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 April 10, 2001

 



 


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» chat about it » post a message
 Pocket > reviews > Kirby's Tilt 'n Tumble


Trade this game
screenshot 1

Game Info
Platform
Game Boy Color
Publisher
Nintendo
Developer
HAL Laboratory
Genre
Action
Origin
Japan
Number of Players
1
Release
April 9, 2001


screenshot 1
Roll, roll, roll your Kirby, gently down the slope.


screenshot 1
This star marks the worlds you've beaten. And right now, nothing is uncovered.


screenshot 1
You'll need to master the Kirby bump if you want to jump over obstacles.




Kirby's Tilt 'n Tumble

It's extremely original and a whole lot of fun -- it's Kirby's first outing on the Game Boy Color.

April 10, 2001

What timing. When we were out in Japan for the Spaceworld event, Nintendo also released Koro Koro Kirby for the Game Boy Color. This was a big release for two reasons – it's the first exclusive Game Boy Color game featuring the cute pink creampuff released for the system, and it also is the first game cartridge to have a motion sensor built into it. It's this motion sensor that makes the game extremely unique and an amazingly fun game to play.

Nintendo has just released this game as Kirby's Tilt 'n Tumble, and you better get to the store right now – you haven't played anything on the Game Boy Color quite like this.

Features

  • Huge worlds with puzzles and end-bosses
  • Five mini-games
  • Three cartridge save slots (SRAM, no battery)
  • First cartridge with motion sensor
  • Only for Game Boy Color
Seems King Dedede has stolen the stars from the night sky, and Kirby doesn't like that one bit – so he leaps down from the clouds back down to Dreamland to rescue all the stars from that nasty bird. But he's going to need your help…big time. See, this time, Kirby isn't going to have any control over himself. He can't walk or run, only roll – and that's where you come in. By tilting the system in any direction, you affect the entire world he sits on. Essentially the whole world becomes one of those tilting wooden labyrinths, and Kirby is the metal ball.

When you first turn on the system, the game informs you to keep the system as flat as possible – this is the calibration check. If this isn't done properly, the motion sensor built inside the cartridge will reset its neutral point at whatever position you're holding the system at that point. Since the game is simulating a slanting slope when you tilt the system, it's best to keep the system at a perfectly flat position.

After this, you're ready to rock and roll…literally. Each level is laid out where you must roll Kirby through a series of platforms, bumpers, holes, conveyor belts and more – all by tilting the system. The motion sensor is completely analog – if you tilt the system just a little bit, Kirby will roll slowly down the gentle slope you create. Tilt the system at a harsh angle, and the gravity will affect Kirby a lot mor, causing him to roll faster down the slope. You can make Kirby jump up into the air by flicking the system quickly back – the problem here is, you lose sight of the screen for a split second when doing this, so you better be quick. The action button comes into play when Kirby lands into a hole – push the button and he'll spring out of it. You can also make Kirby spit puffs of air at enemies at certain points in the game with the button, but other than these functions all gameplay happens by tilting the system.

Don't think for a second this tilting feature is a gimmick – it's an integral part of the gameplay, and it really makes Kirby original and a lot of fun. The designers built the game around this sensor instead of putting a sensor into the game, and it really shows – you honestly cannot do this game accurately by using the D-pad (which is only used for menu selections and sliding the camera ahead or behind the action). Since you cannot zoom Kirby around the mazes without screwing up, patience is needed. Of course, you can't take your sweet time – the clock is ticking. Learning the controls is key to this game.

What's more, the designers packed as much variety as possible to each of the world's levels – in some worlds you bounce around pinball bumpers, in others you must jump from moving cloudbank to platform. Some worlds have screwed up gravity where you'll stick to the undersides of gratings until you can flip out through a hole in the floor. Any conveyor belts? Oh, you bet. Though the platform elements will challenge your system handling, you'll also have to deal with the hovering enemies out to knock Kirby off the ledges.

And let's not forget the mini-games that's in Kirby's Tilt 'n Tumble – if you meet certain criteria in the main game, you can gain access to a bunch of small challeges that use the motion sensor. For example, Kirby's Balloon and Kirby's Multi Ball. Kirby's Balloon is a target-shooting challenge where you must tilt the system in order to maneuver a crosshair over floating balloons. Fire arrows by using the A button, and reload by flicking the system back. Pop as many balloons in the set time to score points. In Kirby's Multi Ball, you simply roll multiple Kirby balls into craters on the playfield – the better you are, the more balls you have to worry about, and the shorter the time you have to do it. Other games include The Kirby Dance, Kirby's Hurdle Race, and Kirby's Chicken Race -- they're all pretty silly, but they shake up the action quite nicely. The graphics are very cute, but excellent – HAL rendered Kirby at many different angles to give the illusion that he's rolling around in every direction. Since he's not a ball but a being with arms and legs, they had to add these to give the game character. The game is patterned off every Kirby game on the market, so happy checkerboard and clouds are the normal fare in Dreamland. Kirby will also blurt out some digitized voice throughout the adventure.

The only negative to the game has everything to do with the overall design – you're limited to where and how you can play the game, really. Since you have to tilt the system in various slants, you have to make sure that you have enough room light to see the screen. I've played the game outside and in a hotel room with no problems, but on the plane it was a little difficult because of the position you have to hold the system – it's not exactly a game you can sit in your most comfortable position and play. You have to prepare to play Koro Koro Kirby. It's this design that makes this game extremely difficult to play -- it has a high learning curve, and you'll die a lot. Patience is the name of this game -- luckily, you'll have dozens of opportunities to score extra lives. You won't be running out of them any time soon...if at all.

But that's my complaint, really. The game is an outstanding one, not only because it brings Kirby to the Game Boy Color, but also because it introduces a new technology to the portable market – the designers milked the motion sensor for everything it can offer. I'm absolutely sure that other designers can use this chip for other functions – racing or flying games perhaps? I'm all for it – and what's more, the chip will be used in Game Boy Advance titles as well.

Comments

The one thing I find amazing about Kirby is how designers choose to use him – one of my favorite Super NES games released was a little-known title called Kirby's Dream Course. It rocked because it was an amazing game unlike anything that was out at the time. And the same now goes for Kirby's Tilt 'n Tumble I've never played a game like this, and it's done extremely well. It's just not a super convenient game to play – you can't whip it out whenever you want, wherever you want like Tetris. But if you've got the light and the comfort, sit down with Kirby -- this game is one of the most original Game Boy Color title you'll ever play.

   --Craig Harris



OVERALL SCORE (not an average)
9.0


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