Kirby’s Adventure! It was a fairly late release on the NES, but it was worth the wait! My bro and I bought this game brand new when it came out in 1993. We played the heck out of it and eventually beat it. At the time, I was blown away from seeing Kirby in full colour. I recently just replayed this game with my bro and to this day, the game still looks fantastic and holds up well to the test of time!
The story is as simple as ever, but with a twist! King Dedede has stolen the Star Rod – the item which provides the fountain of dreams its ability to grant dreams to all who sleep! Now, people are having trouble sleeping which is disrupting Dream Land! It is up to Kirby to get the Star Rod back and restore sleep to everyone! The twist comes later – but to leave a little to mystery – King Dedede and Meta Night might not be as bad as we think they are!
Kirby’s Adventure is a classic platforming game. There is lots of running and jumping, but what makes Kirby unique is that he can also fly and float around! One might think that this would make the game too easy, but that is not the case as Kirby is a big floating target when he is flying, and many areas are much more conducive to running, jumping, and even swimming.
One of the hallmark Kirby abilities is to absorb powers that enemies have though swallowing them. This is the first adventure that gifted this power to Kirby! This was a major addition that set a precedent for all Kirby games to come! I am not entirely sure of the total number of powers, there must be at least 10 or 15 ranging from fire, ice, fireball, tornado, sword, umbrella, et cetera. My favourite is actually the flying saucer as Kirby has an excellent weapon and amazing mobility.
Each power really only has one move which feels dated now (unlike later entries like Kirby Super Star which had a ton of different button combinations for moves), but not unexpected given this is Kirby’s second game ever. Some powers are also more difficult to find than others, but mini-bosses scattered throughout the game tend to have some of the coveted ones like ice and the fighting style ones.
There are seven worlds total, with a large handful of stages in each and a boss battle at the end. These worlds range from beach areas, to forests, to later on incorporating space and even giant rotating towers! The game really feels like an adventure given all the different places Kirby travels too. The introduction of hidden areas and secret exists were another really cool addition that can actually unlock bonus levels. This addition really made the game feel larger and made each level worth fully exploring to unlock everything. The percentage complete at the title screen really motivates you to get that 100%!
Below you can see some of the different bonus games – ranging from a crane-like game to an eating game which both reward the player with extra lives. One of my favourite games involves Kirby playing quick-draw with an enemy. If you are quick, you can really tally up the lives!
In terms of controls, the game is super easy to play. One button jumps while the other sucks up enemies or uses their power (if you have already taken their power). You can also do a a cool slide move with down and jump. If you hold up on the control pad, you can fly. Select allows you to spit out your current power. The game feels really tight too with Kirby feeling quite responsive to the controls. The only issue I had was when too much was going on on the screen and slowdown was experienced.
Graphically this is one of the best looking NES games and could e mistaken for an early SNES game. Each world is very vibrant and fun to look at. Kirby looks hilariously cute and the enemies and bosses all look great (especially the last boss!). The music of the game is also super with its fun-loving and happy-go-lucky attitude. Sound effects also are also great and really complement the gameplay.
Overall, Kirby is a fine example of an NES game that has stood the test of time. It has great gameplay, excellent graphics, and most importantly – it is still a lot of fun to play. The slowdown is the only issue that I really have with it beyond feeling slightly short (although that might just be because I like playing it so much). Overall, I give this game a 8/10.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10