Kirby games have never shied away from innovation. Tilt ‘n’ Tumble included accelerators for motion-controlled gameplay, Canvas Curse gave us a stylus-focused platforming experience, and Mass Attack meshed the Kirby brand with Lemmings-style mechanics, just to name a few. The desire within HAL to always push Kirby forwards in some way has been a core thread of the franchise, and it’s definitely present in Kirby and the Forgotten Land.

Way back in the GameCube days, Nintendo and HAL were hoping to bring Kirby into the world of 3D. While the likes of Mario, Donkey Kong, and others had long since made the jump into the third dimension, Kirby was yet to make the big move. Unfortunately, the brains behind Kirby just couldn’t hit the level of quality they wanted with their 3D Kirby efforts, so the GameCube outing was shelved indefinitely.

Fast-forward to 2022 and we still haven’t seen Kirby make the leap to full 3D, but that’s about to change. HAL has finally figured out a way to translate Kirby’s iconic gameplay into 3D with Kirby and the Forgotten Land. A shift in viewpoints long in the making, Kirby and the Forgotten Land stands to be the biggest innovation Kirby has seen since the inception of the franchise. Having played through the entirety of the newly-released demo for Kirby and the Forgotten Land, it certainly seems like Kirby’s first 3D adventure is going to be well worth the wait.

Bombs away!
Bombs away!

Right off the bat, the demo for Kirby and the Forgotten Land feels like something special. The way Kirby washes up on the shore of an unknown land, staring at the new adventure ahead of him, surely feels like a moment welcoming Kirby to the world of 3D. As the player, we get to take in the new feeling of guiding Kirby in 3D with some gorgeous, colorful visuals, but also, a quiet background. There’s no music playing as you explore the opening moments of a lush, overgrown forest. It’s a short segment that ends with Kirby walking out into the open, greeted by the grand vista of a long-abandoned skyscraper, as well as the game’s main theme. It’s an absolutely beautiful opening, and one that appropriately recognizes the importance of this moment in Kirby’s history.

While the locations you visit might not be the vast expanses we’ve come to experience in Mario games, Kirby and the Forgotten Land certainly gives us more 3D space to explore with Kirby than ever before. If you’ve played Super Mario 3D World, then you should have a great idea for what to expect from Forgotten Land. You’ll wander into areas that allow for a bit of open exploration, with secrets hiding behind walls and just out of sight, and then stumble upon spots that are locked with a bit more straightforward or side-to-side movement. While commonplace for other Nintendo franchises in this day and age, getting to enjoy a Kirby game with this level of freedom feels borderline unbelievable.

All of Kirby’s traditional moves feel brand-new, as now you’re using them within a 3D space. Tossing bombs is much more hectic, swordfights allow you to dance around enemies, and the cutter offers more range than ever. In just a few short moments with the demo, I could see how using Kirby’s infamous copy abilities in 3D would present all sorts of new gameplay opportunities. It also added a slight layer of challenge to the demo, which isn’t something Kirby games are known for (at least when talking about the main quest content). Don’t get me wrong; the demo for Kirby and the Forgotten Land is incredibly easy, but there is a tiny bit of getting used to Kirby’s copy abilities and traditional moveset in this 3D setting.

Gorilla warfare
Gorilla warfare

As indicated by the recent trailers, the real star of the show in Kirby and the Forgotten Land is Kirby’s new Mouthful Mode. Kirby can now suck up some pretty giant items, letting him take on their shape, as well as all-new abilities. This demo lets you take Mouthful Mode for a spin in multiple ways, giving you the chance to chomp down on a car, vending machine, and traffic cone. Even in this demo, the early examples of Mouthful Mode show how exploring the environment in new Kirby forms will create unique puzzles and challenges. Most importantly, the Mouthful Mode abilities are plain fun! Zipping around as a car at super speeds and smashing through cracked ground as the traffic cone were an absolute blast, and make me incredibly eager to see what other oddities we can gobble up.

The demo even throws in a boss fight, which does a great job of showcasing just how engaging and cinematic these moments are going to be. Thanks to the new perspective, Kirby’s foes now appear bigger than ever, with the Gorilla boss in this demo easily towering over Kirby. He’s also got quite a repertoire of moves, providing a rather decent challenge early on. If this battle is any example of what we can expect later in the game, then we should be in store for some really memorable tussles.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land’s demo can be wrapped up in under a half hour, but for me, it did exactly what it needed to do in that time. It showcased just how big of a game-changer Kirby’s move to 3D is, and it left me wanting more…a lot more. I was really excited to get hands on with Kirby and the Forgotten Land since its first reveal, but now having played a tiny sliver of the final game, the wait for launch is going to be that much harder. I greatly enjoyed everything I saw and did, and I know what’s ahead is going to be even more impressive.

If you’ve never played a Kirby game, or you’ve been on the fence with Kirby and the Forgotten Land, this demo is the perfect way to either ease you in or assuage your fears. It’s free, it’s live right now, and it’s a wonderful way to spend 30 minutes. Hop on the Switch eShop right now and grab it!

About rawmeatcowboy

rawmeatcowboy

GoNintendo's founder, and bearded wonder. Although his beard is a little greyer nowadays, RMC is more than ready to tackle news and features. When not playing/talking/writing about games, RMC enjoys comic books, pro wrestling, anime, and more.

Add Comment

Comments (11)

the8bitlego

9M ago

Im glad to see all of the positivity around this demo! I haven't had a chance to try it out for myself yet, but hope to soon.


rawmeatcowboy

9M ago

@the8bitlego

@the8bitlego Like I said, it's roughly 30 mins, so I'd say it's well worth the time!

Edited 1 time

giancarlo thomaz senoni

9M ago

i played the Kirby and the Forgotten Land demo and it got me more hyped to play the first 3D mainline Kirby game.


jovialjeffer

9M ago

The video and the new site are both 👌🏻!! So nice to have you back, Rawmeat!


artistic_anarchy

9M ago

Man, I've missed your writing. What a joy to read. I was not aware that there was a demo for this game yet, so I'll def download it and try it out later tonight!


reynard

9M ago

I'm not touching the demo, I have no doubt I'm going to love the game, so I'm waiting for the finished product to go into blind.


voodoothur

9M ago

Couldn't agree more, the demo has me chomping at the bit for the full game. It'll be the first Kirby game I snatch up close to launch!


canadianrambo

9M ago

I think the quality of the game is great, I think the make or break will be the quantity, so hopefully that leaves us satisfied instead of wishing there was more


gybones

9M ago

Nice write up! The demo hit the spot for me. I was definitely getting the game already, so now doubley definitely


linkedtriforce

9M ago

I played the demo the first day it released, LOVE IT! The visuals and the music combine to make it feel very cinematic in a way no Kirby game has felt before. The controls feel great, and I was happily surprised that the “wild” difficulty mode was actually…a bit more intense than I expected! While not super challenging, I very nearly died fighting the boss. While I’m not the most skilled gamer out there, I consider myself above average, and would expect to just breeze through a brief demo like this. The fact that this early boss nearly got the better of me is a good sign for the rest of the game. At least on Wild mode, it seems it will be more challenging than your average Kirby game. My main hope now is that the game is not too short.
Got it preordered on the eShop, can’t wait for March 25th!


daisyismywaifu

9M ago

My initial impression is that somebody at Nintendo looked at The Last of Us and wondered what that game would be like if it were fun to play.