Kirby And The Forgotten Land Review

Sam Robinson

Kirby And The Forgotten Land finally transitions the ravenous pink puffball’s adventures into the 3D plane, and the result is a delightful (and charming) entry in 2022’s gaming catalogue. While it doesn’t do anything to rewrite the rulebook for this series despite its drastic shift in dimensions, if you’re a long-time Kirby fan or a newcomer looking for a fun distraction, this little platformer will give you everything you’re looking for and then some.


When Kirby is mysteriously pulled into a vortex that appears above his head on his home planet of Popstar, he’s transported to a collapsed civilization known as the “forgotten land”, where he finds that the familiar Waddle Dee’s are being kidnapped by the animal-like Beast Pack. Being the heroic ball of fluff, he sets out to rescue them and stop the bad guys.

This is very standard Kirby storytelling, sweet and straightforward and purely there to give some context to our adorable adventure. Still, it’s worth noting that the game comes with a gorgeous CG intro and a selection of cutscenes that are a joy to watch. The game’s opening sets the scene wonderfully, and I knew I was in safe hands as soon as I exited the first stage and was presented with an absolutely adorable cutscene.

As for this “forgotten world”, this is where Kirby will be spending his first 3D adventure. And it’s a beautiful place full of fantastic visuals and fascinating locations. I know this is a bold statement, but Forgotten Land might be the best-looking game on the Switch.

I’m aware of other such classics as Breath Of The Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which all do an incredible job with the hardware. But still, Kirby’s entry manages to be something more than just impressive. You’ll get sucked into the game through its visuals alone, and the scope of the world is mind-blowing.

The contrast of bright colours and dynamic visuals shine off the screen. There’s always something interesting to feast your eyes on. A beautiful horizon, a fascinating light display, or an incredible art style is popping in front of your eyes. This game is a marvel to behold.

At no point was I ever losing interest during my 14-hour marathon of this title. The forgotten land is full of towering sights and sweeping locations that constantly keep things fresh as a daisy, and the cute-as-hell soundtrack helps with that. Something that cannot be said for some of its contemporaries (Super Mario 3D World being a prime example).


Well, this is Kirby in 3D. If you were expecting something more than that, this game doesn’t have much for you, but if you’re a Kirby fan looking for your next cute adventure with the puffball, then Forgotten Land has your back.

The controls are very faithful to the preceding entries in the series. The ever-reliable suck, blow, slide and infinite flight are all present and accounted for. The various abilities that Kirby can use also return faithfully adjusted for the 3D shift. And the strategic boss fights are better than ever.

We’ve often seen how the effort to be too ambitious when leaping to 3D can kill a series (the Mega Man X series springs to mind), so Kirby sticking to its tried and true formula is wonderful. The whole gang is here, and if you’re a long-time Kirby enjoyer, getting used to Forgotten Land will be like slipping into a comfy pair of shoes. And this is something I’m pleased about as I wasn’t seeking a groundbreaking or innovative adventure.

However, there is one crazy new feature present in Forgotten Land. In Mouthful Mode, instead of devouring the object in his way, Kirby decides to become the said object and take it for a spin. Be that a cone, a vending machine, a car, a locker, an arch, or even a staircase. Utilizing Kirby in these various forms makes for a great sense of variety, and they all control really well.

But that’s not the coolest thing about this feature. The best thing about Mouthful Mode is that it’s absolutely adorable. Seeing Kirby in car form is weird but so damn cute nonetheless, and I laughed so much when Kirby transformed himself into a scissor lift to reach a high platform. I actively look for this charm in Kirby games, and Forgotten Land has it in spades.


The critical component of any platformer is its stage design, and the Forgotten Land is full of well-crafted and well-designed levels for us all to enjoy. I feel that the grand scope of the game not only applies to the visuals but also to the incredibly expansive and attractive stage designs that reinvent themselves as they go.

Every stage is chock-full of clever gimmicks and cool ideas that keep the whole experience feeling rewarding and exciting. Time flies when you’re traversing these stages. I never wished for the end of a level to come a little sooner. I was having a blast through every single stage.

As well as this, every stage features an impressive amount of secrets that reward keen eyes and curious players. As platformer fanatics know, finding a cleverly hidden collectable that you found yourself is the most rewarding feeling ever. The Forgotten Land had me feeling this at least once per stage. Spotting a crack in a wall leading to a collectable is nothing new for 3D platformers or platformers in general. Still, it’s no less rewarding when your curiosity allows you to uncover something unique.

This is a game I will absolutely be going for completion on. And then I will probably play again because I can’t get enough of uncovering hidden treasure in this game. Best feeling ever.

The secondary objectives in each stage are great too. While the main mission of every stage is to release the Waddle Dee’s from captivity, several secondary objectives in each stage will help you uncover even more of the little guys. They’ll probably have you returning to stages for second runs of the levels.

Mini-missions such as knocking down wanted posters, lighting a specific number of lanterns, eating a certain number of a specific food, and various other inventive side-quests scattered throughout the game offer a great level of replayability. It will give you something else to look out for on a stage.

They really went all out with making sure that you have something to do at all times with this game. And while I wish that these secondary missions had been clear from the stage selection rather than only appearing once the stage is already beaten, it didn’t bother me too much. Maybe all this being available from the off might’ve been overwhelming.


So, adorable and well-designed, how accessible is it? If you’re familiar with difficulty in the Kirby series, you’ll know that these games are not well-known for being hard. Quite the opposite. Kirby games are chill, relaxing platformers that allow you to breeze through the stages, having a fun, cute adventure.

Forgotten Land certainly conforms to this pattern. However, they have their moments of casually challenging you to remind you that you are playing a platformer. This is not a challenging game, but it will take opportunities to catch you out if you become too chill. This is one of the great appeals of the Kirby series, and it’s satisfying to beat but frustration-free.

I’ll say that I feel the boss fights have taken a step up in difficulty from previous entries. Many of them require quick reflexes and tight manoeuvring to take down effectively. Still, none took me more than two attempts, so nothing to worry about.

It was funny when I first saw that the game has an easier difficulty as I never imagined a Kirby game would ever need one. Still, I appreciate the inclusion as now anyone can jump in and enjoy the adventure no matter their skill level. Plus, if you’re finding things too difficult, you can take advantage of the lovely easy mode the developers have implemented.

Also, I discovered when Googling this game that the developers have included some form of game design witchcraft. They worked out a way of utilizing camera positioning to determine collision detection. So if you look like you hit something, you did. And I find this is a genius tool for combatting the ever-problematic issue of depth perception in 3D games.


Kirby And The Forgotten Land is excellent. It’s full of great levels, beautiful visuals, adorable soundtracks, and all the dance move a Kirby fanboy could ask for. This game will satisfy fans of the pink puffball’s adventures while also remaining accessible to new gamers looking for a relaxing adventure that they can quickly sink into.

The ambition is higher than ever before with Kirby’s first foray into the 3rd dimension. Still, none of this distracts from the pure simplicity of its gameplay, and the result is a fantastic adventure full of great ideas and unforgettable moments that I cannot get enough of.

I understand that £50 is a lot for a game that only offers the basic Kirby concepts. Unless you’re actively looking for something relaxing and conventional then your money is probably better spent elsewhere. Still, if you’re looking for a fun, frustration-free distraction, you absolutely cannot do better than Kirby And The Forgotten Land.

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