Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush

Mark Nintendo, Reviews 2 Comments

kirby boxIf Nintendo were a family, Kirby would be the second-cousin who only turns up to the big occasions, but is the one you really want to be sat next to.

Whilst Mario knuckles down to study in the pursuit of perfection, Kirby will have taken another gap year, probably studying shamanism in Mongolia or the folk traditions of Azerbaijan.

And this is what I love about Kirby. By lurking in the shadows of Mario the developers are able to take more risks and experiment like few others can.

In Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush they’ve gone back to the craft box, but instead of pulling out the knitting needles of Epic Yarn have instead reached for the clay.

It’s a shame you spend so much time staring at the gamepad as it’s only when you look up to the TV screen that you appreciate just how beautiful and unique the graphics really are in all their malleable glory.

Gone are the traditional controls, replaced by a paintbrush with which you draw a path for Kirby to follow, using the gamepad in much the same way you would the Nintendo 3DS. It works brilliantly and is perhaps the best example yet of what can be done with the Wii U’s unique touchscreen controller.
kirby and the rainbow paintbrush

 

There’s twenty-eight levels to complete, set in seven worlds. While the main quest can be completed relatively quickly, this is only part of the overall package as each level contains hidden items like musical tracks, pages of a diary and clay figurines, none of which ever feel like a chore going back to find.

But like previous incarnations, it’s the subtleties that make Kirby stand out from the crowd.

When you think it’s getting a little one-dimensional, Kirby transforms into a submarine or tank and tweaks the controls to add the perfect amount of variety.

New ways to use the rainbow rope are introduced gradually throughout so the game-play always feels fresh and interesting.

Collect 100 stars and you get a special attack, draw the right path and you discover a hidden switch, find a secret entrance and you’re presented with a mini-level within the level.

Multi-player allows for up to three more players to join in, using Wii controllers in a more traditional platform style to assist Kirby rather than compete against him.kirby and the rainbow paintbrush

 

There’s also a challenge mode that includes forty levels to unlock and are easily good enough to justify their own title.

As is the Kirby way, the soundtrack is as brilliant as ever, as is the cuteness of the characters and the wit of the dialogue.

With the perfect balance of difficulty and depth, Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush deserves to be up there with the must-have games on the Wii U.

It’ll make you smile. It’ll make you chuckle. And it’ll make you hope he takes another gap year before returning as soon as possible with another adventure.

{I was sent a copy of the game for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions are honest and my own}

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