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[Review] Kirby and the Forgotten World – Give Kirby a Worthy 30th Birthday

When Kirby and the Forgotten World was announced, as a Kirby fan I was immediately thrilled. How cool would it be to play with Kirby through an open 3D world! Still, the question is how classic 2D platformers make the transition to 3D. After all, we’ve seen more games where that didn’t work out too well. Without giving too much away, I can already tell you that Kirby succeeded more than perfectly!

When a quiet day on Planet PopStar is interrupted…

The latest adventure with our big pink friend isn’t set on the planet PopStar this time. Kirby and the Waddle Dees on Planet PopStar are one day sucked into the Forgotten World, where everything turns out to be wrong. To make matters worse, the Waddle Dees are kidnapped and it’s up to Kirby to rescue them. Kirby will have to go through a total of six worlds through the well-known world map, each consisting of different levels and a boss. The boss fights are very original and fun to play. From a monkey to a dangerous cat, you can imagine it so crazy. Each world also has different bonus levels which are a kind of minigames that make use of the powers Kirby has. By playing these you can unlock different items. All in all, the game offers a fairly simple story and concept, but it does its thing more than fine and fits well with the Kirby franchise.

Perfect transition to 3D

When you start playing the first few levels, one thing quickly becomes apparent. The switch to 3D was carried out perfectly by HAL Laboratories. You still have the old familiar Kirby feeling, but in a way we’ve never seen before in a full 3D world. While the levels generally have a linear path to follow, there is always more than enough to explore to keep it interesting. The different worlds, but also the levels are wonderfully varied. One time you find yourself in an abandoned shopping center, while the next you visit an abandoned amusement park and quickly end up on a roller coaster. It is also nice that the controls work almost perfectly and the game is actually just as accessible in 3D as it has always been in 2D. Because the game is not too difficult, it is especially a great pleasure to play through the many levels. Incidentally, this is also possible with two players in co-op mode. Nice is that the second player can join at any time as bandana-Waddle Dee.

Recognizable and refreshing

Much of the gameplay is familiar. Kirby can still copy the powers of enemies and that is again fully possible. In total you have 12 powers to take over including old familiar ones as well as some new ones. Fortunately, there is also plenty of innovation to be found. First of all, of course, there’s the Mouthvol form where Kirby turns into an object. This could be anything. Think of a car, a pylon or a soda machine. By turning into an object you can then solve puzzles again or reach certain parts in a level that you could not reach otherwise. In fact, the Mondvol shape never feels redundant. It is really a fun and original addition to the game and it brings several fun puzzles. As for the classic copy options, there is also something new to be found here. You can upgrade these to make attacks stronger. This is also a nice new addition, especially because in Kirby and the Forgotten World the later levels can get quite spicy.

Upgrades are done in the shop in the Waddle Dee village. Give the blacksmith certain items (which you can find again in bonus levels) and Kirby’s powers will be upgraded. Incidentally, that’s not all you can do in the Waddle Dee village. This cute village offers all kinds of extras. You can watch movies, play fun minigames, pull gashapon from vending machines and more. The ideal place to relax in between playing the levels! The village also gets a bit bigger as you progress through the story mode.


Kirby and the Forgotten World looks beautiful on Nintendo Switch. It still amazes me what HAL manages to get out of the relatively limited Switch hardware. Worlds look sharp and detailed, with the bright colors splashing off the screen. In addition, the worlds are very lively. It must be said that the game runs at 30 frames per second, which makes for a slightly less smooth playing experience. Just as cheerful as the graphics are, the same can be said about the sound. Recognizable music that also feels refreshing: HAL has delivered an audiovisual gem.


Kirby and the Forgotten World is Kirby’s biggest, most beautiful and funniest adventure yet. The switch to 3D works out perfectly. With 6 worlds it’s still not an extremely long adventure, but with a lot of extras you can still keep yourself busy for 10 to 15 hours with this Kirby title. Add to that the beautiful graphics and you have a game that every platform fan should have played!

+ Kiby also plays great in 3D
+ Fun and varied levels with a lot to discover
+ Mouthful shape offers real added value
+ Graphically the game looks beautiful

– …although it is in 30 frames per second
– Story mode can still be played through fairly quickly

DN-Score: 8,5

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