The world has come under fire. The cosmic cuteness of the newest Kirby game for the Nintendo Switch is a massive threat to society.
Kirby Star Allies is a 2D sidescrolling platformer that plays just like any other Kirby game. You play as the tiny pink puff ball who can jump, float, slide, and suck enemies to absorb their power. The game is accessible to all ages, and is a nice entry point for newcomers. For people who've been gaming for the last 20 years, such as myself, it's just another Kirby game. But that doesn't diminish the game's value by a single cent. (Well, maybe just a little.)
A previous Kirby game allowed you to turn one enemy into an ally. In Star Allies, Kirby can toss hearts to brainwash - Kilgrave-style - up to three innocent enemies to do Kirby's every bidding. Each of these enemies can add to your team's chemistry by performing combos and unlocking special abilities to combine with Kirby's own current power. For instance, when you turn a fire enemy into a friend, it can buff Kirby's weapon with a fire element - kind of like Dark Souls, only the buff lasts as long as Kirby is using the weapon.
You can switch your AI companions into real players for fun and you can all work together to get through some of the game's obstacles. While most of the stages in the game are the standard Start-to-Goal runs, some levels have some gimmicks that require your allies' cooperation to keep things quite interesting.
When Kirby is sick and tired of his own allies, he can always break their hearts with the "Unfriend" button. And like a genuine user, Kirby can swallow and absorb that recently unfriended enemy's power. Likewise, when you find a new cool enemy to let into Kirby's own elite circle, you can choose to kick out one of the three allies. Kirby only accepts the cool kids.
Kirby can also make out with his allies. Literally, kissing them on the lips, in order to restore their health bar, which is weird and somehow feels non-consensual, considering these allies were forced to join Kirby's predatory crusade.
The over world map looks just like Super Mario Bros. on the Wii U, only you have the liberty to run around outside the Point A-to-Point B paths. It almost seems like Nintendo is taking this opportunity to experiment on new things while preparing for Super Mario Bros. on the Switch. Like every Mario over world maps since Super Mario Bros. 3, Kirby Star Allies harbors a ton of secrets to discover and explore.
Kirby Star Allies in a nutshell is the ultimate kids' game. The difficulty is so absurd by being way too easy. You get your fire sword and your three allies and you can blast through everything like a boss. Speaking of bosses, you can defeat the first one you encounter, the iconic tree, by simply mashing the attack button. It might even seem that your AI companions are capable of taking out most bosses on their own without Kirby's help.
The difficulty shoots up a little the farther you go. But it remains totally bearable and simple to beat. There's always an enemy in some corner whose power you can always steal, which can turn everything into cake walk.
Kirby Star Allies is a fun and entertaining game. It's a solid addition to the Switch's growing library but is hardly a reason to actually get the console if you haven't gotten one yet.