‘Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe’ Is a Fun New Addition to Your Switch

Improved visuals, new character abilities and more

  • The Kirby franchise has been around for decades but shows no signs of slowing down.
  • This latest release improves the visuals, adds new character abilities, and offers a few extra mini-games for one to four players to enjoy.
  • Return to Dreamland Deluxe is a worthwhile revisiting of a co-op classic and a great game for veteran and new gamers alike.
A screenshot from 'Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe'.

Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe polishes up an already stellar cooperative experience from the halcyon days of the Nintendo Wii so it can shine once again on the Switch.

The cute little marshmallow exploded into gaming public consciousness with his first title in 1992, Kirby's Dreamland, and just kept going from there. He's had sequels and spin-offs, made cameos, spawned his own version of mini-golf, and was made of yarn at one point. He's also made an appearance on pretty much every Nintendo console.

The very first Kirby game was quite simple compared to most of the rest of the Game Boy's library (let alone other consoles of the era) and has largely remained unchanged over the years. This is not a bad thing, though, as Kirby's general approachability has been an ongoing strength. All of his main games are relatively unchallenging, which may not be ideal for someone looking to test their skills, but it's great if you're looking for a more relaxing time. Additionally, while simply completing a given level may be relatively easy, finding all the hidden items and secrets adds a bit more nuance and provides a reason to keep coming back.

Why It’s Called 'Deluxe'

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land is not a new game, per se—it actually came out in 2011 for the Nintendo Wii. This took the classic, all-ages Kirby formula and emphasized the cooperation of up to four other players sharing the console, each taking control of either Kirby or one of his friends. Everyone could join the fray simultaneously in a leisurely stroll through each level, a race to the end, or whatever other approach they felt like taking. The game also included several mini-games of assorted types for one to four players to compete in if they wanted a break from the regular game.

A screenshot from 'Kibry's Return to Dreamland Deluxe'.

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is that same Wii game, polished up to look better on the Switch and modern high-definition TVs, with a few more bonuses. And compared to the original, this Switch release definitely looks sharper and offers more visual detail on the characters and environments.

Aside from the obvious facelift, Deluxe also adds two new enemy abilities that weren’t in the original game: Mecha and Sand, each with its own assorted moves to play around with. There are a few new mini-games added just for this release as well. Plus, there’s an entirely new post-credits standalone campaign starring Magolor, whose busted spaceship is the primary reason for Kirby’s adventuring this time around.

On Returning to Dream Land

Even without prior knowledge of Kirby's previous games, it's easy to (pardon the pun) get sucked into Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe. It's a breeze to pick up and play, thanks to its relatively simple controls. Plus, if you want even less stress, you can use Magolor's help to double everyone's capacity for taking damage and save anyone who may fall into a pit.

A screenshot from 'Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe'.

It's also a game packed with personality and charm. Virtually all creatures—friendly or not—are cute and cartoony. But more than that, the characters you can control have a number of unique animations that are just freakin' adorable. If you pick up a health item and someone else could have used it more, walk up to them, and your characters will automatically hug to share the effects. When you swim in water, everyone dons their own floatation device—or puts on diving goggles when you swim below the surface.

All of that cuteness extends to the mini-games as well. Many of the games have their own special animations to depict everyone tossing throwing stars, firing dart guns, gulping down eggs, and a whole lot more. The winner gets a little victory celebration, which can also differ depending on what's played, while all the other participants clap for them.

Ultimately, Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a great game for regular players and those who rarely play, especially if you're all hanging out on the couch at the same time.

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