Kirby: Planet Robobot (Nintendo 3DS) Review

He's pink, he's round and he inhales things quicker than a Dyson vaccum cleaner - everyone's favorite pink-tinged hero is back once again with another solid outing on the Nintendo 3DS.
When I first heard about Kirby: Planet Robobot before its release last year I was a little bit skeptical about the whole idea of combining the traditional Kirby formula with giant mechanical suits. When I finally got a chance to pick this one up more recently however, I was pleasantly surprised as it's an idea that actually works really, really well.

The first thing that struck me about this game is that it really does look fantastic and makes some of the best use of the platform's stereoscopic 3D effect that I have ever seen. The backgrounds are jaw-droppingly gorgeous and the way the 3D is used for many of the puzzles and obstacles is nothing short of genius. Kirby can jump in to the background at times and some of the enemies move between the background and foreground, forcing you to keep an eye on what's happening in the distance.

The main story mode of Kirby: Planet Robobot will be familiar enough to anyone who has played a main-series Kirby game before. The gameplay is a traditional action/puzzle platformer interspersed with some really fun horizontal shooting stages. There are even a couple of levels towards the end of the game which play like Starfox.

The game is split up in to six main areas with 5 levels in each, as well as a boss level that must be unlocked by collecting a certain number of cubes of which there up to three hidden in each level. If you collect every cube in a particular area a secret level opens up as well.

As usual, Kirby can inhale enemies and steal their abilities to help him get through the game. There are quite a few interesting abilities on offer here, ranging from a Zelda-inspired sword to an electrical orb you can control independently around the screen. What's different this time around however is the inclusion of a mech-suit that Kirby can hop in and out of at certain locations. The mech-suit is also able to absorb abilities and these manifest differently when in the armor than when out of it, offering twice as many options for Kirby to experiment with during his travels.

Overall, the gameplay, graphics and cheery upbeat tunes combine to create a really enjoyable experience. As tends to be the case with Kirby games, the difficulty isn't particularly high, although some of the puzzles can make you stop and think. Some of the boss fights can also take a couple of tries and the impressive final showdown, which consists of multiple boss stages, is pretty spectacular.

In addition to the main campaign there are a few extra minigames here as well. Meta Knightmare Returns is unlocked after completing the main story mode and offers the chance to replay a harder version of the campaign as Meta Knight. Team Kirby Clash offers up a separate co-operative experience for up to four players and Kirby 3D Rumble is a single-player mode in which Kirby has to clear a series of 3D levels of enemies. There is also The Arena, which is a boss-rush mode.


With its unusual title and premise, Kirby: Planet Robobot is an easy game to miss out on, but if you have any interest in the Kirby series at all then this one is well worth your time. Fantastic stereoscopic visuals, a brilliant soundtrack and solid core gameplay make this a fun and engaging romp from start to finish.