First Impressions: Kirby: Mass Attack

Kirby rides again!

The DS is nearing the end of its life now; there are very few big games planned as everybody's making the move to the 3DS. Still, Nintendo's got another title coming out in the form of Kirby: Mass Attack, which takes the traditional Kirby platforming and gives it another unique twist. We had a chance to sit down with a still completely untranslated demo version of the game.

In a sense, the game is very similar to Canvas Curse/Power Paintbrush as the game is played with practically nothing but the touch screen. It starts off simple enough with just one Kirby, who will move anywhere you tap. You can also grab him and move him through the air in a bubble of some sort, or swipe in a direction to fling him towards it.

After amassing a certain amount of points by eating fruit, another Kirby magically appears, which means we're now controlling two at the same time. This continues on and on, until finally we've got 10 Kirbys running around the screen. The same controls still apply, as every Kirby will simultaneously react to wherever you tap the screen.

As far as we could see, the game also follows in Epic Yarn's footsteps in that it has not a single power-up to speak of and no sucking up enemies: you defeat enemies by making your Kirbys run or jump into them, making them latch on and actually beating it up. This is also used for many puzzles, such as by grabbing onto a large flower with all of your Kirbys to make it tip over and break through a few blocks on the ground.

If a Kirby gets hit, he becomes a sort of ghostly version of himself instead, after which getting hit again kills him off: latching onto a ghost with one of your pink pals will bring the nearly-deceased back to life though, and the stages all featured a sort of floating hoop that restores any ghostly Kirbys back to solid form if thrown through it.

The demo had around 10 different stages that were already opened up, and while whese were all pretty simple and mostly introduced us to the mechanics, the first boss battle was also available. Of course, as usual, this was against Whispy Woods, who now employed a new strategy of growing up to the size of two screens. We simply had to hit the parts of his trunk on the bottom screen by flinging Kirbys at him (being careful to avoid the spikes he dropped and those he liked to grow out of his trunk) until his face dropped low enough to hit. With the amount of Kirbys we had under our control though, we did get hit quite a few times, and he definitely puts up more of a fight than usual.

It's a bit weird that Kirby is already starring in another game that doesn't include any of his trademark abilities, but from what we could gather, Kirby: Mass Attack is another great, if late, addition to the DS library. We're personally looking forward to the new Kirby Wii game a bit more as it features more traditional Kirby action, but Mass Attack certainly has a fun, unique gimmick and is likely be one of the last entertaining regular DS games Nintendo will release.