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Review: Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe

Written by Euclidian Boxes

Super Kirby 2D World + Magalor's Fury!

When it comes to Kirby games, it’s sometimes hard to determine whether they’re treading water creatively or if they’ve further refined what a Kirby game is; sometimes to the point where there’s barely a sliver of difference between them.

This is perhaps exacerbated when the game in question is a deluxe port of a Nintendo Wii game. The “we’ve been here before” feeling haunts much of the main game. It’s fairly safe to say this game won’t convert new Kirby fans, but those that already love the pink ball will be delighted by its charms.

Perhaps a little unusually, there isn’t an antagonist in this game. A diminutive alien magician named Mgalor crash-lands and needs help rebuilding their Lor Starcutter spaceship. In a demonstration of community spirit, Kirby offers to travel the world to find the missing parts and get the repairs going. Although, if you ever find yourself going to Halfords for a new car part, I’d advise you don’t swallow everyone you encounter along the way ;)

Kirby’s range of Copy Abilities gets a little boost for this Deluxe edition, with the new Mecha option being particularly fun. Each ability has a generous array of actions; if you've played a game in the Super Smash Bros. series, you will feel right at home with these controls. Sadly, the game retains that Kirby brand level of difficulty, so there’s no real need to think about performing specific moves. Most encounters can be button-bashed through.

At certain points you’ll encounter glowing enemies, and swallowing them will super power Kirby’s matching Copy Ability. These sections are a lot of fun, with screen-sized swords or enormous hammers. It’s hard not to smile when knocking over bowling pins as a huge snowball. These sections often conclude with a rift in space, which will take you to a more abstract area, where you try to outrun an ever encroaching void. These provide a welcome change of pace.

There are 120 energy spheres hidden throughout the games’ 7 worlds. These will unlock additional rooms for challenges, ability test rooms and mini games. Getting them requires you to use different copy abilities, and encourages you to mix it up and not just rely on ones you feel comfortable with.

Once you complete the main game, you unlock a harder mode, a battle arena, and - the new addition for this Deluxe edition - Magalor Epilogue: The Interdimensional Traveller. In this side story, instead of controlling Kirby, Magalor becomes our protagonist. There are four new worlds to explore and level up your abilities as you go along.

It’s an interesting addition, akin to Bowser’s Fury in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, and perhaps could serve as an avenue for where they could take future titles in the Kirby series. It rewards you with medals for completion, and returning after gaining new abilities and upgrading your existing ones, which should help you with getting platinum medals. I don’t know if Kirby would fit with this same approach to gameplay, but it’d be an interesting way to progress the series. They did include ability upgrades in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, so perhaps some RPG-light elements are the breath of fresh air Kirby needs to keep things interesting.

Kirby games are often jam-packed with extra content and Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is no exception. There’s a sound test area, an overview of Kirby's past adventures to satisfy your nostalgia needs, as well as an all-new amusement park called "Merry Magoland", which is full of minigames and online challenges. One oddity is that the energy spheres you collect in the story mode unlock mini games when in story mode, but those mini games are all available in the Magoland section after finishing the first story level. Why this was done is anyone's guess.

There are 100 missions to complete by playing these minigames, which in-turn grant you stamps for your Stamp Card. Racking up stamps leads to reward items for use in the main adventure, or masks for Kirby to wear whenever he wants. If you’ve wanted to dress up as MetaKnight or Chef Kawasaki, now’s your chance!


There’s a lot to do in Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe. When I finished the main game with all the energy spheres and the completed epilogue, my completion percentage on my save game was still remarkably low. As with most Kirby games it isn’t hugely challenging, but with the 4 player co-op mode that just means it’s well suited for parents playing alongside young children, or just a casual gaming night with your friends. On top of the main game, the addition of the extra side-story mode and Merry Magoland Theme Park means there’s plenty to enjoy here. The arena can offer more in the way of difficulty, and the Magalor stages offer a glimpse at what the series could do to shake up the formula.

Ultimately your reaction to this game could come down to tone of voice, either:


"Yes… more Kirby…"


"Yes! More Kirby!"

Where to Buy



Written by John Edwards

Edited by Mark McAllister, Jen Griffiths and Paul L. Russell

Main Graphic by Paul L. Russell