Kirby's Epic Yarn is young at heart but mature in gameplay. - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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Kirby's Epic Yarn is young at heart but mature in gameplay.

Kirby's Epic Yarn takes a little while to warm up to if you're older but when you open up to the childish themes, it's easier to appreciate the fantastic platforming. When the game starts, you immediately feel the game overflowing with super cheerful, overly bubbly motifs indicated by the bright colors and happy piano music. It's hard to accept at first and you feel awkward, like Nintendo is trying to to treat you like a baby but it doesn't take away from the solid platforming and creative artwork that cannot be denied.

Epic Yarn, like most platforming games, does not have an engaging plot. Here's the breakdown: an evil magician, named Yin-Yarn, from another world called Patch Land, invades Dream Land and captures Kirby with a magical sock. This sock transports him to Patch Land where everything is made of yarn--including Kirby. Our hero meets the royalty of Patch Land, Prince Fluff, who asks Kirby to help Patch Land as it has been ripped apart and is in need of being stitched back together again. In order to do this, Kirby must find pieces of magical yarn that binds Patch Land together. It's a whimsical fairy tale but it sets the stage for the unique art and game play.

Since the entire world is made of yarn, the art direction takes a different turn that doesn't include well-shaded areas and fully colored landscapes. Instead, everything looks like someone stitched together everything and it could be unraveled in any moment. To an extent, this is true. Parts of the background can be unzipped, enemies can be unraveled or turned into a ball, blocks that block your path can be unraveled and raveled up to use as a weapon, buttons are pinned into the background that Kirby can latch onto and sometimes Kirby can drop behind the background and walk in the back being able to see a lump moving around behind the stitchings. When you finish a level, sometimes the map transforms and different objects form through yarn coming together and creating some charming and funny renderings of artistic expressions all done in yarn. It's amazing the creativity a yarn based world can produce.

Some of the aforementioned details cannot be done without Kirby's ability to use his own sort of yarn whip. Kirby can no longer copy abilities because he is made of yarn but this yarn whip helps him be able to fight back. Unfortunately, he cannot copy abilities with the whip but Kirby is still effective despite his inability to wolf down the baddies. What Kirby can do is transform. The puff turned yarn hero can jump into transformation portals that enable him to turn into a UFO that sucks up enemies, a rocket-propelled tank that shoots rapid-fire missiles or even an ATV. The downside to these abilities is that they are placed in certain parts of the level and they only last until a certain part of the level. It never changes. This depreciates the excitement of past Kirby games as you could finish a level with any ability as long as you could keep it.

But this game's excitement is reduced because the game is so easy. The greatest element of difficulty comes from collecting beads--the in-game currency of Epic Yarn. Collecting the beads is easy enough. You can find them hanging all over the place, grab them by defeating enemies or earn them by the roulette at the end of each level. Collecting more beads means you can earn a higher medal, gold, silver or bronze, at the end of a level and in some cases, you can open up added levels depending on the level you're in. If you decide to collect the beads, then game's difficulty will get tougher but if you choose not to, the game will be as easy taking your pet chihuahua for a walk. When you've collected enough beads, you're able to spend them on wallpaper and furniture for your apartment. There is not much to the apartment concept other than the fact you can decorate it. It's a reason to collect things but there is no added reward for creating the sweetest pad in the complex. Boss fights are very creative but they don't get tough until the end of the game although if you're looking for collecting the most beads, then they are actually pretty challenging.

Inside the apartment, you do have neighbors who will invite you to play mini-games. One neighbor plays hide and seek and you have to find him and his friends, hidden throughout a level, in a certain time limit. Another game's goal is to collect as many beads as possible in the time limit. Both are actually fun and pretty challenging but after you've beat them once, you're only competition is yourself and there is little reason to beat your score unless you're competing with others via message boards.

If you really wanted a way to give yourself a challenge, you could play the game with two-players giving it a New Super Mario Bros. Wii feel. Although this game does not have the friend-killing frustrations of that game, it's still a task to work together. But since the game is so easy, it's much simpler with two players which is a little unfortunate.

Other options include the ability to take pictures and collect furniture pieces and music throughout the level. The music, while very kindergarten, fits in well with the game and there are some soothing tunes that do not distract from the game play nor bore while you play. It's strange how the music works but it works well. I actually never took any pictures because you can't share them with anyone and there are not many eye-popping moments to pause the game and take a picture.

Epic Yarn is a childish game with mature platforming and although the game isn't difficult, it's an enjoyable experience that actually gets better as you play. But the best way to play this game is to embrace the childish elements and allow yourself to soak up the great platforming and game play.

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