RIP Ralph Baer
I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...
At this point, Nintendo's design team must be throwing Kirby into a nearby Jo-Ann and seeing what newfangled concoction comes out from him crashing into the store's many aisles of arts and crafts. Kirby's Epic Yarn, before passing along its aesthetic to the upcoming Yoshi's Woolly World, turned the titular puffball into stringed silhouette in a colorful land of reflective beads, shiny stars, and layered patchwork. This time around in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Kirby has been turned into a rolling ball of clay.
As a follow-up to the 2005 DS title, Kirby: Canvas Curse, you must aid Kirby in clearing enemies and traversing fairly linear levels by way of the Wii U GamePad. By drawing lines on the screen, which scrolls through the colors of the rainbow in case you ever miss it, you can direct Kirby around obstacles and have him stick to the line like glue. You only have a limited amount of string before it needs to recharge, so you'll need to control how much you press the screen. All told, it's sort of a strangely delightful mash-up between Monkey Ball and Clayfighter. (Never thought I'd ever write a sentence like that.)
Keeping Kirby away from danger can be more challenging than it might seem at first. In the water level, jets of air can propel Kirby into spikes and other obstacles, away from power-ups like Maxim Tomatos, extra lives, and stars. Enemies like sawgills, blippers, bordos, and bronto burts litter the stage, so with only several units of health, he'll need to avoid as much as possible to get through the more difficult levels. On the collectible side, every level has five treasures that are hidden or well-placed for Kirby to find, and getting all five will be on the mind of completionists.
For offense, tapping on Kirby will shoot him at enemies with a Blanka-like roll and blast breakable objects. After collecting 100 stars, Kirby can transform into a larger form with a powerful screen-clearing dash attack. Since there are plenty of stars peppered around each level and Kirby can only hold a limited number of them at a time, activating this special form is encouraged throughout play.
Kirby has several useful transformations, including a tank that can blast pesky birds out of the sky as well as a submarine and a rocket which weren't shown in the demo (but Rocket will work like Missile does in Kirby: Canvas Curse). When Kirby is low on health, a tiny bandage will appear on his forehead, and an adorable snorkel will be strapped over his eyes while he's swimming underwater. Other characters like Bandana Waddle Dee will appear as well, but we're not sure as to what capacity yet.
A single-player platformer through and through, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is slated for 2015 exclusively for Wii U.