kirby dream LadiesGamers

Kirby’s Dream Buffet Review

Game: Kirby’s Dream Buffet
Genre: Party, Platformer
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer|Publisher: HAL Laboratory | Nintendo
Age Rating: US Everyone | EU 3+
Price: USD $14.99 | UK £13.49 | EU 14,99
Release Date: August 17th, 2022

No review code was used, I purchased the game myself.

Although not my go-to type of game, nor a dedicated Kirby fan, I was bowled over by the sweet graphics and rather yummy game arenas. To be honest, you can’t help but smile (and feel slightly peckish) when you play this game.

Cake-tastic Adventure

Kirby’s Dream Buffet is described as a party, platforming, battle royale game.  However, the party is limited (four players), the platforming is easy and your opponents do not plummet to their doom. The introduction briefly sets the scene as to why Kirby is small and very round. You see, its all thanks to the ‘Dream Fork‘ and its shrinking powers, you are then deposited in the hub world ready to play.

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
The Dream Fork is about to shrink Kirby.

The main game menu allows the player to select a Battle Mode (single system with one or two players); Online Mode, or Local Play Mode (up to four players). I was only able to test the single system mode and was pleased to discover that in either one-player or two-player modes the Pro Controller can be used as well as the Joy-Cons. Don’t worry if you don’t have a second player at hand. CPU players are allocated to fill the remaining slots, so there are always four competitors.

Battle Mode

On selecting Battle Mode, you choose what type of competition: a Gourmet Grand Prix, a feast of two races, separated by a mini-game and followed by a battle royale competition; or you can choose to play just a single race, single mini-game or single battle royale (especially useful if time is limited or you need more practice). Once selected, you choose the level of difficulty (sweet, normal, spicy or extra spicy) and then a random food-inspired course or stage is chosen, the name of which is displayed on a cute Kirby menu board, and battle commences.

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
A mouthwatering set of challenges.

The movement is straightforward and intuitive, with just three controls. Of course, three controls are more than enough in the heat of battle, as I sometimes found it slow to activate the powers, but maybe I was too keen to use them.

Race to Strawberry Mountain

The Race to Strawberry Mountain tracks follow a similar pattern, most of the activity is forward, with small sections of sideways movement, although the camera does not move. I did find this a little frustrating, as I prefer to move in the direction I’m facing, but I got used to it and eventually realised it does add to the fun, especially when playing with other people, probably more for their fun as I kept falling off!

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
Watch out for the hole in the doughnut!

Mouthwatering Graphics

I thoroughly enjoyed traversing the tracks and wished I could spend more time admiring the detail in the layout and obstacles, sliding around dancing ice cream snowmen. Additionally, while bouncing on perfectly formed fried eggs, rolling along streaky bacon or buttered asparagus, avoiding the rotating and rolling brandy snaps, and climbing up chocolate gateaux, the graphics are truly mouthwatering.

There were a couple of the courses that reminded me of the dream world levels in the Wii game Ratatouille, especially when trying to balance the frying pan handle.

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
Don’t roll off!

Crossing the winning line first doesn’t necessarily mean you win.  It’s all dependent on the number of strawberries consumed en route. There is a large cake (the Strawberry Mountain) containing ten, twenty or fifty strawberries for the taking at the end of the race course. So it does help to get there before the other Kirby characters devour all that loveliness.

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
Will I get to Strawberry Mountain first?

The more strawberries are eaten, the larger and faster Kirby will get. However, if you do fall off the edge (or miss that bit of parkour) then you can’t hover for as long as a smaller Kirby. Failing to get back on the track will lose nothing more than time and you can still carry on racing, with cookie walls to bash through and Copy Food abilities available, you could still catch up with the others.

Mini-games

The mini-games are set in an arena, with strawberries appearing on enemies which need defeating, falling from the sky or being set free by breaking biscuit crates.  Again the aim is to collect as many strawberries as you can. You can bounce your opponents out of the way, but mostly it’s about being in the right spot at the right time to grab the fruit first. Look out for the little strawberry tarts which contain three or five strawberries each.

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
Which teacup will appear next to catch the falling strawberries?

Battle Royale

The battle royale competition is still about eating those strawberries, but this time there is more emphasis on bouncing your opponents off the edge so they lose some of theirs. There is also a pair of tongs trying to grab the nearest Kirby to shake out some hard-won strawberries. So make sure you watch the target it casts and moves out of the way as it turns red.

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
Dodge those tongs!

The lead strawberry eater can change several times during this competition, so it’s worth battling until the very last second!

Who’s Won

Once the game is completed the Kirby characters are lined up on scales to see which one is the heaviest and hence the winner. However, in the grand Prix mode, extra strawberries are awarded for random achievements.

Some of the random achievements are for, most cookie walls crumbled; most soft fruit eaten; most copy food abilities used and even who hovered the longest. It can all change at the drop of a cake (pun intended), and I lost and won a couple of Prix at this point. 

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
Who’s the heaviest?

Hence there is a bit of strategy involved: do you collect lots of strawberries? Or veer off the main path to munch that cherry/blueberry/blackberry? Or do you rush to the end to ensure you get the largest strawberry mountain?

Collect Everything 

Apart from the main game menu in the hub world, there is a: ‘Free Rolling‘ practise area to view and understand the various Copy Food abilities; ‘Costumes & Colors‘ customisation, with new outfits and Kirby colourways being added as you level up; ‘Character Treats Collection‘ for viewing and selecting the unlockable biscuits to decorate your cake and starting pedestal; and the ‘Rewards Menu‘ detailing the rewards given for each of the 135 levels available. There is also the opportunity to view the credits and see the history of the Kirby games.

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
The hub world – a table full of options!

Level Up

Levelling up is dependent on the number of strawberries collected. Without too much effort you quickly climb the Gourmet Ranks. Soon you’ll open up all those costumes, colours and treats, different course layouts and music. Costumes are based on other Kirby characters or food items. Some are really adorable like Elfilin or Rick. Though I wasn’t as keen to play as Kirby Burger with a cheeseburger on my head!

The biscuit designs can be used to decorate the cake in the hub world and be selected as our starting platform. These feature characters from past Kirby games and show the evolution of this iconic mascot and friends. As a non-Kirby expert, the music tracks I gained didn’t give me any fond memories of previous games (I have no memories of such!), but I’m guessing they would to an aficionado.

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
Lots of costumes and colours to select from.

Copy Food

As is traditional with Kirby games, gobbling up various items will give Kirby special powers and Kirby’s Dream Buffet is no different. Once activated, the powers gained are time-limited, rather than player controlled. But you do get to decide when to use the gained power and this does offer some strategy to the gameplay. The Copy Food items are found in Food Boxes located within the race tracks or arenas.  One of the nine options is randomly selected when the player hits the box.

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
Which food box should I choose?

Abilities

Many of these abilities are featured in previous Kirby games, but not all are available in each game mode:
Wheel (half iced doughnut) – allows you to roll around at high speed
Hi jump (twisted gummy) – catapults you to a forward location
Drill (sugar carrot) – burrows underground to resurface scattering opponents/enemies
Tornado (cupcake) – sucks up all nearby fruit
Needle (spiky candy) – scatters opponents, but moves slowly
Stone (chocolate bar) – sends a shock wave to scatter opponents (hold R to create a stronger wave)
Jelly (jelly) – slips through barriers (this one is new for Kirby’s Dream Buffet)
Burning (hot pepper) – becomes a speeding fireball, burning past opponents
Invincible candy (lollipop) – bashes, dashes and crashes through everything

I could remember to save my jelly ability to enable me to slide through the cookie walls. But I didn’t manage to save the tornado for when there was an abundance of strawberries to collect. You can only have one ability at a time. So it is sometimes worth using it straight away, ready for the next Food Box. Definitely, more practice is needed to perfect the timing of these abilities.

Kirby's Dream Buffet LadiesGamers.com
I’ll be able to slide through that wall with my jelly ability.

Conclusion

Kirby’s Dream Buffet is a delicious party game, without the need for a party. Making it ideal for younger players and offline play. The controls are simple and the graphics mouthwatering. It is unlikely to keep you consumed for hours, but definitely one to have a nibble with and would be entertaining with online or local friends. Do watch out on your next shopping trip though, a rather large, gooey, chocolate cake somehow made its way into my trolley!

Final Verdict: I like it
I like it

We love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.