Kirby: Mass Attack DS

9 Overall Score

Fun! | Great art direction | Tonnes of content | Perfect difficulty curve

Swarms can be unwieldy | No story to speak of

I was going to start this review off by mentioning how rare it is to find a game that I could recommend to literally everyone.  Then I started thinking about it, and there are more games with simple controls, beautiful art direction and a great difficulty curve than I had originally thought.  Many of them are Nintendo games, and Kirby: Mass Attack is another gem, a game that is thoroughly enjoyable.

The core gameplay is reminiscent of the LocoRoco titles for the Sony PSP and PS3.  If you haven’t played them, the main hook is that instead of controlling a single protagonist (Mario, Master Chief, Gordon Freeman, etc.) you are actually controlling a swarm.  For every 100 fruit points you collect, you get another Kirby to help you out, up to a maximum of 10.  And having 10 is something you really should try and do, even though the more you have, the more unwieldy it can be to control the swarm.

A single tap on the touchscreen has your Kirbys saunter over, a double tap makes them run (or swim furiously with cute little serious eyebrows) wherever you would like them to go.  You can touch and hold and then move the entire group in a line for a limited amount of time, or you can flick them individually.  It is simple, and the controls really work.  It can get hectic at times, but I found that was really part of the fun of it all.  Kirbys will automatically attack enemies that they touch, and the more you have the faster you will push switches, defeat enemies and do various other tasks.  At times you will need a specific number of Kirbys to access areas of the game, which really encourages you to keep them all alive as best you can.

This is helped by a generous hit system, if your Kirby takes a hit he turns blue (and can be turned back pink to full health by floating health rings that show up halfway through levels at times) and if he’s hit again he gets KO’d and becomes a ghost that slowly floats up, up and away to heaven.  Thankfully you can grab him with a Kirby and drag him back down to earth to help out. (Not getting away that easy!)

The difficultly level of the game really depends on how you play it.  If you’re just going to have fun playing through the levels, then you shouldn’t have too many problems.  The difficulty ramps up nicely and never leaves  you feeling frustrated at having to attempt something impossible.  At the same time, if you feel like going for the optional objectives, you will have many more problems.  So why would you want to try and collect the hidden medals and be awarded the no damage or no KO stars at the end of each level?  Why for the copious amounts of extra content of course!  This includes a music player with tracks from the game, a movie player and all kinds of mini-games.  Don’t get turned off by the title mini-game though, some are excellent!  My favourite was the scrolling Kirby-shooter, where you control a swarm of Kirbys shooting energy at old enemies and bosses from classic Kirby games.  The challenges can be difficult, but they’re actually quite worth it.

This has been a glowing review so far… and honestly I’ve been trying to find nits to pick but I honestly can’t find any.  Sometimes a dust storm will kick up and you’ll loose sight of some Kirbys, or one will get stuck out somewhere and you’ll have to go back and get them, but every time that happened I didn’t feel like it was the game making things difficult for me, it was just me not keeping a tight enough leash on my swarm.  Honestly it’s probably the most complete game I’ve played on the DS since New Super Mario Brothers. Through all of the 50-odd stages, the mini-games and everything else, I had fun.  And that’s the most important thing.  I wasn’t reviewing a game, I was honestly just having all kinds of fun.


Want to know what our review scores mean? Read about it here.


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Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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