Kirby’s Dream Buffet Review – A Delicious Two-Player Treat
|Our score||8/10 – Very, very good|
|Good||Simple, family-friendly entertainment that’s best played in split-screen|
|The bad||A small selection of very similar tracks and maps|
|Release date||August 17, 2022|
|Developped by||HAL laboratory|
|Available on||nintendo switch|
|Revised on||nintendo switch|
My introduction to Kirby came very late in my playing career. So late, in fact, I only really know Smash Bros’ big eater and newest Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and that’s only because my son handed me his ass in the first and I was annoyed by the co-op in the second. Not once did he let me play the role of Kirby…
So, upon entering Kirby’s Dream Buffet, I wondered “why is Kirby rolling down a hill of food?” Well, there’s no right answer there, at least none that makes canonical sense (I demand everything has a place in his universe, damn it!) but it’s still a lot of fun, as long as my player two is ready for a few innings.
The gist is that you take control of a Kirby character and send them hurtling down a hill laden with food, breaking barriers, dodging obstacles, collecting berries (the game’s points) as well as bonuses to give you the advantage. Think Mario Kart ability boxes and you’ll have a good idea, although there’s nothing as annoying as that bloody blue shell.
Each game is divided into four rounds, the first and third being races on tracks covered in bacon, sausages, eggs and all sorts of delicious foodstuffs. The second and fourth rounds are the mini-games where you will have the chance to turn the tide and collect points if you performed poorly during the runs.
These rounds were where I usually made up for my lack of skill, although as I’m reminded daily, I was still the loser most of the time. I just can’t get a good run together and often find myself falling behind while my boy gobbles down the dish of strawberries at the end of a race where there are three dishes with different values. Being first at the end of the race means you can add 50 points to your total, while the others are worth 20 and 10 respectively. , so I am improving. Slowly.
The races are quite simple and very simple with no real state of loss. There is a risk of falling off the map, but in typical Kirby fashion, you can float back to the track by pressing the A Button. This also plays into the end results. Collecting as many strawberries as possible is the best way to achieve victory because at the end of the four rounds, each player is scored on how many strawberries they have nibbled. Bonus points are awarded for in-game feats such as floating the most, collecting the most power-up boxes, and more. It’s a way for the game to give a final twist to the final weigh-in at the end. I had a few rounds where I thought I was definitely going to lose, only to put the kid on the post with some bonus points at the end. This is what he gets for knocking me out of the battle royale map. Little jerk.
I really love when games manage to reach beyond the screen and into the living room, and that’s something Kirby’s Dream Buffet does very well.
Kirby’s Dream Buffet is definitely inspired by the ever-popular Fall Guys, although in typical Nintendo fashion it keeps things very simple for its younger target audience. And don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely one for little hands, and that’s OK. It’s still fun for older players like me, though I really got the most out of it when playing split-screen with Charlie.
I tried the single player mode, but playing against the AI isn’t as fun – I can’t ram the AI into the ribs when they beat me. Playing online against others is a fair option, but again I would say that to get the most out of Kirby’s Dream Buffet, you really need local players. The back and forth I had with my mini-me was really fun. The smack-talk between rounds, the sneaky shoves as I tried to land a power-up attack, and the absolute anger when the kid finally dropped a round to his old man – it’s all great fun and I love it really does when games manage to reach beyond the screen and into the living room, and that’s something Kirby’s Dream Buffet does very well.
If I had to complain about anything, I would have liked a little more distinction between the tracks. As it stands, most of the tracks all look very, very similar given that they’re all made up of the same crunchy mix of breakfast foods and sweet treats. I would also highlight the sometimes uncertain performance. This is by no means a deal breaker and is a complaint that will mostly affect more experienced players rather than young ones.
With a huge number of collectibles, endlessly fun gameplay across different modes, and a very user-friendly and approachable aesthetic, Kirby’s Dream Buffet is the perfect couch game for young gamers.