Preview: Mass Attack is Kirby’s next experiment

July 1, 2011

Kirby is Nintendo’s favorite test subject. If there’s something new, untested or just plain weird being cooked up at the Big N, chances are that the pink puffball will get thrown into it somehow. He’s been tilted and tumbled, cursed, turned into yarn and caught in an avalanche. Now he’s been cloned repeatedly. As with the other quirky Kirby games, though, it’s shaping up to be quite fun.

In Kirby: Mass Attack, you control a large crowd of Kirbys with your stylus, tapping and flicking them to take various actions and get them through a level. It’s weird, but it works in a Pikmin-like way: You send out a Kirby to attack something or jump over something, and you just keep moving as the guys are attracted like magnets to your stylus touch.

The game’s about building up lots of guys and using their mass power to take down huge enemies and obstacles. If you’re not careful, you’ll kill one, but you can gather fruit until you spawn up to ten of them. What we played in our demo wasn’t that difficult, but Kirby never is; still, we’re hoping there are well-thought-out challenges as the final game progresses.

Kirby: Mass Attack releases September 19 for the DS. Yes, the DS, and yes, it will likely be overshadowed by its three-dimensional brethren.  Kirby’s used to that, as he’s been a system’s swan song many times now.