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Kirby's Blowout Blast 3DS review - A tasty but insubstantial amuse-bouche

For: 3DS
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Hungry for more

Product: Kirby's Blowout Blast | Publisher: Nintendo | Format: 3DS | Genre: Action, Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Kirby might not be a top tier Nintendo star like Mario or Link, but that has resulted in a willingness to try the pink blob out in smaller, quirkier fare.

You don't expect a Kirby game to be anything other than bright and fun - and perhaps to include the his/her trademark ability to hoover up baddies into his cake-hole.

So it proves with Kirby's Blowout Blast, a compact action-platformer that's as breezy as they come.

Blister-shaped B-lister

This is a decidedly honed, stripped back take on Nintendo's rotund B-lister. Its 2.5D platformer levels are very simple and linear, essentially serving to shuttle you from one micro-arena encounter to the next.

The true aim of the game here is to suck up a spawning baddy or (preferably) more and spit them at an even larger group. The more enemies you take out at once, the better. It's kind of like a game of free-roaming, rainbow-coloured bowling, but one where spitting is actively encouraged.

There's a curiously visceral thrill to hoovering up a clump of enemies, lining up an intersecting group of their counterparts with the thumb pad, and scattering them with a well placed spitball.

The sheer feel of this shooting mechanic (which is essentially what it is) just feels right, and bears comparison to your favourite weapon in a triple-A console FPS.

Sucks to be you

Kirby's Blowout Blast feels great to play, then, but that isn't enough to lift it to essential status.

Nintendo has squeezed the game's exquisite mechanics into an extremely rudimentary, workmanlike set of levels. The layouts here are just too basic, repetitive and unimaginative for their own good, and a sense of over-familiarity quickly sets in.

At least they're snappy affairs, lasting just a few minutes each. The final one in each set contains a boss, but the general difficulty level is decidedly low.

Stay puffed, marshmallow-man

Thankfully there is genuine replayability here, thanks to the game's tiered scoring system in combination with those tactile controls. You'll want to return to get that last gold medal, which in turn will unlock the trickier 'EX' levels.

It's also worth mentioning how good the game looks. After playing the somewhat ropey-looking Hey! Pikmin I had forgotten how pretty 3DS games could be. Nintendo's chunky 3D work and punchy effects here act as a fine reminder.

Kirby's Blowout Blast isn't Nintendo at its finest then. There isn't the requisite level of multi-faceted ingenuity for that. But the moment-to-moment action is extremely satisfying - a ream of digital bubble-wrap you can't help fiddling with in idle moments.
Kirby's Blowout Blast 3DS review - A tasty but insubstantial amuse-bouche
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 12 September 2017
Just like its star, Kirby's Blowout Blast is bright and fun, if a little lacking in substance
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