This weird entry in the Kirby franchise will delight some, but certainly not all players.
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is somewhat of a different beast than your regular Kirby adventure. While you have the pink ball's moves and abilities at your fingertips, the way you progress is unique for a Kirby title. You traverse through the world like you would in a Metroid game and explore a vast majority of mazes. There are various branching paths and secret rooms to uncover for you, which make the title exciting. The mazes, known as areas, each have their own connections to the different locations in the game as well as the hub world.
With all these paths, losing yourself is quite easy to do. To find the correct paths, having the map on you is almost a requirement. Sadly, the map isn’t available from the beginning; you must find them before you can use them. Once you have the map though, the game becomes much more approachable. The game itself is slightly harder than other Kirby games. However, the style of the game eases you and after a while it becomes second nature.
The biggest new system in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror are having multiple characters on screen. You can call upon these through a special cellphone to have the additional Kirbys help you solve puzzles and beat enemies. The issue with these helpers is that they aren't always reliable and don't always do what you want them to do. Even when activating a simple switch, they kind of move about and you have to hope that they eventually hit that correct spot. In the original GBA version, players got around this by linking up with three other people and having fun in some local multiplayer. This is no longer an option in the game and this means putting your faith in a bunch of dumb AI friends. Most of the work, like defeating bosses and finding secrets, simply rests on your shoulders alone.
As per usual with Kirby games, our pink friend can transform into characters with vastly different move sets, helping you to overcome foes in new ways. Three that are mostly exclusive to this game are the Missle, Cupid, and Smash abilities. With Missle you turn into a giant rocket and blow away everything in sight, while Cupid allows you to fly freely and shoot arrows from various angles. Smash is a very unique one, as it gives Kirby all of his moves from Super Smash Bros., which he gets from an enemy you might know well. Of course, there are some classics as well to give the player some sense of familiarity; they work as you would expect. It helps that the game controls nicely on the Wii U GamePad, on which you can explore the game on and off the television!
Where the game also shines are with the visuals and music. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror looks colorful and bright; it has all the perks you have come to expect from a Kirby title. The nine different worlds all look quite different and each has their own theme that runs all across the area. There is a volcano world, a deep ocean one, and even a haunted house. The music is also cute, as it features catchy melodies that simply won't leave your head!
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is a fun Metroidvania-esque ride, but it is not without its faults. The extra AI Kirbys don't always do what you want them to do, and the lack of the multiplayer option is disappointing. If you can get past this though, you get a game that plays well and is a unique take on the Kirby formula. The transformations and basic gameplay mechanics are still there, but The Amazing Mirror has put them in a light that shines vividly.