E3 10: Kirby’s Epic Yarn hands-on

June 20, 2010

Nintendo’s been known to put together games that are completely out of left field, and this year, it’s Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It’s a Kirby game, but it doesn’t play at all like a Kirby game.

In the game, you play as Kirby (or, if you’re player two, a guy named Prince Fluff) as he ventures through a land of yarn and cloth. This Kirby, though, has no sucking ability, so he can’t absorb powers and he can’t float along forever either. I guess this makes sense, as he’s now made of a string of yarn, and I doubt it would hold air very well anyway. What he can do is use the yarn for various functions. He can use it as a lasso to hit enemies, pull zippers and hold on to buttons. He can rearrange himself into a balloon to float down slowly after jumping, and into a car to dash faster on the ground. 

The true charm of the game comes from the fact that this “cloth and string” motif is taken to its limit. Kirby can slip between cloth layers, and the stitches are platforms he can stand on. He can pull on strings to crumple up the level’s material and rearrange it to his benefit. Seeing the game in action is just cool, and we’ll be interested to see what other directions the team will take it through the course of the story.

They were showing off a special level in which the players get rearranged into a big tank, shooting missiles and swinging arms to hit enemies. Since you can make yarn look like anything, the possibilities are endless, and the cooperative aspect of each player working different functions makes things interesting too.

It may not seem like a good idea on paper, but in practice this thing looks brilliant. It’s out later this year, so expect a full review then.