Talking Point: What Genre Do You Want to See Kirby’s Next Spin-Off Explore?
Talking Point is Kirby Informer’s column where our staff and readers can respond to trending questions and topics! Be sure to join the discussion in our comment section below or head on over to our social pages and share your thoughts with us there!
Kirby as a golf ball? Kirby as a mach-speed racer? Kirby as a pinball? We've seen Kirby do a lot of things, but we here at Kirby Informer can never be sated. Kirby's versatility as a mascot makes our minds run wild, and although the Nintendo Switch and 3DS era has given us a lot of wacky spin-offs, they all stuck pretty closely to the formulas established by Kirby's Return to Dream Land and Kirby: Triple Deluxe. But after Dream Buffet's racing party-game battle royale mix, it feels like anything could happen in the near future
Kirby could be adapted into just about any gameplay style and art style, but these are the genres that we want to see the pink puff star in most!
Board Game-Style Party Game
Growing up, Hudson Soft's Mario Party GameCube series were some of my go-to multiplayer games to play with family and friends along with Super Smash Bros. Melee and Kirby Air Ride. While 2021's Mario Party Superstars certainly revived my hope in the franchise once more thanks to its true return to form, I wholeheartedly believe that HAL Laboratory can swoop up the Mario Party multiplayer pedestal NdCube has been chasing for the last decade by making its own "Kirby Party" game.
If there is one thing HAL has proven with Return to Dream Land Deluxe, it's that Merry Magoland is a wonderland of multiplayer potential ready to bust at the seams. Just add a board game element with collectibles (maybe gears?) and currency (such as Star Coins) to give players a layer of strategy above the sub-games, perhaps implement the copy ability system to replace Mario Party's orbs, capsules, candy, or whatever items you choose to take inspiration from (assuming we are sticking to different color Kirbys rather than other characters), keep the 86 wearable masks for fun, and you got one amazing multiplayer proposition. - Editor, Marc Kaliroff
Cooking-Themed Puzzle Game
With Cooking Mama out of the spotlight, I believe it now may be Kirby's time to shine in the cookery simulation world! I think HAL has the perfect opportunity for creating such a game, especially with Kirby Café existing and Kirby Café PETIT having recently been announced. A Kirby cooking-themed puzzle spin-off could expand upon the Kirby Café storylines while players are helping run the restaurant by cooking various dishes that have actually been featured as menu items in real life. Players could work alongside Chef Kawasaki (one could dream for Chef Shiitake and Chef Nagoya to be included!) while having Waddle Dee and Waddle Doo assist them. They could feature numerous characters, both allies and enemies, as restaurant patrons. - Staff Writer, Aurora
Isometric Role-Playing Game
HAL seems to understand we’re clamoring for Kirby world building. The Japanese Kirby light novels plop the pink puff and their friends in a lot of different settings--a steampunk city, a mystery aboard a magical train, a garish movie theater--but these colorful locales and the stories found within would be better served by a series of spunky role-playing games.
I would love to see a traditional isometric RPG with elegant pixel art starring Kirby and friends, possibly in the vein of AlphaDream's Mario and Luigi series. The bits of somewhat vague lore that come at the end of True Arenas and secret modes are fun, but scraps ain’t gonna cut it anymore. We’re starving! Kirby doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel here, but I would love to see a self-serious story with cheeky dialogue, fleshed-out locals, NPCs to talk to, and a big horrific baddie at the end. Kirby is flexible enough of a character that the story told in an RPG doesn’t have to be “canon,” so get freaky with it. - Staff Writer, Collin Hall
If I were to put Kirby in a new game genre, I absolutely want to see a "Kirby Maker" in the style of the Super Mario Maker series. Mario Maker has already proven how well 2D platformers work in that format, and it's not hard to imagine how Kirby's many recognizable assets, enemies, hazards, items, and environments could be adapted to a custom stage-building engine. As the difficulty in Kirby games tends to be more gradually paced, occasionally it feels like the developers are reluctant to get too ambitious or complex with their level designs until a game's later phases.
But with a Kirby Maker, that would allow us to play the submissions of Kirby designers all over the world, we'd have a near-bottomless dream buffet of creative, weird--and probably diabolically difficult--new Kirby content. I'm not sure I'm fully ready for the punishing levels I'm sure some people would create. (There are times when I prefer Kirby as a relaxing, low-conflict experience!) But it would be thrilling to see the world's creations and so fun finally getting to design our own Kirby levels. - Staff Writer, Sean Douglass
Full-fledged Rhythm Game
Although we've gotten a Kirby rhythm game before with Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe, Triple Deluxe's sub-game spin-off was fairly short, features only one playable character, and its gameplay style doesn't offer much variety. With music being one of the most popular and arguably one of the best parts of Kirby games, a full-fledged Kirby rhythm game just feels perfect to me. While I would personally love a format similar to the Rhythm Heaven games (a collection of minigames with different difficulty settings and gameplay ideas), you can't really go wrong with a new Kirby rhythm game as long as you give players more content and variety than Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe. This series has a lot of music to pull from after all and HAL should put it to more use! - Staff Writer, Gigi
With Samurai Kirby getting much more attention again due to being one of the eleven sub-games within Merry Magoland as well as receiving a recent light novel in Japan, I feel that a Samurai-themed musō spin-off would work very well for Kirby. The player would hack and slash (in a flash!) their way through hordes of enemies while also teaming up with other players or CPUs. HAL doing what they do best, I think they'd be able to really hit the nail on the head with making such a game while also "keeping it Kirby." - Staff Writer, Aurora