Developer: HAL Labs |
Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1 Player Game |
Genre: Platform

Release Date: 06/13/05

If there is one thing that the Nintendo DS needs, it is to build upon the successes of their original and fun gaming experiences. Since this is the world’s first handheld gaming system that is designed with a touch screen, the industry has been slow to come up with new ideas for game titles. Even Nintendo seems to be facing a high learning curve when designing games for the DS. This is evident by the lack of AAA quality titles. However, with the upcoming release of Kirby: Canvas Curse, Nintendo may finally have a killer-ap for the DS.

Players take control of Kirby by using the Nintendo DS stylus. To move Kirby, you draw a line of rainbows for him to move on. This is similar to the clouds you drew for Yoshi to walk on in Yoshi Touch & Go. You can draw any type of path you want Kirby to roll on—even Sonic-esque loops. While this creates an impulse to go “rainbow-crazy,â€? you do not have an endless supply of rainbows. Your supply will evaporate while you are in the process of drawing rainbow. It will then slowly fill back up when you aren’t using it.

As with most platformers, players must watch out for enemies on the screen. Kirby can take a few hits but if he takes enough damage, he will die. To keep him safe, you must tap on the enemies on the screen and then draw a path for Kirby to roll over them. Fortunately there are a few power-ups players can find that will give Kirby new powers. Like in past Kirby games, these can be found by absorbing the powers of his enemies.

When you first play Kirby: Canvas Curse, you may feel like the game runs too slow. While it may not move as fast as Sonic, I found that because this is a new gameplay style you are learning, if it played any faster, the title would be very difficult.

Like we mentioned above, Kirby is controlled exclusively by the stylus. The player will never use a button during the game. From what we have seen of Kirby: Canvas Curse, this is the first Nintendo title on the DS that seems to not be a tech demo forced into a full game. This is a real platformer with bosses, lots of gameplay, and tons of fun.

Kirby was just released in Japan a few months ago as Touch! Kirby. Unfortunately for US gamers, we will have to wait until June 26 to play it. In addition to that, I find that the Japanese title is much better than the US one. Despite this, Kirby Canvas Curse looks and plays so well that this will be one title worth waiting for.

By Kaleb Rutherford – 05/10/05

Screenshots for Kirby: Canvas Curse (Pre-E3 2005)