Kirby's Epic Yarn hands-on: ZOMG CUTE

We’ve been in love with Epic Yarn since its cheerful E3 debut, so the fact our latest round of hands-on time left us brimming with joy should come as no surprise. We already knew the game’s storybook-like world was immensely charming and destined to be one of the most alluring games in Wii’s entire library, but we had a sneaking suspicion the actual gameplay might be too straightforward. Thankfully that’s not the case, as Epic Yarn is loaded with rewards and incentives to keep playing.

Above: But yeah, Patch Land’s gorgeous environments are still the star

Besting enemies, discovering hidden areas and completing levels all net Kirby beads, which can then be spent in Quilty Square, the game’s huggable hub world that houses various fuzzy denizens. Kirby has a living space in Quilty Square that can be filled with furniture and other decorations, each of which can be altered, cloned or customized to varying degrees. Further pieces of knick-knackery can be bought in the shops or unlocked in the game, along with new fabric patterns and other oddities found in your travels.

Even though you can’t share your room design with online friends, there’s still a certain delight in creating Kirby a swanky pad. And if you’re really dedicated, you can purchase apartments for tenants – if you meet their needy requirements, they’ll set you on smaller tasks (we won’t call them minigames) that’ll earn you even more rare items for your house. Yes, it sounds silly and maybe even like a low rent Animal Crossing, but as an extra wrinkle in an already lovely game, it’s a fun side quest to dabble in.

Above: Kirby and player two’s Prince Fluff navigate Dino Land

But the bulk of the game will still be spent running through each deliciously saccharine world. We stomped through Grass Land, Hot Land, Treat Land and the above Dino Land, each loaded with theme-specific obstacles, enemies and bosses. Hot Land, for instance, features a special transformation in which Kirby (and Fluff, if you’re in co-op) morph into fire trucks and spray stringy water to douse some brilliantly rendered fire. Too cute!

Above: It’s so friggin’ adorable! String water, people!

Co-op isn’t required, but in our experience it really added to the fun. If you’re together, those transformation attacks gain an extra feature (like an added attack or slight control alterations), plus the added help will come in handy while trying to finish each level with the most beads, gems and medals as possible. Completing levels with gold medals, for instance, could open up previously invisible areas of the land map. Like so:

Above: The Hot Land map, just as a new area is unfolding. Notice the smoky area above the stringy genie – that won’t open up until you’ve met some other requirements

Aside from cuteness, the overriding feeling we had while playing Epic Yarn was “relaxation.” It’s such a smooth, inviting, easygoing time that it’s the perfect counterbalance to all the M-rated gruff-offs coming out in the exact same timeframe. Get this – you can’t even die! At worst you finish the level with fewer beads and maybe have to try it again for a better finish. Don’t want to? That’s cool, just move along and you’ll still see the boss (which yeah, you do have to beat that).

Above: Cute, simple fun presented in a living children’s book

Epic Yarn hits October 17, and you can check the rest of our screens here. Obviously I can’t wait, but I do want to reiterate that the level-to-level stuff is still straightforward, just so damn pretty. It’s possible the cuteness overload could be too much, but if so, you might be a heartless monster with no soul.




  • Persephone_ - September 21, 2010 10:13 a.m.

    ZOMG! That's my birthday ^_^ (present me thinks)....
  • ThatGuyFromTV - September 17, 2010 4:51 a.m.

    Can't die? uh oh... reminds me of the Prince of Persia reboot...
  • Cleanser247 - September 16, 2010 8:41 p.m.

    Looks pretty good, brings back lots of memories:)
  • db1331 - September 16, 2010 7:04 p.m.

    I'm so damn awesome at video games that I wouldn't even notice it if you couldn't die. Dying is for noobs. (I died in Galaxy 2 a lot)
  • Spybreak8 - September 16, 2010 5:04 p.m.

    That is super cool. OH funny story, my roomate asked me what I thought about Epic Yawn. Hahaha, oh it's sooo boring, Epic Yawn haha.
  • sixboxes - September 16, 2010 3:24 p.m.

    Who the hell cares if you can't die? This doesn't look like your standard game experience anyway - it doesn't need to be qualified by lives or game overs when it's the gaming equivalent of laying down in a pile of puppies. Besides, death in a game so cute would be incongruous to the point of upsetting. I could just watch the video over and over because it makes me smile so much. I don't know if I could actually play it without melting. Is that enough adorableness-based hyperbole for you?
  • Geminiman82 - September 16, 2010 1:46 p.m.

    So friggin cute and I CANNOT WAIT!
  • TomMishkin - September 16, 2010 1:08 p.m.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAW. Now my kitty looks like a Zerg in comparison. Sad kitty is sad! Don't be sad, little kitty, look at Kirby, you adorable kitty! But seriously, apart from the cuteness it looks like a STUNNING piece of work, judging from the video. The animation is unbelievable.
  • NightCrawler_358 - September 16, 2010 12:26 p.m.

    Wow! Im definitely pulling out my old Wii for this one! I havent played Kirby in years!
  • EnragedTortoise1 - September 16, 2010 12:20 p.m.

    SO... cute... must...complain... about... no...deaths.....D'AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
  • PrierAdmirer - September 16, 2010 7:36 a.m.

    Awwwww, keep on being cute and awesome Kirby. This looks like an interesting title. The difficulty doesn't sound too appealing, I mean Kirby Ultra Star was hard, maybe Epic Yarn might have a difficulty for those who like a little bit of difficulty?
  • bball42242442 - September 16, 2010 5 a.m.

    dawww i'm def gonna pick this up on GF. Kirby is my man on SSB n he's just too cute too resist! lol
  • Darkmessiah24 - September 16, 2010 4:02 a.m.

    The cuteness of Kirby can never escape!
  • super0sonic - September 16, 2010 3:59 a.m.

    When i see screen shots it looks like art and i can't comprehend how the hell its animated. and even in a video it blows my mind.
  • Hotdiddykong - September 16, 2010 2:40 a.m.

    all those yarn,and all those string water. I can't wait for this cute adventure ^________^ @Darkmagshig no shit Sherlock,Kirby's been from Nintendo and never set foot in those disgusting Sony and microsft consoles,plus its too good for DS
  • darkmagshin - September 16, 2010 2:15 a.m.

    wait, epic yarn is a wii game?? uuugggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  • Ridgley - September 16, 2010 2:04 a.m.

    I love Kirby, but I hate Yoshi's Story.
  • batmanboy11 - September 16, 2010 1:56 a.m.

    Looks really awesome.
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - September 16, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    @Genericide I have to say, the music is quite nice. It's not the usual bouncy-bouncy-bouncy Kirby stuff. Takes a page from Galaxy and has actual orchestra music with pianos and strings, but still in an energetic fashion. A couple of tracks really stuck out to me, so I think you'll enjoy it.
  • garnsr - September 16, 2010 12:07 a.m.

    What age is acceptable to make the viewer let me watch a Kirby video?

Showing 1-20 of 31 comments

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