Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe brings back HAL Laboratory's beloved platformer that was originally released on the Nintendo Wii in 2011 and delivers it in upgraded format to the Nintendo Switch. Not only has Return to Dream Land received a fresh coat of paint that sees the game looking downright gorgeous, especially on the Switch OLED, the Deluxe version also introduces a wealth of new content to the game.
I had the opportunity to get some hands-on time with the game recently and learn more about things like new Copy Abilities for Kirby including one that turns the beloved pink puffball into a mech. Yes, Kirby is living his Gundam fantasy in Return to Dream Land Deluxe, with the Mecha Copy Ability allowing Kirby to do things like blast lasers through foes.
Additionally, players can look forward to other new Copy Abilities including Sand, along with the return of more than 20 previously introduced Copy Abilities like Leaf which first debuted in the original Return to Dream Land. I’m a huge fan of Leaf so seeing it once more in Return to Dream Land Deluxe was an absolute delight.
As one would expect from Return to Dream Land, each of Kirby’s Copy Abilities boast more than one move, with players having the ability to learn more about each through the game’s Pause Menu. The game supports up to four players, and you can coordinate attacks with your team by stacking characters like Kirby and Meta Knight on top of one another using the Piggyback technique.
Similar to Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, Kirby will work to help Magolor rebuild his ship, the Lor Starcutter, in Deluxe. However, new to Deluxe is a playable “Magolor Epilogue” that will allow players to take on the role of Magolor and, like the main game, supports up to four players so you and your friends can work together to help Magolor restore his magical powers. I didn’t get to see too much of this Epilogue during my hands-on time, but what I saw definitely has me intrigued and eager to dig deeper into the new mode once Deluxe is out.
Also new to Deluxe is the Merry Magoland amusement park area which acts as a sort of hub world and contains a wealth of side activities for players. One of the sub-games I was able to play during my hands-on time was a carnival-style shooter that felt reminiscent of Kirby on the Draw from Kirby Super Star Ultra. Here, I was able to use the Joy-Con’s motion controls to aim and fire at various family-friendly cardboard cutout targets.
Similar to the rest of the game, these sub-games in Merry Magoland can be played by you and up to three other players. By playing these sub-games, players will be able to collect stamps for Deluxe’s stamp rally and unlock in-game prizes provided by Souvenir Shop Waddle Dee including cosmetic items like Dress-Up Masks which characters like Kirby, Meta Knight, and others can wear, with some making Kirby and friends look absolutely hilarious.
I have no doubt I’ll be spending quite a lot of time in Merry Magoland collecting stamps and unlocking new Souvenirs and Dress-Up Masks. Other sub-games that Kirby fans can look forward to in Return to Dream Land Deluxe include the new Magolor's Tome Trackers, and Samurai Kirby 100 which is similar to the regular Samurai Kirby sub-game but with a Tetris 99-style twist. Unlike the other sub-games, Samurai Kirby 100 will be single-player only, and will let players face off against 99 other players in real-time.
Overall, there’s a surprising amount of content packed into Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe with the addition of its new Magolor Epilogue and Merry Magoland area and sub-games. There’s also a welcome focus on multiplayer support for most aspects of the game, with the exception of things like the Samurai Kirby 100 sub-game.
I’m excited to dive even deeper into the game once it’s released, with Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe set to hit Nintendo Switch later this month on February 24.
This preview is based on hands-on time with Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe for Nintendo Switch as shared by Nintendo. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is set to release on February 24, 2023 for Nintendo Switch. For more on the game, be sure to check out the page for Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe on the Nintendo eShop.