Kirby: Planet Robobot caught me by surprise. I was very excited for the game. Don’t get me wrong. But, I had a feeling that a Kirby game involving a transforming mech suit would just end up as a gimmicky mess. Fortunately, that could not have been farther from the truth. Planet Robobot is actually one of my favorite Kirby games in recent memory and I feel comfortable recommending it to anyone with a 3DS.
The plot set up is straight forward. Robot aliens attack Dreamworld and terraform it in an adorable version of Cybertron (the robot home world of the Transformers). Happy trees, rolling hills, peaceful lakes… all twisted into sharp angles and covered in metal and infested with alien robots. Kirby bears witness to the mess and does what he always does: he flies (floats?) off to save the day.
The bulk of the game plays out using the standard formula. It will be immediately comfortable to anyone who has played any of the previous games in the series. Kirby can inhale enemies and either shoot them out to attack enemies or clear obstacles or swallow them to use their powers.
The biggest difference is the aforementioned mech suit that Kirby can jump into. It flips the formula in a number of interesting ways. The first is that the suit is much larger, which changes the complexion of the platforming in the different levels. It also gains different abilities from the critters in the game compared to what Kirby would get. This is subtle, but it adds a lot of variety to the game. Lastly, you can’t just jump out of the suit once you are in it like Iron Man. You have to drop it off as specific locations. These are usually clues that there will be some sort of area that can only be accessed by a small Kirby. Navigating these puzzles and discovering hidden areas is a treat.
Kirby: Planet Robobot also comes packaged with a multiplayer mode that gives multiple players a chance to play as different Kirby’s to fight large bosses in an RPG-esque boss rush mode. Each player chooses a different class (make sure at least one person is the healer!) and works together to take on the boss. Even better? The game can be shared through 3DS Download play with up to 53 other players even if they don’t have their own copy of the game. This is a great bonus and while it isn’t exactly the deepest experience in gaming history it will definitely save a handful of long road trips!
Is it a family game?
Yes. Definitely. Kirby is a little pink ball of… something…. and inhales cartoony monsters and steals their powers. Feel free to let even your younger kids play this one.
Can kids play it?
Kirby games are, in general, very forgiving for new players and Planet Robobot is no exception.
First and foremost, Kirby can fly. This makes a lot of the platforming challenges easier for younger fingers. There is also very little text so even younger readers will be able to get the gist of the game.
Kirby: Planet Robobot is a great game that is worth every family’s time. This is especially true if you or your children have had fond memories of Kirby games in the past. In That case, this is a no brainer as it is among the better games in the series’ recent history.