Kirbys Epic Yarn
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer
ESRB Rating: Everyone (6+)
Kirbys Epic Yarn
Out of the gate, Kirby's Epic Yarn doesn't even look like a game that was "developed" so much a crafted from the bowels of grandma's knitting bag - and that's a very good thing. It's so freakishly charming, in fact, that you hardly notice you can complete the core game in a scant 5 hours, maybe double that if you futz around with hidden collectibles, side projects and mini-games.
Still, knee-high-to-a-grasshopper short; normally a lambaste-able shortcoming for a $50 "AAA" title; brevity routinely expected of some downloadable ditty, the $10 likes of the similarly surreal and superlative Braid or LostWinds or World of Goo (seriously, check those out).
Be that as it may, there's little else to dislike about Kirby's Epic Yarn. While it's your typical platform-hopping, bauble-collecting, baddie-bopping frolic with all-ages accessibility written all over it, its formulaic banality is vastly overshadowed by its picturesque presentation and deft delivery of all things hop, bop and bauble. And while it's made for kids and their thumb-vexed parents particularly, it's also easily enjoyed by seasoned gamers inclined to old-school, side-scrolling romps on new-generation systems once in a while.
Dreamlike by design - right down to the grandfatherly bedtime story narration - you play as Kirby the pink puffball (or his new patchwork 2-player buddy, Prince Fluff), or rather re-imaginings thereof as shaped from yarn, the knitting textile. Similarly, the worlds in which you romp have the look of craft store cast-offs come to life, your linen walls, your felt vegetation, stitched crates, velour monsters, spare-button noses and wheels and gears and so on - come to think of it, and resemblance to the fantastic hand-crafted fancies of Sony's superlative Little Big Planet is surely coincidental. Surely.
Questionably, Kirby's trademark trait of sucking up enemies like a bloated vacuum is nowhere to be found in Epic Yarn, making him utterly interchangeable with any other stock hop-n-bop character such as Mario, Sonic, Crash Bandicoot, Charles Manson on a good day... but whatever, pink puff it is. Mind you, he is given the quaint ability to reshape his twined-self into contextually necessary devices like a rocket ship, a tank, a submarine and so on, which is often as funny as it is fun, all of it with the incessant whimsy of never-die, barely-bruise gameplay; the world is your patch quilt is your playground is your bedtime story, carry on.
Nevertheless, short like grasshopper knees, as mentioned. Rent it for the weekend, maybe snag it from the pre-played games bin when you see it at half the original price.