Geek Review Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Geek Review: Kirby and the Forgotten Land

It’s no secret that entertainment companies are exploring sequels and spin-offs, but when it comes to a well-known franchise, it can be tough to squeeze out something new, different and successful. While sticking to traditions will always mean a certain level of polish and quality, taking a new perspective can lead to some surprising results both bad and good. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a great successful example, as developer HAL Laboratory has pushed the platformer from 2D into 3D, and ushered in what could be the series direction for years to come.

The premise is quite straightforward, setting our hero Kirby on a journey to rescue all of the Waddle Dees after everyone has been transported, via a wormhole above Dream Land, into what looks like the remains of human civilisation. With monsters threatening the Waddle Dees, it is time to spring into action and help the Waddle Dees make the most of their new home.

As expected out of a Kirby experience, this latest entry will have players make their way through different levels, exploring and finding secrets, sucking up their enemies and using their powers against them. The shift to the 3D perspective is obviously the biggest change, but the core elements of movement, combat, and exploration remain quintessential Kirby.

The level design in Kirby and the Forgotten Land is excellent, providing opportunities for both combat and the use of copy abilities. As you encounter even more dangerous foes, the potential of turning the tables becomes part of the fun, and every copy ability out there brings something new, and is almost always utilised in an entertaining and educational way that keeps you coming back for more.

Geek Review Kirby and the Forgotten Land - Mouthful Mode

Of course, you would want to master their uses so you can seek out the hidden Waddle Dees found all over the levels, Saving them is more than just a numbers game, the more you are able to rescue, the more fleshed out their hometown would be, giving you options to purchase items, upgrade abilities, and enjoy a minigame or two.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is not exactly a difficult game, which is pretty much what one would expect, but it does not mean that it is not without some challenges and clever design to test players. The way certain enemies and boss fights can make you think differently and the aforementioned secrets to be found all require a little thinking outside the box, and that eureka moment is always welcomed. 

The environments found in Kirby and the Forgotten Land are also quite a treat, with various themes that come to life in amazing fashion thanks to the vibrant colours used and sharp visuals. It is also always amusing to Kirby in action in the various cutscenes, with enough emotions and the like conveyed without the use of words. While the game is no graphical powerhouse, it is more than enough to bring some joy just by looking at it in action.

Geek Review Kirby and the Forgotten Land - Saving the Waddle Dees

One of the biggest features that was highlighted before the launch of the game was that of Mouthful mode, where Kirby, instead of swallowing, inhales everyday objects that alter both his appearance and grant interesting abilities. It could be a car that brings speed and racing challenges, a vending machine that can fire off projectiles like a machine gun, or even a lift that can cover tall heights, these are all wonderfully inventive transformations and adds to the overall fun of the game.

If all of the levels are not enough for you, there are also Treasure Road challenges in between levels to test your mettle against. In addition to being obstacle courses that can sharpen your mastery of Kirby’s copy abilities, completing them quickly can earn you special stars and coins, which will allow players to unlock blueprints that are found or rewarded through play. 

While it is not essential to progression, the option of pursuing perfection and being rewarded for it is always nice, and having upgraded abilities through these blueprints will make your life that much easier.

Geek Review Kirby and the Forgotten Land - Boss fights

Perhaps the only sore point in the entire 10-12 hour journey of Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the lacklustre co-op mode. Sure, anyone can jump in and join a game without a fuss, but being relegated to Bandana Waddle Dee with no capacity to use copy abilities is not a good experience. And it is even worse when the camera does not compensate for one more layer and focuses solely on Kirby. There is still some fun to be had with a partner, just do not go in expecting a refined time. 

As the latest game in a long-running franchise, Kirby and the Forgotten Land has successfully migrated the beloved 2D action into the 3D space, delivering with great platforming, enjoyable combat, and smart use of everything at Kirby’s disposal. The visuals are memorable and outstanding, and it allows the core elements of the classics to still shine through. It may not be a groundbreaking evolution, but every step made by Kirby and the Forgotten Land is in the right direction, and that is something most fans would be able to swallow.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is available digitally via Shopee and Lazada.



HAL Laboratory has done an excellent job in making sure Kirby and the Forgotten Land pay homage to the series’ roots, while still delivering a fresh experience of platforming and action from a new perspective.

  • Gameplay - 8.5/10
  • Story - 7/10
  • Presentation - 8.5/10
  • Value - 8/10