A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players are lightly encouraged to communicate with one another (via a selection of pre-written text options) and work as a team to defeat enemies.
Positive Role Models
Kirby and his friends are pretty one-dimensional, expressing little personality beyond a willingness -- perhaps even an eagerness -- to jump into battle after battle.
Ease of Play
Combat and progression are both explained in short, simple tutorials and are very straightforward. Difficulty depends largely on the power of the monster you take on and the skill and ability of the team with which you face it.
Violence & Scariness
Kirby and his teammates use swords, hammers, and magic to strike at fantastical enemies, such as a four-legged horned beast or fire-throwing knight monster. Defeated foes simply disappear.
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Products & Purchases
Players are lured to spend real-world money on in-game currency (gem apples) in order to level up faster and gain quicker access to more powerful gear. Currency bundles range up to $40 in price. Amiibo (sold separately) can also be used to earn useful rewards.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Super Kirby Clash is a downloadable free-to-play action game for the Nintendo Switch. Working alone or in teams of up to four (locally or online) players choose a character and accept missions to fight monsters using swords, hammers, and magic. There's no blood or gore, and enemies simply disappear once defeated. Motivation to continue playing comes from a progression system in which players level up and purchase better gear to become stronger. The gameplay encourages players to spend real-world money in order to progress more quickly. It's possible to play without spending any money, but players can speed up their progression via in-game microtransactions that trigger faster experience gains and quicker access to more powerful weapons and armor.
Is It Any Good?
A free to play adventure game sounds like a no-lose proposition, but this isn't a typical adventure game from this popular franchise. Unlike traditional Kirby games, which tend to wow players with their innovative art design, clever play, and gentle vibe, Super Kirby Clash is focused on boss battle combat and a never-ending quest to progress and grow in power. The fights aren't any more intense than in other Kirby games, but without Kirby's ability to suck up enemies and take on their powers -- all he can really do is swing his currently equipped weapon or cast a spell -- it begins to feel repetitive before too long. There's an element of strategy that can be exploited by players working in teams and using their role's specific abilities to effectively assist teammates, but it's pretty basic, verging on non-existent if other players don't cooperate. Most battles are won simply by hammering the attack button and dodging or guarding against enemy attacks at the right moment. And while it's nice that you can play offline with the help of AI teammates, you'll experience more success and progress more quickly if you play with friends or strangers online.
The focus on microtransactions also sends up a red flag, though it's worth noting that you never need to spend to progress. You can always keep moving forward -- even if it's slow at times -- so long as you have patience. More or less. If you run out of vigor, you'll need to wait for it to recharge before taking on another battle, but the good news is that this is a game best played in short bursts in order to keep a sense of repetition from setting in. Super Kirby Clash's free-to-play model means there's not much risk in giving it a shot, but parents should be cautious when providing kids access to in-game transactions.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.