The Kirby games have had as much variation over the years as the titular character’s copy abilities. Starting with classic platforming in Kirby’s Dream Land all the way back in 1992, over time the hungry pink ball of joy has gone everywhere from pinball through to the fantastic 3D adventure Kirby and The Forgotten Land. With Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe, Kirby and developer HAL Labs is returning to the series’ roots.

Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe is a remake of the original Kirby’s Return To Dream Land, a 2011 release for the Nintendo Wii. After spherical space wizard Magolor crash lands on Planet Popstar, Kirby and pals help rebuild the spaceship, travelling across the planet finding its scattered parts. As well as the core campaign, Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe also includes a wealth of extra gameplay modes, including the mini-game based theme park of Merry Magoland.

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Although variety in Kirby games is always nice, our favourite pink puffball always feels best at home in 2D platforming, and in a way Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe feels like a quintessential Kirby experience. Taking on the campaign with up to three friends, the game gets the balance of varied locations, fun set piece moments, and variety of copy abilities – with Kirby players able to take on the abilities of enemies – near-perfectly aligned. It’s worth noting that the newly-added mecha Kirby copy ability is definitely one of those overpowered copy abilities, although it’s always a blast when it turns up in a stage.

Kirbys Return To Dream Land Deluxe Fire Special

There’s something deeply nostalgic about Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe, without the game feeling like it’s simply there to make long-term fans of the series reminisce. Its pastel shades and recurring enemies call back to a heyday seen through the groundbreaking original Dream Land titles or Kirby Super Star, but it nonetheless feels like a refined and tight experience. Gameplay is wonderfully fluid and varied, particularly when the player gets the option to unleash a super-powered version of one of the copy abilities and wreak havoc through a section of a level.

Visually, Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe is also effective. It doesn’t have the punch of AAA titles on other platforms – and thank the lord it doesn’t, given the struggles that the Nintendo Switch has seen with games like Pokemon Scarlet and Violent – but it works well for the kind of atmosphere that Kirby games need. It doesn’t have the flourish of aesthetic creativity that the likes of Kirby’s Epic Yarn have seen, but this is an excellent match for the tone and style of the game in question.

Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe works very well as a single player game, with Kirby making their way across Planet Popstar and its various locales, but it really shines in multiplayer. The campaign is thoroughly enjoyable in co-op, with other players joining in without the levels feeling too chaotic. It may make the game a little too easy, but this just means that it’s a perfect pick to play with a sibling or someone less experienced, and there’s enough replayability for its difficulty to not have too much of an impact.

Kirbys Return To Dream Land Deluxe Mini Game

This replayability comes from more than the normal story mode, too. Kirby games are at their best when they’re a buffet of different options – something that the titular great pink devourer would no doubt appreciate – and Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe is no different. Alongside the story mode, a new epilogue, and extra game missions, there is also the extremely fun Merry Magoland to enjoy, which feels like a selection of Mario Party-esque mini-games.

This means that Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe is superb value. Alongside its extremely fun main story, the player gets extra unlockables after completing the main quest, even more after they’ve delved further, and a mini-game party collection to play with friends or solo. It’s a game that keeps giving, and there’s plenty to be found to love here.

Overall, Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe is absolutely wonderful. It might not be a game that changes the world, but it’s some of the most fun available on the Nintendo Switch, particularly with other people. And at the end of the day, what’s more successful from a Kirby game than that?

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Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe releases 24 February 2023 for Nintendo Switch. Screen Rant was provided with a Switch download code for the purposes of this review.

Source: Nintendo of America/YouTube

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