Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a noteworthy game not only because it’s one of the best Kirby games ever made, but also because it’s a standout game for parents to play with their children thanks to its approachability.
While I’ve been happy to enjoy Kirby and the Forgotten Land on my own, I’ve also spent an extensive amount of time playing the game with my four-year-old son. There are some parents who disagree with allowing a four-year-old to play video games, however, I strongly believe games can be beneficial to children and adults alike.
Kirby isn’t just a video game character for my son, Kirby is his most beloved hero and best friend. He loves Kirby so much, he sleeps with all of his Kirby plushies surrounding him at night, and his eyes light up in the purest, most wholesome way whenever he sees a new Kirby plush at the store. That’s probably why he has over a dozen of them; I simply can’t resist buying them for him.
He has the same adoration of Kirby in video games as well. He watched and rewatched the announcement trailer for Kirby and the Forgotten Land hundreds of times; the same goes for the demo that Nintendo made available, which he played through over and over again until the game was released on March 25.
Naturally, the full game has a lot more on offer than the demo, and can potentially be harder to navigate for younger gamers. I wasn’t certain at first how easy it’d be for my son to dig into the game on his own, or whether co-op would be sufficient, but was delighted to find that co-op is not only sufficient, but is fully incorporated throughout the entirety of Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
With the way co-op is set up, I don’t have to worry about asking my son to hand over the Pro Controller every few minutes to help him get through an area or puzzle, which he hates. Even though he’s four, he’s wildly independent and doesn’t want me hovering over him, which I empathize with as I was the same way when I was his age.
In playing co-op, we can each have our own controller, with Player 1 as Kirby and Player 2 as Bandana Waddle Dee. I think Bandana Waddle Dee is adorable and I enjoy taking that Player 2 role on, though I do wish Player 2 could play as Kirby as well, Copy Abilities and all.
It’d make it easier to help guide my son through the game as Kirby has more on offer combat wise than Bandana Waddle Dee. Still, it’s fun to watch chaotic combat situations unfold with this setup, with my son avoiding enemies as Kirby (he likes keeping Kirby safe) as I whack away at them in a frenzy with Bandana Waddle Dee’s spear.
With the way the game's combat is structured, I'm happy it allows Bandana Waddle Dee and Kirby to share food items to help one another heal up. Especially given that if Kirby perishes, you're both taken back to the last checkpoint that you reached. To share food, all either player has to do is walk up to the other, and Kirby and Bandana Waddle Dee will give each other a cute little high five.
Having my son play as Player 1 (Kirby) also allows for other comical moments where, when he gets a little too far ahead in a stage, Bandana Waddle Dee will automatically warp over to Kirby’s location. My son thinks this is absolutely hilarious, and will run off on purpose every so often just to see Bandana Waddle Dee get pulled over to Kirby’s location.
Silly moments aside, the ability to warp Bandana Waddle Dee over to Kirby is something I can see being useful for parents playing with their kids. If your kid allows you to be Kirby (Player 1), you can help guide them past tricky platforming areas simply by pushing ahead until Bandana Waddle Dee is pulled over to you.
The main stages of the campaign aren’t the only areas where Bandana Waddle Dee will stick by Kirby’s side either, as Bandana Waddle Dee can also join Kirby in mini games like Waddle Dee Cafe: Help Wanted! and Flash Fishing.
In the mini game for Waddle Dee Cafe, Bandana Waddle Dee can help Kirby quickly serve up orders to hungry, impatient Waddle Dees, though you’ll need to be careful not to smush the two against one another while moving back and forth between food items.
With Flash Fishing, Bandana Waddle Dee will sit beside Kirby and can catch fish on his own. This is great in terms of showing someone the ropes as they can see the process of catching fish in action, while also being able to practice on their own.
There are so many moments like this in Kirby and the Forgotten Land that it’s been a real standout for me in terms of the games that I’ve played with my son. It’s also been a treat to sit back, take a break from co-op, and watch him play the game on his own.
As a parent, I love watching him figure out gameplay mechanics through trial and error, before mastering them and playing like a real pro. There’s also something truly special about seeing a game like Kirby and the Forgotten Land through the eyes of a child who adores Kirby as much as my son adores Kirby.
It warms my heart every time he giggles when Kirby splashes around in the watery areas of Everbay Coast, or when he jumps up and down with excitement at the opportunity to drive the Kirby car. With the ability to replay stages, he can go back to his favorite moments whenever he likes, with co-op always at the ready should he need me to help guide him through.
If you’re considering picking up Kirby and the Forgotten Land for your child, I highly recommend it. It’s kid-friendly, especially when playing on Spring Breeze Mode, and co-op does a great job at ensuring you can guide your kids through every aspect of the game. Out of all the Kirby games on offer, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is certainly one of the most approachable and I’m very thankful for this as it’s given me so many wonderful memories with my son that I’ll cherish forever.
For more on Kirby and the Forgotten Land, be sure to read through our full review where we explain why we feel Kirby and the Forgotten Land is one of the best Kirby games, and what you can expect from the game as a whole.