What comes to mind when thinking of buttons, needles, patches and thread? I immediately envision an elaborate scrapbook, carefully presenting a heartfelt endeavor of patience and skill. This is what Kirby’s Epic Yarn represents. It’s a work of craftsmanship that’s to be mastered and shared.
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Initial release date: October 14, 2010
Platforms: Wii, Wii U
Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a gorgeous presentation. Its art style is colorful, lighthearted and timeless. Years after release, this game still proves to be a visual achievement. Its fascinating to watch the world players interact with fold, crinkle, roll, sink and unwind!
Movement and combat are polished. Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a skills challenge and works because of its precise inputs. This idea is particularly highlighted during major battles. Because major enemies use the most bizarre movements, players must prevent the game from punishing sloppy decision-making.
I also find each successive major battle to increase in difficulty, reinforcing those precise inputs. I found myself throughout my play receiving an occasional thrashing as I messed up, but the laughable sounds of Kirby’s plight eased the pain.
What I find to be the most glaring drawback is the multi-player component. Kirby’s Epic Yarn forces players to share the entirety of the screen, yet places an uncomfortable limit on the allowed distance between players. Because of this constraint, players are often interrupted and dragged into an animation towards whomever is closest to the goal.
Frankly, this component needs patch work. It ends up presenting the differences in players’ styles as negative aspects of cooperative play. And while stage completion is very possible, the idea of coming out wounded is evident. It definitely challenges the concept of what is or isn’t successful cooperation.
Thoughtfully though, the multi-player component can serve as an excellent relationship barometer to test players’ patience and teamwork. Jesus never ceases to amaze me as He’ll even teach people about themselves through a digital game! Oh, how I was reminded of how impatient I can be and that I need to address that weakness.
But back to Kirby..
Kirby may have traded in his wild inhalation ability for a star-laden lasso of yarn, but Kirby’s Epic Yarn represents classic Kirby platforming, combined with a rare and impressive atmosphere. It’s delightful, charming and whimsical, overcoming its difficulties to be a game I’d revisit.