Kirby's most unique console adventure takes an interesting twist, one that never fails to make you smile.
While Kirby games (like Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong) are never known for their story, Epic Yarn's story is "woven" together like a story book, with a child's storybook like narrative and charming events that's bound to please many kids and make adults playing it feel like a kid again. Basically the main antagonist, Yin-Yarn, captures Kirby and places him in Patch Land, a world entirely built out of arts & crafts supplies. Kirby teams up with Prince Fluff (a blue version of Kirby) to take down Yin Yarn.
Kirby's Epic Yarn is a shining example of art direction > graphics, winning I believe 1 or 2 "Best Graphics" awards in 2010 along with being nominated on nearly every other site. The worlds are perfectly detailed and beautifully crafted, easily making it one of the most appealing looking (if not the most appealing looking) Wii title ever. What more, the craft style doesn't only serve as a backdrop, but also as part of the gameplay, so seeing areas bunch up, unzips, or unweave make this stunning world all the more amazing. The animations are also done very well and convincingly.
Along with the outstanding visuals, the music is also very charming and cutesy, fitting the Kirby world extremely well. There are some remixes of Kirby classics. The narration is also well done, while again, sounding like a children's story book, it's perfectly fitting for the game. Overall, the visuals and sound alone make this game worth playing through.
Now I did say the visuals and music alone make this game worth playing, which is why the fact that the gameplay is a lot of fun simply rounds out this fantastic experience. At it's core, Epic Yarn is a tradition platformer. This time around, since Kirby is made out of yarn, he can no longer suck things in and absorb powers, now he can shape shift. When Kirby dashes, he turns into a car, instead of flying, he now floats as a parachute, and in the water he's a submarine. There are more but I'll let you see them for yourself.
The game is rather easy though, Kirby cannot die although he can take damage. While progressing through the stage, your job is to collect as many gems as possible, trying to achieve a gold medal (1500 gems), while also hunting down collectibles for your loft and collection. If you take damage, you drop half of your gems which can be reclaimed if you get hit on a level surface, but if you fall into a pit, you automatically lose half. There are side challenges which range from hide and seek, carrying an individual to a certain part of a stage, time trials, racing to collecting. They're interesting distractions and must be completed if you're seeking 100%.
The biggest addition to the gameplay are the transformations, which turn Kirby (permanently for the rest of the stage) into power vehicles, changing up the gameplay dramatically. The first transformation you encounter is a tank, allowing you to basically blast everything in your path. There are also others like a UFO, star ship (plays like a shoot em up), dolphin, surfer, and dirt race car. Each are really fun and always something to look forward to when playing through the stages.
Epic Yarn does support multiplayer which can make things more fun and easier or more challenging, depending on the partner. It is recommended since the game is a lot of fun and you can help each other out, you just have to be more careful since both are sharing the same gem count.
Epic Yarn is pretty much standard length for any Nintendo platformer, 8 worlds with about 7-8 stages for each (1 secret stage per world). It's a game that you'll definitely want to go back and replay completely (as I am doing right now).
Epic Yarn really does live up to it's name, as it is truly one of the most epic games Kirby has been a part of, showcasing the importance of art direction and the variety that the Kirby franchise offers. The game is actually selling for really cheap right now so if you haven't had the pleasure of playing this game yet, you must absolutely add this game to your collection.