Kirby's Epic Yarn

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Kirby's Epic Yarn Game Poster Image
Original and beautiful platformer is one of the year's best.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

It’s a simple good-vs-evil adventure. The goal of the game is simply to save a world imperiled by a nasty magician. There is some mild, cartoonish fighting, but the focus of the game is creativity and, if you’re playing with a friend, cooperation.

Positive role models & representations

Kirby makes a fine hero. He does nothing out of anger or spite; he just wants to help. And while he does fight some stringy, quilty enemies, it is in the most innocuous of ways: he simply unravels them.

Ease of play

This is a very easy game to pick up and play. The Wii remote is held like a classic gamepad most of the time and players use just the d-pad and a couple of buttons. Note, though, that the platformer-style of play can be quite challenging at times. Players never die or run out of lives, but getting stuck for long minutes at a time trying to make a series of tricky jumps may prove frustrating for younger ones.

Violence & scariness

Kirby and his pal Prince Fluff can be struck by spears, burned by lava and bombs, and squished by icy stalactites. However, they never die or even take damage; a little angel-like creature always comes to the rescue, floating them away from the danger. On the offensive, players can whip their enemies with strings of yarn, capturing or unravelling them. Players fight the occasional large boss creature, such as a fire-breathing dragon, on black backgrounds, which may prove a little scary for very young players.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a creative and original platformer safe for anyone old enough to be able to understand how to play. The youngest players might become a little afraid while facing off against some of the game’s larger monsters, but it’s not exactly the stuff of nightmares -- all of the game’s enemies are made of yarn. Plus, they cannot kill the game’s little pink hero, only make him lose some of the beads he’s collected. Note, though, that some parts of the game are quite challenging, and that younger children will likely require the help of an older sibling or parent to complete them.

User Reviews

Parent Written bySuperdjb123 March 14, 2014

Get this game if you don't like games with violents

No blood and you can kill but it's not scary and you can't die
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written bySingleMomOf2Boys December 1, 2010

Even my little one can play

I wasn't sure about this game until my boys played it at the store and loved it. The two boys play together and it forces them to cooperate. I love how t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysmashwolf88 April 18, 2011

good side-scroller

the cute pink ball at his best
Kid, 7 years old February 6, 2011

POWER TO THE KIRBYS!

Kirby's epic yarn is very easy to play and extremly fun. It's not a win-in-2-seconds game, but not a win-in-a-million-years kind of game, It's mo... Continue reading

What's it about?

In KIRBY’S EPIC YARN, the first Wii adventure for Nintendo’s pink puffball, our titular hero has been transformed into a string of yarn by an evil magician and transported to a world made almost entirely of colorful textiles. He immediately meets a new pal, Prince Fluff (who can be controlled by a second player in cooperative play), and the two head off to save the land. But the story plays second fiddle to the game’s fascinating cloth world. Virtually everything the player sees -- buildings, characters, trees, water -- is made of sheets of fabric or strings of yarn. In fact, the cloth aesthetic actually takes on a key role in how the game plays. Kirby can use his yarn whip to snag a button and pull back an entire sheet of the background, revealing new platforms or beads to collect. He can also lasso zippers, pull down little pockets to access the collectibles they hide, and step inside sheets of fabric and move behind them, with players tracking his progress via the little bulge he makes. Plus, Kirby can transform his yarn body into useful shapes, such as a parachute to fall slowly or a weight to drop more quickly.

Is it any good?

Kirby's Epic Yarn is not like any other Kirby game that has come before. This is a full-on, Nintendo’s-game-design-genius-working-overtime masterpiece of a platformer that players young and old -- we played through the whole thing with a kindergartner as a playing partner -- will remember for years to come. Whether you’re tightening a drawstring to cleverly close the mouth of a volcano or tugging the yarn tongue of a dragon and then letting it spring back at him, it’s an extraordinarily imaginative adventure from start to finish.

It’s not quite perfect -- there are some extremely challenging moments that may frustrate younger players, and when playing cooperatively there’s a chance that one player may find him or herself locked into an area because the screen’s edges have become artificial environmental borders (something that could have been fixed had the developers simply allowed the camera to pull back a bit)--but it’s still one of the most original, memorable, and just plain beautiful platformers in years.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the connection between art and games. Art is integral in game design, but can a game in its entirety be considered a work of art? Can you think of a game the aesthetic of which functions as an integral part of the way it plays?

  • Families can also discuss scariness in games. Does the interactive nature of games make scary scenes more or less frightening than, say, those in movies and books? Do you feel less scared because you have control over what happens, or more scared because it feels as though what happens is happening to you?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii
  • Price: $49.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: October 17, 2010
  • Genre: Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence

For kids who love Creative Fun

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