Kirby’s Dreamland (aka Hoshi no Kirby/Kirby of the Stars in Japan) is a 1992 platformer for the Gameboy developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo. The game was first created to be a simple and easy platformer for beginners and unlike Kirby’s Adventure that came a year later and all other games (including this games two sequels) there was no copy ability.
Getting to the title screen it was quite nice to see that it was animated with Kirby’s at the bottom traveling across the screen. Since I was using an emulator I set it to use what a Gameboy color would use so while everything still seems white its nice to at last have a hint at his actual color.
As for options there doesn’t seem to be any at all but there is an unlockable hard mode if you win the game (well actually its just up, A and select at the title screen but you’re usually told that after the credits).
When you got into the game you could tell that it would probably look better without color although having the proper Kirby was nice, the music however doesn’t seem to have aged at all and is very enjoyable.
Controls were mostly easy with sucking/spitting and eating being easy but while the first jump was simple enough you actually have to press up to puff up and fly. As for that though its immediately noticeable just how easy the game can be, not only could you just eat pretty much every enemy (or spit them into eachother for more points) but its entirely possible to just fly over them. Of course I wouldn’t do the latter, just because you can doesn’t mean you have to (apparently some reviewers complained about it).
What I found quite interesting is that while there was no copy abilities or powers there were still enemies that would of in later games, in fact some of the enemies are really weird. The boss of the 2nd stage is very noticeably Lolo and Lala from Adventures of Lolo which is quite a nice little cameo except for the fact it makes Kirby seem super evil. Talking about bosses though they’re quite easy to beat because they follow a set pattern and don’t have much life but they’re not boring because of this.
Sadly even if you were to enjoy this its only 5 stages including what is essentially a bosh rush and doesn’t last that long even replaying it in hard mode might make it last a bit longer. At least all the bosses were interesting and the final boss actually did have a bit of a challenge as you worked out its pattern of attacks. Really when you think about it the game did its job as a game for beginners and I can easily see this as a good thing to start off before they get into the more complex games in the Kirby series (where you have copy powers).
Overall I have to agree that this game is worse than the later ones in the series but i wouldn’t say its bad in a way that you shouldn’t give it a try. In fact I’m honestly quite sick of seeing people talk about Kirby’s Adventure all the time.