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‘Kirby’s Dream Buffet’: A Delectable Party Game In Bite-Sized Chunks

‘Kirby’s Dream Buffet’: A Delectable Party Game In Bite-Sized Chunks

Kirby's Dream Buffet is a sweet and simple party game, but how does it compare to the likes of Fall Guys? Our impressions here.

You know, I don’t think there’s a single Kirby game out there that isn’t a delight to play. There’s something about the pink puffball that just exudes pure happiness - it’s very difficult to go into any of his titles and not smile at the adorable characters, scenery, and music which slaps way harder than it has any right to.

For that reason, it’s probably no surprise to hear that Kirby’s Dream Buffet is no exception. The digital-only budget title dropped on the Nintendo eShop earlier this week, providing four-player party game mayhem with that cutesy Kirby coat of paint on top, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The colourful food-themed aesthetic looks good enough to eat, and its cheery accompanying soundtrack is just a joy.

Take a look at the trailer for Kirby's Dream Buffet below.

Following its announcement, the general consensus of the internet based on the trailer alone seemed to basically be “oh, neat, it’s Kirby Fall Guys”, but is that really an accurate comparison? In the sense that it’s a fast-paced party game, sure. But overall? Not really - let me explain. 

Kirby’s Dream Buffet consists of four main modes - Single Race, Single Minigame, Single Battle Royale, and Gourmet Grand Prix - which consists of all the above (and an extra race, for good measure). Regardless of the mode, or the difficulty level you’re playing at, your goal is simple - eat the most strawberries and become bigger than your fellow Kirby opponents. You can play any of these online (either against friends or random players), alone against CPU, or locally (although only two people can play on a single Switch - for a full four player party, you’ll need two consoles).

In races, you’ll roll down the various food themed courses, jumping and navigating around obstacles and collecting the fruits in your path. You can also pick up copy abilities from Mario Kart-esque item boxes - the Burning Pepper, for example, blasts you through obstacles, and the Doughnut Wheel gives you a huge speed boost to power through the course. Those who get to the finish line faster will also be able to dive into a huge cake full of strawberries, to get a massive point boost.

All the stages and courses look incredible (and will make you hungry). /

Battle royales are easily the most hectic standalone mode - in these, all four players duke it out, using the various copy ability power-ups to send each other flying off the stage. When a player gets sent out of the ring, they drop some of their strawberries, which the other players can then rush to collect. 

Minigames definitely live up to their name in being mini - they’re incredibly short, and see players doing simple tasks such as catching falling strawberries, jumping on enemies to earn strawberries, and smashing crates to get to, you guessed it, strawberries. In my opinion, these don’t really do enough to distinguish themselves from each other - they serve as more of a palette cleanser between races than anything else. 

There are a number of different courses and minigame stages to experience, but the concept remains very much the same throughout - in my time playing, most of the race courses didn’t really feel that different from each other, as there aren’t many tricky obstacles. Similarly, when I unlocked a new minigame, I found this actually meant I’d unlocked the same falling strawberry game, except on a new stage.

The biggest Kirby (the one who's eaten the most strawberries) wins. /

An entire grand prix can be completed in little over five minutes, so it’s clear that the intention of the devs almost certainly wasn’t for players to sit down and play the game for hours on end, and it does start to feel quite repetitive pretty fast. Although it’s an exceedingly charming game, its content isn’t really varied enough to have the same hook as Fall Guys, which is so easy to keep on throwing yourself into thanks to its wide amount of rounds to master, and since they can all go so wildly wrong at any given time. 

That’s not to say that Dream Buffet is bad, of course - but don’t get what it offers twisted. This is an incredibly sweet pick-up-and-play title which is good fun for short play sessions, but ultimately probably doesn’t offer a huge amount of replayability for most people, even with its plethora of collectibles (including some adorable costumes, like the burger hat) available for any player dedicated enough to unlock them all. However, for a budget game, it’s full of fun, and with its simple controls, it’s also a perfect title for any younger gamers out there - as long as you can deal with them begging you for cake after playing it.

Kirby’s Dream Buffet is out now on Nintendo Switch. Code was supplied by the publisher.

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: Nintendo, Nintendo Switch