Original Release Date: 1993
By 1993, the 16 bit era had well established itself, and the preceding 8 bit era and the systems that supported it were looking increasingly obsolete and irrelevant. This has become even more apparent looking back now, as most of the 16 bit classics have aged like a fine wine, while most of the 8 bit classics have aged…okay. It’s little wonder that the NES was largely forgotten by 1993.
However, there were still a few final swan songs for the system, and one of the more well-known ones was Kirby’s Adventure. Kirby originally debuted on the Gameboy with Kirby’s Dream Land, a short but incredibly fun and memorable platformer for the portable system. Kirby’s Adventure has everything that Dream Land had, but takes it even farther, and makes the most out of the NES’s hardware.
Among other things, Kirby’s Adventure added color, Kirby’s copy ability that has now become synonymous with the series, a bunch of mini games, more levels, more enemies, and more fun.
The thing that makes Kirby’s Adventure stand out from its NES peers is that it focuses on one thing and one thing alone: being fun. While many of the earlier NES classics do have enjoyment, a lot of them also tried to make sure they lasted as long as possible to obfuscate the fact that they weren’t actually all that long. And they primarily did this through bad or archaic design choices. But Kirby’s Adventure is an NES game that thankfully shies away from all of that. No arbitrary iteration times, no clunky controls, no cheap enemy placement, no trial and error gameplay, no limited continues, just pure, simple, and fun platforming.
In addition to avoiding archaic game design, Kirby’s Adventure also strives to make the most of what the NES can do. Its visuals and sound effects are simple but appealing, and hold up better than many of the visuals and audio of older NES games.
Kirby’s Adventure isn’t the most deep or challenging game. It’s a bit on the easy side, and it’s very possible to finish the entire game in one sitting. But every moment is packed with creativity and joy, and there’s an elegant and charming simplicity to it that makes it an excellent game worth playing even after all these years.
How well it holds up 4/4
Overall quality 8/10
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