Kirby's Star Stacker Review
Posted by Marcel van Duyn
Anybody who plays video games probably knows all about the likes of Tetris, Dr. Mario, Puzzle League and other puzzle games, but Kirby had his own original puzzler (as in, not a reskin of Puyo Puyo) as well. The last Kirby game for the original Game Boy, Kirby's Star Stacker is actually a fairly fun game, if a little shallow.
Like most puzzle games, this one primarily involves falling blocks. Around the bottom of each stage, you'll start with a pre-set arrangement of blocks featuring stars, as well as Kirby's three helpers from Kirby's Dream Land 2: Rick, Coo and Kine. The blocks that drop down come in sets of two of Kirby's friends, and the general idea is to just match two of them. It goes a bit further than that, though; if any stars are between two identical blocks of Kirby's friends, all of them will be cleared off the screen.
This is the primary focus of the game's main mode, Round Clear, where you'll have to clear as many stars as possible in order to defeat King Dedede, who requires a certain amount that goes up the further you get. This mode is divided into five difficulties with several rounds each, so it can take a while to beat it fully. At the beginning, you only need 4 stars to defeat Dedede, but at the end of the highest difficulty this number will be over 200!
Aside from Round Clear, you can also play a Challenge mode and a Time Attack mode. Challenge is essentially just an endless game, where you've got to get as high a score as possible. As you go on, new blocks will gradually rise up from the bottom, so it's essential to get rid of everything as fast as possible; of course, the speed will increase over time as well, so you'll have to react faster and faster in order to survive. Time Attack is fairly simple: you've got three minutes to score as many points as you can.
The original release included a versus mode as well but unfortunately, like most Game Boy games on the 3DS Virtual Console, this feature has been disabled at the time of writing. We hope that it'll be added in with an update in the future.
There's not really that much to say about Kirby's Star Stacker. If you enjoy falling block puzzlers, then this should be a fun little purchase, as it's not really like any other one out there. The Round Clear mode will give you some fixed levels to play through, after which all that'll be left is high score attempts, just like most puzzlers. It's quite fun and, at the lowest possible price for Game Boy games on 3DS VC, its a download where you can't really go wrong.