Kirby’s Dream Land is one of the first imaginative gaming visions from Masahiro Sakurai. A vision of a little Dream Lander taking a journey to demonstrate that having a pale appearance is similar to having straight and courage when wearing a red hat and blue overalls. That little Dream Lander is Kirby and he’s not so little once he starts swallowing anything that gets in his way. In his first adventure is a simple side-scroller with memorable boss encounters.
In Kirby’s first true adventure, copying abilities are not in the cards for this black and white tale, he huff and puff his way to all five stages towards King Dedede so that all the food can be return to all the hungry residents of Dream Land. Kirby has the moxie to swallow an enemy (hold B) in one gulp and he can either spit out, recycle as a star projectile (press B) and the only weapon against bosses, or proudly goes back to his adorable former self while producing his trademark poof. During his lighter appetite Kirby can also fly endlessly (press up and then hold A to ascend), not even a hit from an enemy can take that blimp down, until he spits out a gust punch (press B). There are also power-ups such as a lollipop of invincibility, a bomb that is actually safe to swallow, a microphone with a massive untalented proportion, spicy foods that makes Kirby rapidly shoot out fire (hold B) and mint foods that gives infinite gust punishes with automatic flight. After defeating King Dedede, Extra Game is unlock and must be familiarize with the button combination and perform during the title screen. In Extra Game, the enemies and bosses are more aggressive and their attack patterns are less predictable. Dropping down knowing that there’s a safe platform from the previous normal adventure are no longer safe. Even unoccupied umbrellas are out to get Kirby. It’s a relief that Kirby doesn't have to go through all 4 boss repeats after losing all of his lives from King Dedede. After completing Extra Game, a code is available to unlock Configuration Mode and with a reward of the title screen now shooting out victorious stars. Configuration Mode is an option menu with the player’s choice to add more lives and able to decrease Kirby’s health bar for personal gaming fatigue, plus a sound test room.
The soundtrack is an action pack lullaby combining with the presentation of soothing level designs. Each stage represents each type of dream confrontations; innocent, wonderment, embarrassment, perplex, and heroism. Each boss represents each type of confrontation that innocent children are afraid to face in their dreams like harming a tree, stealing toys, breaking a toy, outside during a storm, and alone with a bully. These are all intricate presentation of visual comfort and yet the music acts like any videogame would, a rhythm of determination.
Kirby’s Dream Land is an appreciative introduction to a beloved franchise and what a great starting point for Kirby. While the game does exist in other forms such as a nostalgic level in Kirby’s Adventure and as a remake on one of the games in Kirby Super Star with the inclusion of copy abilities, the Game Boy title does have one advantage and that it’s not just a breeze, instead it’s a fresh air of creativity. Happy birthday to you Kirby, now dance for us.
$3.99 on the Nintendo eShop
8 / 10 Skyward points
8- Great This is a great game that might have a few flaws or could have been better, but is still a game we highly recommend!