First ImpressionsNintendo

Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe – One to Watch in 2023

Kirby’s Return to Dreamland is set to hit Nintendo Switch later in the month, plus it’s got a free demo available on the Nintendo eshop. It’s not been too long since we had one of the most successful Kirby games in history release on Nintendo Switch, and we’re going back to Dreamland with this remake of Kirby from the Wii era.

Originally released in 2011 Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe is an upgraded version of the Wii Kirby adventure. In contrast to the last 3D outing, this is a return to Kirby’s 2D roots. The original was considered a fairly successful game for the time, but Kirby’s had a number of remakes across handheld and home console over the years, so this is another good excuse to get back to Dreamland.

The game is set for release on 24th February 2023, and the most recent Nintendo Direct was a good reminder, diving deeper into gameplay and also the minigame mechanics. Kirby games have a long history with little mini-games and Return to Dreamland Deluxe is no different. The original featured games like Ninja Dojo, Samurai Kirby, Smash Ride, and various copy ability challenges. Return to Dreamland Deluxe includes one new mini game called Magolor’s Tome Trackers, which looks like a memory game. All the original mini-games return, bigger and better than ever.

Kirby also has a new copy ability, adding to the vast array of copy abilities we’ve seen from Kirby over the years. The thing that struck me playing the demo was how many copy abilities get thrown at you in a very short space of time. This game alone has roughly 24 copy abilities, which keeps the gameplay feeling fresh all the way through. We have our standard copy abilities like Cutter, Beam and Ninja, the Switch port also includes new Mecha Copy Abilities. Mecha Kirby has lasers, plus massive close-ranged punches. It takes Kitrby’s copy abilities and turns it up to 11.

Kirby’s Return To Dreamland can be played in single-player or co-op, and even up to 4 players can play together as secondary players play as Meta Knight, King Dedede, Bandana Waddle Dee or alternate versions of Kirby. When the original was released the game did get some feedback from fans saying the multiplayer made it too easy, but Kirby is targetted for a younger audience given the nature of the game. Classic enemies like Waddle Dee, Blade Knight, And Poppy Bros are back. A mixture of bosses are back too with Whispy Woods and Mr. Dooter, but also subversions like Galacta Knight, Waddle Tank, and Robo Dedede.

Kirby bring his range of powers and abilities in Return to Dreamland Deluxe too with Supers. These are enhanced skills and time sensitive powers that Kirby can only control for a few minutes at a time. Kirby gets these super abilities by inhaling super versions of standard enemies. There are 5 super abilities in the game including Ultra Sword, Monster Flame, Grand Hammer, Flare Beam and Snow Bowl.

Overall, first impressions for Return to Dreamland Deluxe are very positive. I have fond memories of Kirby’s Dreamland on the Gameboy, which can now be enjoyed on Nintendo Switch via the Gameboy feature in Nintendo Switch Online. Kirby’s 2022 adventure was in many game of the year lists and this revisit to Return to Dreamland will likely make many fans out of Kirby all over again on Nintendo Switch.

Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe is due for release on 24th February 2023 on Nintendo Switch.