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Kirby Planet Robobot review (3DS)

Kirby: Planet Robobot review for 3DS. Kirby’s latest adventure sees the lovable pink blobby thing take down an evil corporation by using its own mega-robots and destructive powers against it. Here’s our full Kirby: Planet Robobot for 3DS review.

Back in the day, action hero and lovable marshmallow Kirby could do little more than suck up his enemies and spit them back out, which of course was hilarious every time and never really got old. But now that almost 25 long years have passed since his inaugral outing on the original Nintendo Gameboy (oh god we’re so old now), Kirby’s had to learn some new tricks to maintain his reputation as a platforming legend.

Kirby: Planet Robobot sees Planet Popstar under attack from a megalomaniacal corporation, which swoops down in a gargantuan mechanised base and, with little more than a ‘hi, I just moved in, do you have some coffee I can borrow?’, begins drilling into the grassy meadows. And so begins Kirby’s latest platforming shenanigans, which takes the 3D mechanics of Kirby Triple Deluxe and expands them even further.

As with that previous Kirby 3DS title, Planet Robobot makes the absolute most of the 3DS’ three dimensional mechanics. Levels are split between the foreground and background and you can leap between the two using special stars, but enemies can launch missiles – or themselves – across the depth of the screen at any time, so you’ll need to pay close attention to avoid an unwanted shark/giant ice cream cone/school bus up the arsal region.

Kirby can once again vacuum up enemies and steal their special abilities, be it spraying ice to freeze foes, turning to rock to crush their skulls in, or morphing into a spinny wheel thing of death. It’s a simple yet super-smart way to add an extra jolt of excitement to gameplay, as sucking up a new power and unleashing it on the world is always a thrill.

However, in Planet Robobot Kirby can also hijack his enemy’s robotic vehicles, which turn him from adorable blob into lethal kiling machine (literally). This not only allows you to storm across the screen, harvesting the souls of your adversaries by smushing them into mangled splinters of bone and gore (albeit in a very kiddie-friendly fashion), but is also integral to solving many of the game’s puzzles. These robotic suits can move platforms, smash through annoying barriers and generally manipulate the environment to open up secret areas and the path to each level’s exit.

You want more? In killer robot form, Kirby can still leech his smited enemies’ powers, which makes him even more badass. Yeah! Oh, and you can also decorate his terminator death machine with cute little stickers that you collect along the way. D’awww.

As you’d expect, Planet Robobot’s developers have conjured up some imaginative and pleasingly varied environments for you to wreak havoc across. Most of the levels are tightly designed and feel epic thanks to the third dimension. One moment you’ll be negotiating giant pool tables as balls come hurtling towards you, the next you’ll be swimming madly away from enormous sharks that are chomping their way out of the scenery. It’s a spectacle for sure, and 2DS owners will miss out on a large part of Planet Robobot’s appeal.

The game’s variety doesn’t just come from those crazy environments, however. Some sections reminded us of the Sonic titles, as you spin madly through a level at breakneck pace, while others are reminiscent of classic Mario. You get the occasional underwater area or driving bit too, which mixes things up even more.

Of course, this being a Kirby game, the difficulty curve starts off pretty much horizontal and barely registers more than the occasional blip. Still, despite the lack of challenge (I didn’t lose a single life on any of the bosses, and I’m really not that good at videogames), Planet Robobot is still immense fun to play – which says a hell of a lot about the quality of the game design. And at least the young ‘uns should be able to complete it without any stress.

As well as the main single player campaign, Kirby: Planet Robobot also dishes up two delicious side portion minigames that can be played whenever you like (or utterly ignored, if you’re not interested). One is a very cool run of boss fights which you can tackle with a mate by linking up, while the other is a decent little timed challenge which sees you clearing stages of baddies using combo attacks.

If you’re in any way interested in platform games, then reading this review has basically been a big fat waste of your time (although hopefully an entertaining one). You already knew you were going to buy the new Kirby game, right? And even if you’re not usually a fan of the genre, you still owe it to yourself to at least check out a demo of Planet Robobot or something. Kirby’s so-cute-you-could-kill-yourself charm and the gorgeously designed levels make this one of the best 3DS games of 2016 so far, and one of the best uses of the console’s chief gimmick.

Kirby: Planet Robobot is available to buy for the Nintendo 3DS from June 10.


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