Kirby's Epic Yarn

Common Sense Media says

Original and beautiful platformer is one of the year's best.





What parents need to know

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

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.

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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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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
Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 17, 2010
ESRB rating:E for Mild Cartoon Violence (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Kirby's Epic Yarn was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 9 years old September 15, 2012

Cute Little Land, Cute Little Story

Kirby's Epic Yarn is a the only Kirby game for little kids, but even adults enjoy it. It's rated E, there very mild violence, and a cute little story. I also noticed that when Kirby isn't yarn, He's the Kirby Super Star Ultra artwork.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Easy to play/use
Kid, 9 years old March 11, 2011

Great Fun Game

I love this game its awsome. No blood.No gore.Just awsome.It is so fun.But the snow level were Kirby must turn into a sled is hard,even for a advaneced gamer like me.But its fun and good.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written bySynchronicity October 19, 2010

Epic beyond belief; perfect for anyone who can pick up a controller

How long has it been since a new Kirby game? I don't know...maybe 3 years if you count any game in the series, 7 for console installments, and 10 for console installments that stick to Kirby's true roots of Mario-gone-epically-cute. Any way you slice it, it seemed like forever. Now, we finally have one of the best games in the history of this Nintendo mascot's life. Kirby's Epic Yarn is not only one of the best Nintendo Wii games ever made, it is also one of the best GAMES ever made. There's always been an argument that games aren't art. There's also been an argument that Wii games have horrible graphics. A play through Kirby's Epic Yarn would make a MOMA staff member fall in love with gaming and will also make even the most HD-addicted cretin smile and say "LOOK AT THOSE GRAPHICS! ON THE WII!" The handmade yarn look to the game is ingenious and creative in a world where every HD FPS looks the same. Kirby is as cute as always, but the yarn look makes everything look impossibly cute. Even the usually frightening King Dedede and Meta Knight will make you smile. No need to explain the story, though all of the cutscenes that tell it are done with high production values and have (gasp) GOOD VOICE ACTING! Shocking, I know. The gameplay itself is terrific. In lieu of the (sorely missed) copy abilities are equally intriguing transformations. Kirby can become a car, a submarine, a fire truck, a tanklike thing, a surfing penguin, and so forth. Although the game is simply collecting beads and finding hidden treasures, there's just so much else to do that this isn't really the whole point of Kirby's Epic Yarn. Yeah, you don't die, but that only makes the level of challenge you actually do have to put into it harder. While the average inexperienced gamer could zip through a level without a hitch, the more hardcore types (like me) can search through levels, unlocking every secret passageway and scoring gold medals (representative of how many beads you collected) on every stage. That takes quite a bit of time. Also, co-op mode is quite fun. Whereas in NSMBWii (which Epic Yarn is compared to quite often), your teammates can jump on you like crazy for no apparent reason and worse, in Kirby's Epic Yarn, Prince Fluff (your sidekick/Player 2) is more, in a word, princely. In other words, Player 2 can still kick Player 1 around, and vice versa, but it's more for a good cause than anything. In short, Kirby's Epic Yarn is an excellent game for gamers of any age. The only thing worth mentioning is that there's some minor violence throughout the game. Your method of attack is a whip/extendable arm of sorts that can be used to turn your enemies into balls of yarn. It's not graphic at all, really. Again, you don't die in this game, but boss fights can be a wee bit too intense for the youngest. Overall, though, if you own a Wii, you MUST BUY THIS GAME. Enough said. <(^"^)>
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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