Kirby: Planet Robobot is not a difficult game. As I whimsically floated around its colourful stages, sucking in enemies and smashing the rest in my way, my eyes would occasionally catch a glimpse of a counter on the touchscreen. Next to the pink hero’s little face was a number, depicting how many lives I had left before the little guy popped for the last time. I never noticed it go down, but I often didn’t care. Because what Kirby: Planet Robobot lacks in challenge, it makes up for in platforming fun.
Things aren’t off to a great start as soon as Planet Robobot kicks off. Within a few seconds we see the intrepid Kirby literally sleeping through an enemy invasion oh his home planet, Pop Star. It’s not long before an entirely robotic force starts taking grip over the planet, introducing robotic version of Pop Star’s inhabitants. Things aren’t great for Kirby has he springs into action, but the shift to mental and steel isn’t a bad one.
Planet Robobot is a Kirby game through and through. In a standard stage-segmented world structure, you’ll guide Kirby through stages by running, jumping and floating around, switching between 3D planes using special pickups. The unbearably adorable hero brings the trademark sucking attack that has made him such a fiend in Smash Bros., allowing you to absorb enemy abilities that enhance your combat abilities tenfold.
Want to electrify your Kirby to do area of effect damage. There’s a power up for that. Want to wield a sword like fellow Nintendo mascot Link? You can get that too. There’s a massive array of abilities for Kirby to find and gobble up, letting you unleash hell on the robotic forces that find themselves unfortunate enough to be invading your home world. Eventually I settled into a handful of favourites, but it was consistently fun to change them up as much as I could to amplify the fun. Especially when it come to more involved combat situations like Boss Battles.
Things get a lot more entertaining though when Kirby embraces the metal monstrosities around him. Robobot’s ace in the hole is the ability for the little pink ball to hop in and out of a mechanised suit of his own. Not only does this turn the cold blue steel into a colourful pink, it also allows Kirby to wreak even more havoc on his foes than before. Platforming and standard attacks are improved, and scanning the same abilities you once sucked up transforms them into some impressively potent attack options.
It’s incredibly fun to chop and change this abilities again, and especially entertaining to roll around in a hulking suit of robotic armour in Robobot’s various different worlds. Each one is littered with secrets, making it less about getting from point A to B (which sometimes feel a little more mundane than it should), and rather about searching far and wide for it’s underlying secrets. Each stage presents you multiple opportunities to collect this small metal cubes, which tie directly into unlocking the boss for a specific area.
And while Robobot is certainly easy to get though, I often found myself bewildered at getting to the end of the level and not even seeing a glimpse of at least one of these cubes. It spurred me on to go back and hunt for them, but I never really encountered a requirement to do so through normal play. You’re going to have to play each of Robobot’s levels with a little care if you don’t want to be forced to backtrack, but in doing so I revealed some of the best puzzle elements the game had to offer. It made it as rewarding as it was easy to breeze through.
Aside from required pickups to progress, each of the levels offered up ample chance to collect cosmetic stickers, each with their own level of rarity. These could then be used to customise my mechanised suit of destruction (again, in pink) to be a little more personal. Stickers can be applied to Kirby’s suit of armour once they’re unlocked, and it gives the sensation of hopping in a lot more agency and purpose. This is your mech, and Robobot makes that abundantly clear.
The campaign as a whole is entertaining enough for its decent playtime, and featured some innovative and standout boss battles along they way. They’re the types of encounters I’ve missed from modern games, with classic platforming shenanigans keeping each one fresh and entertaining. Sure, they could’ve challenged my reflexes and timing a little more, but I still never got to the end of one without a grin on my face.
Outside of the campaign, Robobot actually features two more smaller titles for you to nibble on when wanting to take a break. Kirby 3D Rumble is a fully realised shoot-em-up, where you’re dealt round after round of enemies just waiting to be blown away by Kirby’s uncanny ability to spit out stars. Chaining up kills and being incredibly quick ticks up a score counter, and there’s a healthy handful of stages to challenge you.
Team Kirby Clash, however, was the real standout. It adds co-operative play to the title, allowing you and three other friends to pick from an assortment of RPG-like Kirby characters. Each one comes with their own abilities and role, as you take on increasingly challenging bosses in a Smash Bros. styled arena fight. It has everything from character progression and challenges, and cold easily be a game in its own right.
These two are nice toppings on an already satisfying 3DS game, which should cure whatever platforming itch you might have. It’s devoid of any real challenge, but Kirby: Planet Robobot kept more more than entertained throughout its tenure. It’s the perfect type of title to pick up and play when you have a few hours to kill, and offers up enough content to make sure that it stretches as far as it can.
Last Updated: May 25, 2016