Gallivanting about the foodie-themed landscape as you gobble up goodies, whomp enemies, and hunt for collectibles delivers the same flavor of easy-to-pick-up platforming that made the original Dreamland such a standout game. Kirby's trademark ability-copying power remains intact this time around, and holding the Wii Remote sideways, you run, jump, float, and dispatch foes as you go. The usual cast of ability-yielding edible foes returns alongside newcomers that give the loveable pink puff some cool items like an Indiana Jones whip and a Mega Man-style leaf shield. Kirby has a few new tricks up his sleeve too. There's a new super inhale power that lets him gobble down hulking foes or large numbers of blocks by shaking the Wii Remote.
Small Kirby + big sword = epic win.
Once Kirby has gorged on enough baddies to turn into a rotund bulging mass, he can spew the whole shebang out as large shiny projectiles that are capable of plowing through multiple obstacles. His new super abilities are even more amusing and are picked up by inhaling special glowing foes. Once consumed, you can use these absurdly devastating powers to destroy every enemy in sight and thrash the environment to bits. It's amusing to see a tiny Kirby swinging around a sword that takes up the entire screen, even if these super abilities have a limited use and are only found in specific stages.
For those who've grown accustomed to the numerous creative surprises woven into Kirby's past few outings, Return to Dreamland's old-school-oriented approach may not be as dazzling as Kirby's Epic Yarn or Kirby Mass Attack. It makes up for this with tight gameplay that is as absorbing as it is adorable. The addition of seamless multiplayer does bring something fresh to the table, and Kirby's handful of new abilities add an extra touch of comedy and silliness to the mix. You won't find much trailblazing action here, and the challenge is a light one for most of the way until you unlock the tougher game mode by completing the story. Still, there's enough charm on tap to satisfy diehard Kirby fans and younger players.