Nintendo's pink puff character is back in a new adventure. Is the
Squeak Squad a step up or a step back?
Nintendo's Kirby video game franchise has been wildly successful and
popular for gamers of all ages. His cutesy image hides a rather
ferocious appetite and fantastic array of abilities. The last DS
release was Canvas Curse, an innovative title that utilized the
touch screen on the handheld, exciting gamers with its unique
versatility. Kirby Squeak Squad, the latest release in the line of
Kirby platform games, takes a more classic approach, but still
offers fun new features.
In Squeak Squad, Kirby is sitting down to a strawberry shortcake
picnic when some unseen burglar snatches the yummy treat. While
investigating this horrifying event, Kirby discovers that the thief
is actually a band of rodents called the Squeak Squad. Kirby sets
off on an adventure through 8 vibrant worlds to retrieve his
delectable snack and to foil the Squad's efforts to horde treasure
chests. Using his unique floating and inhaling abilities, he
swallows enemies and takes on their special abilities for his own.
A wonderfully designed 2D platformer, this game evolves the gameplay
of the Game Boy Advance titles with new features and content. Kirby
has 25 different fighting abilities interspersed throughout the
game, and a new function where Kirby can swallow up to five
abilities, and these can be saved to the touch screen. These saved
abilities can be combined to produce new or more powerful abilities.
Another new feature is that now Kirby affects the environment as
well as his enemies, freezing water, burning foliage, making holes,
etc. The levels are fairly easy, but the big draw lies in finding all the
secrets and items to unlock. Some items are just for added interest,
like stills for the gallery or changing Kirby's color, but some are
enhanced abilities that can be used in the game.
There are also three mini-games that can be played singly or with up
to four other players. Speedy Teatime tests the player's reaction
time by seeing if Kirby can get the food before his opponent. Smash
Ride is a battle mode game where players try to bump each other off
of a platform. Treasure Shot uses the stylus to shoot balls of fire
at treasures in the upper screen.
Rated E for everyone with mild cartoon violence, this game is easy
enough to entertain younger gamers while having enough content to
entice more seasoned players. Those gamers looking for the same
level of creativity and depth as the Canvas Curse title will be
disappointed, but those looking for another fun platform game will
delight in this Kirby version. Completion doesn't take very long--roughly 5-6 hours due to the ease of play--but there is some replay
value in finding hidden treasures and playing with new abilities.
With its clever new features, Kirby Squeak Squad is another great
enemy-swallowing, action-packed adventure with our favorite pink floaty hero.
- Good longevity with virtually unlimited activities as long as
kids keep an interest in the game.
- Not as appealing to children who prefer assigned missions.
For more information, user reviews, or to buy:
Kirby Squeak Squad
for the Nintendo DS
Reviewed: July 2009