After a surprise leak earlier today, we got our first look at the next Kirby game during today’s Nintendo Direct presentation. Not only is Kirby and the Forgotten Land the series’ first mainline release since 2018, but it’s also the pink puffball’s first foray into full 3D gameplay.
The short gameplay video shows a world much like the one in this morning’s leaked artwork, with Kirby exploring the abandoned buildings of a ruined civilization. Of course, it’s just as whimsical as previous adventures despite the more serious trappings, and appears to feature all the key gameplay elements for which the franchise is known. Sadly, no new powers were on display, but Sword, Cutter, and Fire sure look amazing in three dimensions.
“In this new unforgettable 3D platforming adventure, Kirby explores a mysterious world full of abandoned structures from a past civilization,” the game’s official description reads. “What surprises await the pink puffball?”
As noted earlier today, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is known as Kirby of the Stars Discovery in Japan, continuing Nintendo’s unique naming conventions for the series between regions.
Kirby’s last mainline outing, Kirby Star Allies, arrived on Switch all the way back in 2018. Since then, developing studio HAL Laboratories dropped side games like Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn, a 3DS port of the Wii release of the same name, and last year’s Kirby Fighters 2, a standalone follow-up to the mini-game from 2014’s Kirby: Triple Deluxe.
Needless to say, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a big deal. The upcoming game is tentatively scheduled for a spring 2022 release, but with the world being the way it is right now, there’s no guarantee it’ll make that date. In any case, with Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai nearly free of making Super Smash Bros. Ultimate content, it should be interesting to see if he returns to the series where he cut his teeth.