain’t taking any chances, and he’s already made sure that Peach will be married to him posthaste. Bowser, however, made a really big enemy in Cappy, whose little sister was kidnapped by Bowser. He didn’t like that, so now he helps Mario try to not only save Princess Peach, but also his sister.
As players found out, Cappy added a lot of really fun innovations to the usual Mario gameplay. His ability to aid in Mario’s traversal of the various worlds they visit is incredibly useful and fun. Not only that, but they can possess enemies and certain non-player entities to do their bidding, which adds to the gameplay of the game. All in all, it’s a pretty interesting and great platformer for the Nintendo Switch and shows the console’s various strengths.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Next on the list is Luigi’s Mansion 3, who’s here through sheer hilarity and the fact that Luigi’s the main character. This time, they enter a hotel, the last hotel they’ll ever visit. Why did they even go there when the hotel was a trap I have no idea. But, the obvious happens: Mario, Peach, and their friends got trapped by the ghosts, and it’s up to Luigi this time to save the day. Of course, Luigi’s deathly afraid of ghosts, but that’s not gonna stop him! Much.
As per usual with Luigi’s Mansion, Luigi fights the various ghosts and ghouls with his trusty vacuum cleaner. He’s of course accompanied by, his ghost dog (who he’s deathly afraid of, but adopted because he’s great like that), as well as Professor E. Gadd (Who’s trapped there because he wanted to see ghosts from all around the world). All in all, the usual cast of characters from the Luigi’s Mansion games.
If you’re looking for some clean fun and a lot of ghostbusting, try out Luigi’s Mansion 3 from the Nintendo Switch. To be honest, it’s the only good game with ghostbusting in it right now, which is sad.
For those that are fans of the first Psychonauts, never fear, because Psychonauts 2 is here, and it’s awesome. Created by Double Fine for PC, Xbox 1, PS4, and Xbox Series X/S, this game took what made the first Psychonauts great and added more of it. The game looks striking visually due to the colorful, and dangerous mind worlds that Raz, our protagonist goes to, and its gameplay hearkens back to platformers from bygone game eras.
It’s incredible how much charm and pizzas Psychonauts 2 preserved from its previous entry, and in addition, added in a few new things of its own. The game’s writing and the plot are very much in tune with the previous game, and the various Psi-Powers remain fun and engaging to play with. All in all, Double Fine made an awesome sequel to the beloved series, even if it took years to make due to financial difficulties.
Check Out Kirby and the Forgotten Land Today!
Are you looking for a fun romp with a pink ball that sucks his enemies into his mouth to sate his hunger? If the answer is yes, then you should play Kirby and the Forgotten Land. The game is just fun, and it has a lot of cool stuff to do from completing challenges and finding secrets. All in all, it’s a great way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Kirby series. And a cool addition to the Nintendo Switch’s game catalog.