Kirby’s Epic Yarn on the Nintendo Wii begins with a magical journey to the beautiful and colourful world of Dream Land. Nintendo’s bright pink Kirby embarks on a stroll looking for his favourite food, a bright red tomato. He discovers and consumes a tomato only to be confronted by Yin-Yarn the sorcerer, who claims that Kirby has just eaten his Metamato.
A white sock around the sorcerer’s neck begins to glow and swallows up Kirby, transporting him into a strange world which is made entirely from pretty cloths and long pieces of yarn. Kirby looks down at his pink round body and his red shoes to discover that he too is completely made out of yarn. Wandering around and taking all the sights and sounds in, he encounters a bright blue yarn monster who is chasing a yarn boy. Kirby knows what he must do in order to save the day and suddenly transforms into a car.
The blue yarn boy informs Kirby that he is called Fluff and that he is the prince of Patch Land. Prince Fluff also explains that he is on a journey to try and stitch the continents of Patch Land back together, as they had been torn apart by the evil Yin-Yarn. Kirby decides he must try and help Prince Fluff save the day and restore Patch Land to it’s beautiful and original state.
Simply using the Wiimote in the horizontal position allows you to press the 1 button to lasso or whip, while 2 button enables Kirby to Jump. Kirby’s movements are controlled with the control pad. Kirby can manipulate himself and his environment as he whips out a piece of yarn to destroy enemies or to basically use objects around him. Entering the Patch Castle for the first time you are soon introduced to Kirby’s abilities such as jumping in the air and transforming into a yarn parachute to slowly float graciously down to the ground. If Kirby needs to make more of an impact, he can transform into a weight which can be used to break through certain areas or crush enemies.
The world of Patch Land is filled with pastel coloured trees for Kirby to shake and explore. Each level is packed full of wonderful beads and treasures for Kirby to collect and every area is ready to explore by jumping or climbing through the vine filled levels that decorate this cloth and yarn filled world. You’ll soon encounter Dom Woole who is the manager of Quilty Court and owns a block of flats. This is Kirby’s new residence and you become Dom Woole’s new tenant. Players are shown how to decorate their new pad with furnishings and fabrics. During your journey through Patch Land you will gather beads that you can later give to Dom Woole who will then renovate and add an extra floor of the building for you to explore. As you explore the levels, you can discover various items that can then be added to your room for refurbishment. You can even choose to decorate the walls and floors of your new home to make it pretty and customize it for your own needs.
Exploring Grassland is a visual experience with it’s bright green pastures and fountains shooting out water. Kirby can explore treasure chests and swing back on forth on ropes. The atmosphere is quiet and relaxed, and everything you see and listen to in the background is a reminder that you’re in a candy covered world of pure sweetness. Kirby can pull on pieces of material to stretch or shrink the environment, or pull on a yarn to reveal a building. Trying all of Kirby’s special moves allows players to experience all the various objects he can transform into.
Tilting the wii mote Kirby can become a tankbot that can fire out missiles using the 1 button to shoot at flying enemies. During my progress through Flower Fields Kirby leapt on turnstile flowers to reveal petals, hidden gems and discover an assortment of collectible patches. In this level I turned into a U.F.O. and I hovered around, sucking up empty squares which can then be fired at gem filled ones. It’s obvious from the very start of this game that the level of creativity is of a high standard and the whole feeling is of fun and excitement. Around each corner appears to be new ways of allowing Kirby to explore this side scrolling platformer.
Players have the opportunity to meet Loomis and Chaise Woole who own the local fabric and furniture shops. This is where you can simply trade beads in exchange for a choice of furniture and fabrics.
In Rainbow Falls Kirby will gently walk through this dangerous land filled with torrents of water that can snatch Kirby up and carry him towards the open jaws of waiting crocodiles. This level gets a little tricky as you try and grasp onto anything near by to stop Kirby from being sucked up by the tide of the fast flowing water that is waiting to engulf him. It’s a testing time, but I get Kirby to the safety of the ground and head out to the Big Bean vine world that lays before me. The next world is filled with green beanstalks that reach to the sky tempting me to climb them to explore even more. Whipping and swaying my way through vines, I make my way up to the top of the skies by jumping onto enemies that are holding balloons. These balloons elevate Kirby to the higher levels, but you’ve got to time your jumping well and eventually these balloons become smaller and pop, so time is of the essence.
My journey is soon met with the end of level boss Fangora who is a green dragon that flies and glides around Kirby, trying to harm him and make him lose his beads. It’s a battle of judgement filled with determination and will power where you’re responses will be tested.
Kirby’s wandering has led me to hot and humid lands where egyptian pyramids are filled with quick sinking sands, tornadoes and yarn wrapped mummies throwing up their deadly yarn to grab Kirby and toss him into the air. Kirby transforms into a 4×4 off roader which happily embraces the bumps that occur in the road as it speeds along at full throttle. This world is deadly with Volcanic lava that erupts and explodes. Kirby then transforms into a fire engine, which is pretty awesome as you tilt the Wiimote back and forth squirting water from it’s hose as you try and dowse the furious fires.
After the deserts and pyramids I’m quite happily welcoming the next green grassland that acts as home to Triceratops and Pterodactyls. I feel like I’ve walked into a quieter version of Jurassic park meets the Land before time. Resting in the distance is a purple dinosaur who’s back I walk and slide on to take me to the dinosaurs that are waiting for Kirby to jump on their heads to take him through the wading waters filled with danger. Carefully I balance and jump to avoid the enemies wanting to knock me off.
The dreamy Patch Land allows Kirby to graciously yarn whip and peel back patches, press buttons and swing back and forth from level to level. The creativity element is astonishing and working through levels is simple. Kirby can yarn whip enemies from above or unravel obstacles that obstruct his path. This bright pink creature will stop at nothing to help piece Patch Land together again. Kirby can roll an enemy or block up into a ball. Collecting the beads to fill up your bead gauge is fun as the more you collect, the better chances of you reaching medal markers. If you’re lucky enough to keep your beads without being struck down by an enemy, you’ll receive bonus beads which comes in handy. At the end of each level is a bell which you swing from to finish a stage and when you spin the wheel you might also win bonus beads, depending on the number of bonus stars the wheel may land on.
There are a huge number of collectables to gather and hidden patches to discover. The game has a nice selection of treasure chests that hold various gems and even furniture for you to decorate your new home. Players will find a variety of music themes and certain characters will set challenges for Kirby and you can even team up together and play co-op. Each time you’ll be rewarded with goodies that make this journey of discovery worth embarking on. Although obviously aimed at the younger gamer, with it’s lack of threat and low difficulty level, there is plenty here for adult gamers to enjoy. The controls are easy to use with the wiimote and the music and graphics remind you that, whether you’re a kid or an adult, this is what games are all about. Kirby’s Epic yarn pulls the heart strings tightly into a ball and then rolls it into the world of your imagination.