Kirby’s Dream Land is the beginning of Kirby; the pink puffball that we all know and hate for its cuteness exists solely because of this game. Was it worth all of the irritatingly cutesy garbage that sprang from its loins (or equivalent portion of its anatomy)? Not really. This game ranges from being a nice distraction to a lethal weapon, depending on your skill modding potato cannons. It’s bare-bones Game Boy entertainment.
Then again, everything about the Game Boy is bare-bones, and by necessity: It simply wasn’t very powerful. In that sense, this game is actually quite the achievement. By modern standards, however, it’s just another throwaway game. A sin of our colorless handheld past, shackled in chains, come to haunt us on Christmas Eve by reminding us just how bland every game was back then.
On the other hand, if you have a thing for old Game Boy games, this may be right up your alley. It’s a surprisingly solid platformer on a system plagued by hit detection so random and impossible to judge by sight alone that it has compelled many a 7 year-old to throw their Game Boy across the room in a fit of epic ragequittery. That’s firsthand experience talking.
The story is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a game revolving around a giant marshmallow-looking protagonist. The evil King Dedede, who looks like some kind of duck-human hybrid, has stolen all the food from Dream Land, your home. Rather than just dreaming up new food like an intelligent creature, you set off to take back the food. Unlike later games, you’re unable to copy enemy abilities once you inhale them; the only special abilities you find are temporary and are granted by special items that can be found lying around on the ground. You know, because the world is filled with evil and nothing is more evil than littering, especially when doing so means potentially giving the hero a special powerup that helps them progress past otherwise insurmountable odds. Remember kids: If you find it on the ground, chances are it’ll make you super powerful.
As for music… well, this is a Game Boy Kirby game. If you like bleeps and bloops arranged into such happy-sounding themes that the positivity of it all gives your soul diabetes, then you’ve hit the mother lode. Graphics are dated, but still familiar to anyone who’s seen Kirby before. Controls are a bit strange to anyone accustomed to using the jump button to inflate yourself and fly since you need to hit the up button to do that in this game. That’s only a minor issue, however, and the game is so easy that you won’t really have any problems with that (until you try the difficulty-enhanced Extra Mode, that is, which you only learn how to unlock by either beating the game or unleashing the raw power of the google machine).
Here’s what you should do: