Kirby and the Forgotten Land took the world by storm when it was leaked shortly before its reveal during Nintendo’s September direct last year. The game marks Kirby’s first leap into his own third-person adventure game. After Kirby Star Allies launched on Nintendo Switch to mediocre critical reception, it seemed more than apparent that the iconic character needed a reinvention.
With Kirby and the Forgotten Land’s bold color palette and deserted setting, Kirby’s next venture seems like his most promising in years. Without further ado, here’s everything we know about Kirby and the Forgotten Land, including its release date, gameplay, setting and rumors.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land release date
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is set to launch spring 2022, meaning it could release anywhere between March and June. Other Nintendo Switch exclusives set to come out this year include Pokémon Legends: Arceus on January 28 and Triangle Strategy on March 4. The non-exclusive game Dying Light 2: Stay Human is set to launch on February 4, with Marvel’s Midnight Suns releasing in March.
The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 3, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope and Bayonetta 3 have not received a specific day or month for release. Nintendo likely has more up its sleeve for this year, which will probably be revealed through the company’s upcoming Nintendo Directs.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land gameplay trailer
Kirby and the Forgotten Land’s announcement trailer gave us a taste of what to expect from the game. We were given glimpses of everything from its unique setting located in the remnants of an abandoned city, along with how it translates classic mechanics found throughout the series into a 3D environment. For the first time in history, Kirby is no longer trapped running from side to side.
As always, Kirby has the power to copy an enemy’s abilities and use them to tackle an area in new ways. In the announcement trailer, we see Kirby suck up a Blade Knight and begin using a sword to slash at foes. In other clips, Kirby consumes Sir Kibble to use his boomerang to collect items and uses the Needle power-up to plow through a crowd of a never-before-seen enemy type, while also breaking through a secret wall. We even see the little puffball use ice and fire magic!
Other moments that stand out from this trailer include Kirby hovering over a giant crocodile that is trying to eat him, and his all-out battle with an angry gorilla. Certain clips in this trailer reveal camera angles resembling the locked perspectives found in Super Mario 3D World, while other scenes look like they’ll allow the player to move the camera around freely, like in Super Mario Odyssey.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land setting
Kirby and the Forgotten Land takes players on an unconventional journey through the remains of a lost civilization. At the start of the game’s announcement trailer, we see the entrance of a modern mall overgrown with moss and grass. Chunks of cracked concrete and garbage litter the floors as barriers block off the exits. As the camera cuts to the mall’s main court, we see five adorable bluebirds pecking at rubble for some reason. Nearly every store in this commercial area is inaccessible due to metal roll-up doors. People didn’t mind closing up shop before going home for the apocalypse.
Shortly after, the trailer cuts to a wide shot of a city. Akin to the previous scene, grass and moss is growing along a significant chunk of this area. But this time, we even see sideways flowers growing out of buildings. Kirby wakes up on a beach with sand on his cheek, appearing a bit shocked about the world he was suddenly thrust into; we’ll likely learn about this abandoned civilization alongside him. Other key environments we see in this trailer include a giant amusement park and retro arcade.
One environment in particular is permeated by thick sand that makes it impossible to see into the distance, but there are buried crates, towers and construction beams closeby. This area stands out as it’s the only one that seems “apocalyptic” in a traditional sense. The rest of the city is reclaimed by nature, whereas this empty sand dune evokes a sensation of hopelessness. Even the snake enemy has a less friendly design than the furry creatures found in the other areas.
Otherwise, the announcement trailer does a good job establishing the jolliness of this world, which is an amusing contrast to it being abandoned. The game’s cozy color palette, adorable enemy designs, and level of detail instill a desire to explore the mysterious world of the “Forgotten Land.”
Kirby and the Forgotten Land rumors
Kirby and the Forgotten Land could be coupled with online functionality according to the Australian Classification website (as GamesRadar reports). It received a PG rating for “Mild fantasy themes and violence, online interactivity.” This probably doesn’t mean the game will have multiplayer, as online functionality could imply something as simple as a leaderboard.
For example, when Devil May Cry 5 was leaked to have online functionality, the internet shared wild fantasies of some sort of cooperative or competitive mode. However, in that game, multiplayer simply meant you could view phantoms of what other players did in another part of the level.
Hal Laboratory’s last notable Kirby game, Kirby Star Allies, allowed multiplayer with up to three others. This series is no stranger to cooperative play, but if Kirby and the Forgotten Land was multiplayer-focused, Nintendo likely would have shown this off in the announcement trailer. In reality, Kirby and the Forgotten Land’s “online interactivity” could be something as simple as sending gifts to other players, so don’t get too lost in the conspiracy.