Kirby (Hands-On) (Wii U) Preview

By Adam Riley 27.09.2014

Review for Kirby (Hands-On) on Wii U

Kirby games are amazing. Just a mere glance at the range of reviews featured right here on Cubed3 shows how much the team adores the little pink ball of fun (?) from HAL Laboratory. This year's Kirby Triple Deluxe on Nintendo 3DS still ranks as a potential Game of the Year in the team's eyes, but rather than a standard platform outing for Wii U, HAL is going back to the Power Paintbrush / Canvas Curse touch-and-draw style to take advantage of the GamePad and stylus. Is it a wise decision? Cubed3 went hands-on at EGX 2014 to find out.

Personally not seeing what all the fuss was about the DS touch-based Kirby outing, named Power Paintbrush for folk in the UK but more commonly referred to by its US name of Canvas Curse, what is currently deemed merely as Kirby for Wii U (but rumoured to be titled Kirby and the Rainbow Curse) was approached with trepidation at EGX 2014. Sadly, after walking away, all that had happened was memories of how annoyingly awkward Power Paintbrush could be were brought flooding back.

Before getting onto that, though, visually this takes on a Claymation-style approach, looking like a Stop-Motion animation, similar to Wallace & Gromit, et al. It is cute at first, but when compared to the absolutely gorgeous Yoshi's Woolly World it looks far less appealing. In its own right, though, it brings the usual Kirby charm and bright colours to the fray. However, that zip of speed found in more recent games appears to be lacking. The booth attendant assured that later levels increase the tempo, but the actual control system was what made it far too laborious, rather than the stages themselves. The drawing of lines to guide Kirby simply cannot compare to the smooth platform action gamers normally receive.

Screenshot for Kirby (Hands-On) on Wii U

Tapping on Kirby is how the hero moves - no button inputs, and certainly no watching the big screen. This will be played on the GamePad alone since accuracy is imperative, ruling out the dual-screen set up, despite the action being shown on the monitor at the event. On the surface it looks like a rudimentary Kirby adventure, but the whole dynamic revolves around drawing lines to guide Kirby through levels, finding plenty of hidden goodies along the way. However, although Press Play's Max and the Magic Marker got the balance of platform action and drawing abilities right, Kirby on Wii U is painful, slow, fiddly…just like Power Paintbrush. It sucks all of the enjoyment out of the series and walking away from it, especially after enjoying Yoshi's Woolly World so much, left a bad taste in the mouth. Saying that, opinions in general are split over this foray into something new, so those that adored the DS stylus-filled Kirby outing will no doubt have immense fun here. Those that grew increasingly frustrated with it will find exactly the same issues here - nothing has changed.

Screenshot for Kirby (Hands-On) on Wii U

Final Thoughts

Kirby on Wii U is going to split fans. Anyone that loved Kirby Power Paintbrush will adore this new adventure, since it is basically a direct sequel with intriguing graphics and new challenges, yet employing exactly the same mechanics of drawing paths for Kirby the follow and tapping him to spin the character forwards. However, everyone that found it awkward and clunky in the past - getting stuck when drawing incorrect lines and not being able to delete them, for example - will soon realise after a few levels that indeed nothing has changed, and what was annoying in the past is just as frustrating and boring now. A real love it or hate it game.

Also known as

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse


HAL Laboratory




2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


looks cool as hell.  love the claymation look.

Yeah, I keep looking at these screens and thinking "Maybe I just loved Yoshi so much"...having the two games next to each other really didn't help Kirby.

I'm a MASSIVE Kirby fan, but I don't like the Canvas Curse mechanic, so this didn't appeal. Touch controls in Kirby Mass Attack were cool, but this drawing and tap-to-roll mechanic doesn't wash with me.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

never was much of a kirby fan. i did like the nes game and the one snes game that was like a bunch of games... but for the most part it never really changed enough for me.


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