Despite how amazingly successful the Switch has been, Nintendo still hasn’t forgotten about the 3DS. Make all the jokes and complaints you want on how everything has to be on Switch. That’s practically the case already. Besides, Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn makes for a good way to send off the handheld console.
If you have played the original Kirby’s Epic Yarn on Wii, this story will sound familiar. Hungry as ever, Kirby looks to suck up a tomato. Unfortunately, an evil wizard named Yin Yarn gets in his way and transports our pink hero to the *ahem* “fabric-ated” world of Patch Land. Here Kirby meets Prince Fluff, whom he must help find magical yarn to put Patch Land back together.
The story is told like a children’s story complete with a kindly British narrator. This presentation coupled with the already cute Kirby being even cuter with his yarn-like movement makes the whole experience simply adorable. If you don’t smile to yourself at least once while playing Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn, there’s a chance you aren’t human.
If you have played a Kirby game before, then you roughly know what you’re in for. With that said, Extra Epic Yarn is not a difficult game. In fact, you can’t really die exactly. Enemies mainly just bump you around or will hit you in a way that will knock out your beads, which are the game’s collectable.
Kirby doesn’t take things lightly himself, though. Your attack allows you to disarm enemies, turn them into throwable projectiles, and even unravel them from existence. It would be quite dark if not for the cheery visuals and music. New to the 3DS version, you also have access to “Ravel Abilities” which are similar to power-ups in previous Kirby games. One ability allows you to chuck bombs. Another gives you a sword. And one of the more useful ones turns you into a whirlwind that decimates enemies and sucks in nearby beads.
You will want to collect beads for the Quilty Square area. Here you exchange beads at shops for furniture and extra fabric to outfit your home. Various furniture you find in the game levels can also be used to outfit other apartments, which will bring in tenants. These unique tenants will in turn offer minigames that, when completed, give you more fabrics to decorate your own pad. It’s all quite cute and honestly feels like a game unto itself. There’s even StreetPass compatibility to share your room online.
The “Extra” in Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn isn’t just there for show. Players can utilize the new “Devilish Mode” if looking for more of a challenge. In this, a yarn monster will consistently appear to shoot projectiles. Kirby also has a health meter, adding an actual sense of danger to the otherwise easy romp. If you’re one of those hardcore gamers who likes to complain that Kirby games are too easy, this is for you.
Along with the story mode, there are also a couple of extra modes that act as decent diversions. Dedede Gogogo is essentially an endless runner where you play as the rotund king sliding and jumping your way to collecting as many beads as possible. Avoid the skull blocks to keep as many until the end. Slash & Bead has you in control of Meta Knight where you must use your dashing strikes to eliminate enemies and collect clusters of beads. You likely won’t spend much time in these modes, but they are fun to romp through at least once.
Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn certainly has a home on the 3DS. Unfortunately, the co-op mode in the Wii version is gone and the “fuzziness” of the visuals here makes it suffer a bit, but it’s still good wholesome fun. Even though we’re all about the Switch now in 2019, it’s nice to see one last quality title from Nintendo make its way to the handheld. This is as good of a sendoff as we could hope for.
A review code was provided by the publisher.
David has been involved in games media since 2012 running his own blog, YouTube channel, being a founding member of RETRO Magazine, and now as host/producer of ARGcast – Another Retro Gaming Podcast. He also dabbles in voiceover and is occasionally a stunt double for Jude Law.