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Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble

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Released: 2000

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: Game Boy Color

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: HAL Laboratories

Submitted by: Not given

Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble (which I shall henceforth refer to as KTT) is not a bad game. It got a lot of bad press at release, which tarnished its reputation somewhat. A planned sequel was later scrapped, leading people to believe that the game was too bad for a sequel and ruined an already broken media image of the game. But it isn’t, and here I shall explain.

Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble has a very large cartridge. Not because it is a large game, not by any stretch, but because it is fairly old and yet employs rather innovative (for the time) technology which allows you to control Kirby by moving your console. I know, I know, it’s not so amazing anymore, but it was back then.

The game is essentially a movement controlled version of Monkey Ball. You guide Kirby – an overweight pink blob, for those of you who don’t know – through a series of levels up in the clouds. You start at the beginning of a level, and you have to get to the other end by moving your GBC around, without falling off into the cloudy abyss below. Simples, and, I think, quite addictive.

There are a number of typically Kirby-esque enemies populating the levels, and they are bright and colourful in their design, making them rather endearing, if simplistic, to look at. The controls themselves are not that bad. At times they are erratic, but I am happy with them, especially when you consider this hadn’t really been done before. The thing many find a problem with is that they are actually very sensitive, making the game quite difficult, a nice change for a Kirby game if you ask me. Difficulty, I find, actually attracts me to the game. I never find myself frustrated with KTT, although I don’t seem to have improved over the years.

Around 4-5 years after this game, Nintendo used similar, if more advanced, technology in GBA outings for Wario and Yoshi, but in my mind, no amount of minigames or crying babies will ever repalce Kirby and the opposition he faces from waddles dees and such like; Kirby got there first and, though it’s a little rough around the edges, KTT is a game well worth buying (unless you’re impatient) because, beneath a rough exterior lies an underappreciated game well ahead of its time.