Kirby's Dream Land 3 is a tale of a perpetually hungry pink puffball and his group of friends who set off on a journey to save their world from an evil dark cloud, who's shattered their planet's rings and turned the local wildlife against each other. It's essentially a platform game along the same lines as the Mario games, but at a much, much slower pace, in which the titular blob inhales enemies and steals their abilities - essentially different attacks that include everything from electricity to fire to a chuffing great sword and many more in between.
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It's a pretty easy-going game with a nice, friendly difficulty curve that means even the worst players should be able to reach the end of a level - and if they're still struggling, an extra person can hop in as Kirby's loveable blue blob sidekick, Gooey. But what's likely to appeal to kids even more is the sheer variety of different attacks and combinations Kirby has at his disposal. With an army of six animal companions to choose from, Kirby and his new furry/feathered friends work together as one and put a new spin on his standard moves - combine the cat with a broom power to steamroller all your enemies, pilot a remote rocket with a combination of the tiny green bird and electricity or turn into a spiky pufferfish by mixing the needle power and your fishy friend.
Perhaps the only part of the game that may cause a problem are the bonus objectives each level has - and it's mostly a problem of them being too easy to miss. Somewhere inside each level you'll come across a character looking a bit depressed, and it's up to you to do whatever it is they need doing to earn a heart as a reward - but there's no easy way of knowing exactly what it is they want. Sometimes it might be looking for a girl's lost monkey or not trampling on any of the flowers in a level, but with no words or symbols to guide you, you're often going in blind. Seeing as you need to collect all the heard pieces to fight the last boss, it could well become a bit frustrating for younger kids if they don't know what they have to do come the end of the game.
Kirby games are full of bright colours, smiley faces and cute characters, and Kirby's Dream Land 3 is no exception - what little violence there is isn't bad at all, with characters simply disappearing in a puff of smoke.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Wii U