Kirby and the Forgotten Land: review of new Nintendo Switch game, release date - and pre order bonus details

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Everything you need to know, from demos to multiplayer - what to expect from the 30th anniversary game

New Nintendo games always cause excitement, with the legendary Japanese gaming giant often producing polished, well-crafted experiences that a wide range of age groups can enjoy.

The next game from Nintendo - Kirby and the Forgotten Land - takes the company’s penchant for refining simple gaming concepts into interesting new ideas to a logical conclusion.

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The game has been produced as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of beloved Nintendo character Kirby, with series director Shinya Kumazaki describing it as a "new phase" for the franchise.

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is Kirby Kirby and the Forgotten Land?

Kirby may be one of Nintendo’s lesser-known mascots, but the pink character has starred in over 20 games since his debut in the early 90s.

What sets him apart is his ability to inhale enemies and objects and take on their powers, a “copy ability” that’s being put to almost disturbing use in his latest game. More on that later.

Though Kirby has starred in games across a range of genres, it’s in platforming titles where he really shines, using his ability to jump and hover to overcome obstacles in colourful adventures that are fun for the whole family.

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Kirby and the Forgotten Land is his latest appearance, the first fully 3D platformer in the mainline series of Kirby games.

In it, you’re tasked with exploring the titular Forgotten Land on a mission to rescue Waddle Dees kidnapped by the villainous Beast Pack.

It’s your job to rescure the Waddle Dees, held captive by the evil Beast Pack (Image: Nintendo)It’s your job to rescure the Waddle Dees, held captive by the evil Beast Pack (Image: Nintendo)
It’s your job to rescure the Waddle Dees, held captive by the evil Beast Pack (Image: Nintendo) | Nintendo

As you rescue more and more Waddle Dees, they are transported to the safety of Waddle Dee Town, the main hub of the game which expands as more of its residents are returned.

As the town grows larger, players will unlock a number of bonus minigames in which they can compete with others online for the top score.

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What is Mouthful Mode?

Kirby and the Forgotten Land removes Kirby from his usual cartoonish surroundings and transplants him into a somewhat realistic, almost post-apocalyptic world.

As such, many large everyday items are found scattered about the levels, such as rusty old cars and vending machines from a more prosperous time gone by.

Kirby’s copy ability has been upgraded for the new game, meaning he is now able to suck these larger objects into his mouth and take on their attributes.

It’s a slightly unsettling ability the developers are calling “Mouthful Mode”, and one iteration we’ve seen explored in trailers is Kirby’s ability to semi-suck up an old car, enveloping himself over its top half and using the wheels protruding from his gob to drive around and crash through barriers.

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It’s one of those ideas that looks quite cute at first glance, but it’s probably best not to think about the mechanics of it all too much...

Does it have a multiplayer function?

There’ll be plenty of cutesy minigames to play too; this ones looks as if it’ll have you preparing food orders for the Waddle Dees (Image: Nintendo)There’ll be plenty of cutesy minigames to play too; this ones looks as if it’ll have you preparing food orders for the Waddle Dees (Image: Nintendo)
There’ll be plenty of cutesy minigames to play too; this ones looks as if it’ll have you preparing food orders for the Waddle Dees (Image: Nintendo) | Nintendo

While Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a single-player experience at its core, there are options for a second player to get involved with the action.

A second player can join in and play as Bandana Waddle Dee, who uses a spear as his main form of attack.

Is it any good?

The first review for the full game has been published by Edge Magazine, which has awarded Kirby and the Forgotten Land an impressive 8/10.

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The magazine says "those who’ve never understood the appeal of Kirby are unlikely to be convinced by his move into 3D".

But it does note that the "compact, imaginative adventure is a low key triumph, a work of great craft and wit that, unlike its lead, doesn’t bite off more than it can chew and it only leaves you hungry for more."

The full review will be posted in issue 370 of the magazine, due on shop shelves on 24 March.

When can I play it?

Kirby and the Forgotten Land will be released exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on Friday 25 March 2022.

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Where can I pre-order it?

At the time of writing, the best place we could find to pre-order a physical copy of Kirby and the Forgotten Land was Base.com, which is offering the game for £41.85.

If you choose to buy the game physically through the My Nintendo Store, you’ll get access to a pre-order bonus of a free magnet sheet and mouse pad.

All pre-orders will also grant you an entry into a competition to win a First 4 Figures Kirby Warp Star Exclusive Edition figurine.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is also available to pre-order digitally through the Nintendo eShop for £49.99.

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Is there a demo?

If you want to give the game a try for yourself before forking out the money for it, a free demo is available to download through the Nintendo eShop.

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