Kirby’s debut on the Wii has been a long, confounding process. In fact, it dates back to the waning days of the GameCube, when a trailer of an untitled Kirby game emerged, with a “2.5-D” sidescrolling style, a la Kirby 64, and abilities, co-op and movesets reminiscent of Kirby Super Star. When the Wii came along, it was one of several developing GameCube games that was repurposed to bolster the new console's lineup. However, while Twilight Princess, Super Paper Mario and DK: Barrel Blast all saw life on the Wii, nothing more was ever seen of the Kirby game, and it was perpetually listed as “TBA (Current Year)” on Nintendo’s list of release dates. But Kirby Wii resurfaced at E3…in a completely different form.

The world of Kirby’s Epic Yarn appears to be sewn together, a look that evokes memories of Yoshi’s Story, Paper Mario and of course, Kirby's Dream Land 3. But while the storybook appearance of those titles was primarily an aesthetic move, it’s significant to the gameplay of Epic Yarn. Kirby is seen attaching to flying objects to hitch a ride, unravelling scenery to reveal secrets, grappling with foes and “wrinkling” segments of a stage to shorten gaps. He also appears to transform as the situation demands, obtaining a surfboard when crossing water, turning into a submarine when he goes underneath and becoming a car at dashing speeds. His classic UFO ability is present, as are some new ones, such as a giant (but still adorable) robot. A nondescript partner character appears in some scenes, suggesting that the game also supports two-player cooperation.

Epic Yarn is expected to release this fall, so Kirby fans have a little while to ponder its unique style.