Kirby’s Dream Land Review
Kirby’s Dream Land marks the first appearance of the lovable little guy. Developed by Hal Laboratory and originally released in 1992, Kirby’s Dream Land is designed with the beginner audience in mind. However, there is a lot here that will appeal to other gamers as well. This is especially true for those curious about the origins of the Kirby series.
Kirby’s Dream Land has a very simple, yet effective story. King Dedede and his henchmen invade Dream Land and eat all of the residents’ food! Not satisfied with starving the good people of Dream Land, King Dedede also steals their highly treasured Sparkling Stars. Residents of Dream Land rely on the Sparkling Stars to gather food, and just as their hunger reached an all-time high, our hero Kirby appears! Kirby decides to help the residents get their Sparkling Stars back and journeys to Mt. Dedede to face off with the King.
Kirby’s Dream Land is a traditional sidescrolling platformer, but with a few twists. Kirby can walk and jump, but it’s his incredible features that make him a fun character. Kirby can inhale enemies and use them as weapons. This differs from other Kirby games because Kirby cannot copy their abilities. Instead, Kirby will be spitting out the enemies. It is an effective weapon that you’ll need to conquer King Dedede and his henchmen. Kirby can also inhale air and use it to float through the levels; sometimes this is necessary, sometimes I use it for fun.
There are only five levels in Kirby’s Dream Land and they are short and easy. This may put off some gamers as the game can be beaten in less than 30 minutes, but the game is still a lot of fun. Enemies are also easy to take out by simply using the inhaling and spitting techniques. Each stage ends with a boss fight, with King Dedede waiting for you at the end of Mt. Dedede. Boss battles are some of the most challenging aspects of the game, but still nothing too difficult to overcome. One boss fight plays like a shoot-em-up game and is actually my favourite part of Kirby’s Dream Land.
Luckily, Kirby’s Dream Land throws in some cool items that add some substance to the game. Items such as Spicy Food can be used to spit fire at enemies, and the Microphone which can be used to clear all enemies on screen. Both useful if things get too tight! These items are obviously the basis for Kirby’s copy ability in future titles. Other items and hidden passages can be found in the game, so keep your eyes peeled. Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about the Extra Game! If you press A+Select+Up on the title screen you can access this mode. Kirby’s Dream Land now becomes much more challenging with new enemies and more difficult boss fights. It adds to the game’s replayability and will give you more value for your money.
Aesthetically, Kirby’s Dream Land is a pretty remarkable looking Game Boy game. It really pushes the Game Boy hardware and the resulting visuals are fantastic. All sprites and levels are well detailed and look top notch for the archaic hardware, considering its limits. When you see the visuals you will likely agree that this is a fine looking Game Boy title. Kirby’s Dream Land also boasts some of those great and catchy Kirby tunes that fans love. As with the graphics, Dream Land’s music and sound design is also top notch for the handheld.
3/5 D-Pads: Kirby’s Dream Land is a pretty good Game Boy game. While it is short and easy, it’s still a fun game at heart. It was obviously designed to pull-in the non-gamer audience, but it started a series that has evolved and is enjoyed by many. Throw in some top notch visual and sound design along with the Extra Game mode, and you have a definite Game Boy gem.