Parents' Guide to

Super Kirby Clash

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Team-based freemium game lures kids to spend real money.

Game Nintendo Switch 2019
Super Kirby Clash Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 6+

This is only pseudo-freemium, and one of THE BEST "action" games for younger kids!

Brief intro, I'm somewhat familiar with a lot of freemium models for games, I always seem to try them out, most I quickly give up on. Super Kirby Clash, however, is part of a "new style" of freemium that is MUCH more about "paying what's appropriate" than manipulating you to pay for the same thing multiple times. So let's back up a moment, and say why it's good. You can play with 4 people at a time (including locally on one Switch), with simple controls, against engaging and cartoony bosses. Even if you take damage and run out of "stamina", your character falls down, yells "Help!", and someone can come over and press a button to pick them back up with some health. It's extremely forgiving, the only way to "lose" is to run out of time, or if everyone gets knocked out at once. I played with my 6, 7, and 8 year old (two boys, one girl), all pretty new to video games, and they all loved it. There are 4 different "roles" to play, and it was neat to see them choose the role they like best. You also have very simple upgrades to weapons and armor, which update very simple stats. It is an extremely chill but engaging game, especially for adults to play with kids. Now, let's circle back to the freemium model. The "premium currency" is "gem apples", you spend them for various kinds of progression. However, putting money into the game gives you a PERMANENT increase to the amount of gem apples you get every 12 hours. The cheapest is less than a dollar, to buy 50 gem apples, and which will forever give you 20 gem apples every 12 hours instead of 10. You can also spend gem apples, fairly cheaply, for other kinds of benefits that permanently improve playtime or progression. That's why I call this "pseudo-freemium", because it's almost like you're paying for the number of boss battles you can reasonable expect to unlock and win against. Because most of the "game" isn't progression through some story, but choosing a boss fight, choosing an interesting combination of roles, trying to beat your record time, or trying to get all the achievements for a particular boss. And all in a way that's still extremely accessible for young kids. Using gem apples to refresh your playtime is extremely cheap, compared to how many you get every 12 hours, so there's very little lost when losing a particular battle. Personally, I tried out the game, looked at the options, and chose the one that was about $4. That gives me 30 gem apples per 12 hours (tripling the original rate), and I've never needed to put in more money. I've already unlocked enough interesting boss battles to last our family for quite a while. And I just think it's great to see examples of "freemium" moving away from merely predatory, to more of a "pay for what you want" model, where you can choose between the "budget price" and the "full price" depending on how seriously you want to take the game. That all being said, I only give it four stars, because some of the information I have put here is NOT very clear or obvious in the game. I feel like the game needed a better tutorial or consolidated reference page. The game works best when there's an adult to "facilitate" things, especially getting those permanent benefits early. Also, yeah, if kids play unsupervised you need to put your credit card behind a password. But with those caveats, it's still one of the best whole-family action games on the Switch.
age 10+

Fun for the whole family.

I love that super Kirby clash is available on the switch. It is free to play but you can make purchases to speed up character ability progression in the game. Super cute game, clean crisp graphics, and I love you can play with 4 people!!! Definitely give it a try.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (8 ):

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.

Game Details

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