Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe Is Better With Friends
Bring your buds.
Last year, Kirby and the Forgotten Land brought Kirby triumphantly into the third dimension. After the success of Forgotten Land, the pink puff will also appear on Nintendo Switch in 2023, but this time Kirby is going back to basics with Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, a remake of the 2011 Wii side-scroller. The remake has improved visuals and plenty of secrets, but at its heart Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a joyous platformer that’s best enjoyed with friends.
I’m supposed to be helping the three other players defeat a boss and complete the stage, but instead, I keep jumping on their heads and trying to steal power-ups. Is this the intended way to play? Not particularly. Is it fun? Yes.
During my hands-on time with Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, I may have been a more troublesome teammate, but it always felt enjoyable. Laughs abounded at every funny mishap that occurs with a crowded screen of four players running through the side-scrolling stages. Nobody was too annoyed at my mischief.
Like any good co-op game, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe lets friends help or hinder each other to a hilarious effect. Even after landing on my fellow players’ heads and pushing them down when I jump, we could still move our characters close to each other and kiss — or rather high-five — and make up. Who doesn’t love to see Kirby and Meta Knight making nice?
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, which has a demo available now on Nintendo Switch, is a loving remake of the Wii original. Players will control Kirby as they aid the alien Magolor in repairing their ship. This occurs over the course of several classic 2.5D platforming stages.
While the game can be played solo, it is best enjoyed with up to three additional friends. Players are able to choose between controlling Kirby, Meta Knight, King Dedede, and Bandana Waddle Dee - or various different colored versions of each.
Each character has its own arsenal of tools. With a regular and super attack. Most people will run to take Kirby as their character, considering the puff’s signature inhalation abilities are still a big gameplay mechanic that can net players unique abilities depending on the different enemies inhaled - there is even a mecha-Kirby power-up. If desired all four players can be a rainbow assortment of Kirbys raining down attacks on enemies, so there is no need to fight between friends (unless you are like me and find it fun anyways.)
In addition to the cooperative fun of the story mode, there is also a new area called Merry Magoland. This is one of the largest additions to the remake that is not found in the original Return to Dream Land. It functions as a mini-game amusement park, where you and your friends can take part in a plethora of mini-games. Magoland leans into the fun that comes with playing Return to Dream Land Deluxe with friends.
Think of it like Kirby’s version of Mario Party minigames. During my preview, we played a carnival shooting range game, where you had to shoot as many targets as you could to rack up points without hitting bombs which lowered your point total. I performed the worst in this mini-game, though maybe that was karma for jumping on my companions’ heads so many times. Racking up points will give you the ability to buy cosmetic items like masks that can be worn in story mode.
After a little under an hour of playing through a few stages, laughing all of the time, I came away from Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe thinking about all the hilarity I could get up to with my friends. It satisfies the same itch for co-op fun that games like New Super Mario Bros, Mario Party, or Super Smash Bros.
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe launches for Nintendo Switch on February 24, 2023.