Remember how I wrote about whether you were a stylus or a button fan (blog here) a couple of weeks ago? I was wondering why game developers for the 3DS games have left the touch games behind and have reverted back to the buttons to play a game. That was the first thing that I thought of when I got the chance to try out Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush on the WiiU this week: I was using the stylus on the WiiU Gamepad! Both are favorites of mine: using the stylus as much as possible, and making use of the GamePad, not having to compete in my family for the use of the television.
So I was pleased to get a chance to give Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush a try, because I’ve never played a Kirby game before. And as I’m not very good at platformers, the chance that I’d actually buy it was going to be slim. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the visuals, what a good looking game. This time not made out of fabric as in Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but everything seemed made out of modelling clay. It’s like you’re looking at a clay animation, not something that’s made by the computer. The colors so bright and cheerful, happy music in the background. A game that can cheer you up instantly. You control Kirby with your stylus on the gamepad and although I liked that very much, I can understand why it’s a pity too: you can’t look at the stunning visuals on the big screen. For me though it was perfect: the entire game can be played without needing a television. Kirby rolls where you want him to roll, following the multicolored stripes you draw. Other then a means of transport you can use the stripes too to keep Kirby dry under as waterfall, to control a pinball that has to press against a lever or to unlock areas that you can’t see at first too. When you top Kirby he dashes, and when fully charged he turns into a very quick moving ball destroying everything in his path. At certain levels he turns into vehicular objects, like a tank, and you have to top him to fire missiles at enemies you encounter.
The object of the game is of course to clear the levels, and collect the treasure boxes containing beautiful figurines, music clips and entries to diaries. The levels are so cleverly thought out and feel fresh every time. A challenge mode is added in some levels, giving you 15 seconds to grab a treasure chest.
The game is clearly aimed at families, and I suspect is quite kid-friendly. It has a co-operative mode for family fun, where other players play more traditional platforming roles and using the Wii remote, helping out by damaging enemies or opening paths. I think the game isn’t extremely difficult, but I have to admit that’s perfect for me. Like I said, I’m really not good at platformers, and when you keep encountering stages that you have to ask your niece to complete for you, the fun in gaming is gone pretty quick. In this Kirby game I can really do it all myself, and when you can’t complete a difficult boss fight, you get the option after a few tries to move on without finishing that fight. A lot of gaming buffs will turn their nose up at that, but it made me have nothing but fun playing the game. So, as far as I’m concerned, a great game!