Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a 2D side-scroller announced for the Nintendo Wii at the E3 2010 press conference. It is the first Kirby platformer released on a major home console since Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and the first console Kirby game released since Kirby Air Ride for the GameCube.
The game’s story follows Kirby, who after eating a metameto belonging to the evil wizard Yin-Yarn, is sucked into a magic sock and transported to a world where everything is made of yarn, textiles, and buttons. Kirby himself is transformed into a being made of yarn, and as a result has also lost the ability to inhale his enemies to absorb their powers.
Upon arriving in this strange new world, Kirby encounters Prince Fluff, joining forces with him to defeat Yin-Yarn. Kirby also discovers that the metameto has given himself the power to transform into new shapes, such as a car, parachute and submarine.
The star of Kirby’s Epic Yarn is arguably the aesthetic style of the graphics. Everything in the game, from Kirby to his enemies to the environment, all appear as though they’re constructed out of yarn, cloth, and buttons. Kirby is able to interact with this cloth world by ducking between fabric layers to reach platforms that rest between them, pull pieces of cloth away from the landscape to reveal items, and even unzip sections of the levels to reveal passageways. The cohesive look and feel to the design gives Kirby’s Epic Yarn an infectiously cute appearance from start to finish.
Though Kirby can’t vacuum up his enemies in the traditional manner of his earlier games, he has an entirely new set of skills in the patchwork world to help him navigate obstacles and defeat his foes. He can change the shape of his yarn body into items like a parachute, car, and submarine, and at certain points can take the form of a giant, rocket-spewing tank or a flying saucer.
Two players can play through Kirby’s Epic Yarn cooperatively, with the second player taking control of Prince Fluff.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn is not designed to be a difficult game to complete. It is impossible for Kirby and Prince Fluff to die. The real challenge of the game is to uncover all of the secrets and complete each stage with as many gems as possible. Even a single hit from an enemy will cause Kirby to lose a large chunk of gems.
There is an overworld in the game to tie all the levels together. Nintendo has called this overworld “Kirby’s Pad” and the player is able to decorate it with items they collect in the adventure.
In this game, Kirby has a whole new set of abilities to help him throughout his adventure.
If you double-tap in either direction, instead of dashing, you turn into a car and honk in the first few seconds.
After a jump you may hold the button to turn into a parachute. This allows you to slowly descend to the ground to collect what appears to be gems.
This allows to Kirby to travel through water at a high speed. He can also jump on enemies to beat them while in this state.
Kirby can turn into a UFO and absorb enemies. If he has enough enemies inside him, he can discharge electricity to beat all enemies on the screen.
When playing with a second Kirby-like creature you may combine to turn into a tank. One move uses the arms to beat enemies directly in front of the tank, and they may also fire missiles to defeat airborne enemies.
While in the air, if you press down on the D-Pad you turn into a variation on Kirby’s stone ability to smash enemies or blocks to get to new areas.
When Kirby goes underwater, he changes form into what seems to be a submarine. It is unknown whether he will have any special abilities in this form although he can move naturally like a fish.
Kirby gains many of the attributes of a fire engine. The main feature of this transformation is Kirby’s ability to spray the hose of the fire engine.
Kirby will take the form of a train, and the player manipulates train tracks to guide him through a level.
Pressing the 1 button on the Wii Remote allows you to throw a piece of yarn like a lasso towards an enemy, object, or a piece of the background. You may be able to hold the object or enemy over your head and throw it at an enemy. This ability seems to replace Kirby’s ability to inhale and subsequently spit out an enemy.
The game began development under the name “Keito no Fluff” (lit. “Fluff of Yarn”) and featured Prince Fluff as the main character. During the summer of 2009 however, Nintendo proposed that the game be altered and released as a title in the Kirby series.
The game’s soundtrack was scored entirely by Good-Feel’s Tomoya Tomita, as franchise regulars Hirokazu Ando and Jun Ishikawa were busy at the time composing the music to Kirby’s Return to Dream Land.