Since becoming a dad, I’ve collected quite the stack of video games that went unplayed. Recently, the decision was made that some of the more kid friendly multiplayer games would be dusted off so my kids and I would finally work through them as a team. So, if I’m going to be doing this, why not post a quick review in case you want to play too? The beauty of these old games is many of them can be picked up for cheap. Your kids can get a bit of a video game history lesson as well as bonding time.
The first game on the list was Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Nintendo Wii. This platforming game wound up in my unplayed stack because when I first saw the video coming out of E3 in 2010, I loved the idea and had to play it…but a baby didn’t allow that to happen.
Kirby’s Dream Land is invaded by an evil sorcerer named Yin-Yarn that turns everything into fabric. Kirby winds up in Patch Land where he helps Prince Fluff stitch Patch Land back together and eventually defeat Yin-Yarn. The story is told beautifully in short cut scenes that are read like a child’s bedtime book.
This game itself is beautiful. Everything is made of yarn, fabric, string, buttons and many other textile related items. The look is also a functional aspect to the game. Pull on a button and part of the level folds up. Open a zipper to reveal a hidden passage. Unravel a bad guy, roll him into a ball and use him as a projectile. The imagination in the design is fantastic.
To break up the standard platforming style, at certain points through out the game, Kirby and Prince Fluff happen upon some extra yarn that they add to themselves and make themselves into space ships, tanks, trains, and even dolphins. My kids really loved these moments.
The controls were very easy for my kids to understand. For the most part, it plays with just the use of the D-pad and 2 buttons. The only difficulty they did have was when Kirby and Prince Fluff turned into a train. The Wii Remote needed to be pointed at the screen and they had a difficult time doing that. To be fair, even I had a tough time figuring out exactly how the tracks were supposed to be drawn.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a two player game, so we traded controllers around after every level. Everyone stayed entertained and once Yin-Yarn was defeated, we still had hidden items and levels to go back and play through. We all had a good time and I highly recommend this one for boys and girls.