It's not often nowadays that we see significant release date discrepancies between Europe and North America, but that'll be the case with Kirby Battle Royale; it's not due until 19th January in North America, but lands on 3rd November in Europe.

In order to build hype and increase awareness, presumably, Nintendo has confirmed that today's download update will bring a demo of the game to the 3DS eShop in Europe. All told it'll have three modes playable - Battle Arena; Apple Scramble; Crazy Theatre, though this last mode will have to be unlocked within the demo. Details on these modes are below.

  • Battle Arena: Float like a butterfly and sting like a Kir-bee in this frantic four-way throwdown. Charge into battle and smash the other players to smithereens! Keep them guessing from one battle to the next by changing up your copy abilities, and they won’t know what hit them.
  • Apple Scramble: A frenetic and tactical two-versus-two mode. Each team must race to grab apples from the nearby trees, scoring points by dropping them through a trapdoor. You can stack them high to score a load of points in one go, but it’s not all about being a peaceful gatherer – you can also reap rewards by turning hunter, and attacking your opponents to steal their apples. Be on your guard though, as they’ll be looking to do the same – and expect the pace to hot up even further whenever a valuable golden apple appears.
  • Crazy Theater: You’ll never quite know what’s coming next, as each round throws up a different challenge, such as attacking a specific player, dodging an asteroid shower, or solving a quickfire calculation. You can be sure that your opponents will be trying to disrupt you, so you’ll need quick wits and quick reflexes to come out on top!

In addition, if you download the demo you'll be able to complete a save transfer to the full game; the benefit of this is that you can then unlock Meta Knight early as opposed to relatively late in the main story mode.

It'll be interesting to see how this one performs; Kirby is often a steady hit for Nintendo, especially on 3DS, but we'll see whether this approach wins over the IP's fans.