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SummaryA fair challenge that makes a good pocket game.
The GoodThis will be one of my shorter reviews as there really isn't much to say about Kirby's Block Ball. In a game obviously reminiscent of Breakout and quite obviously geared specifically for a handheld device (in this case the Gameboy) you must control Kirby by sliding around a little paddle, bouncing and catching him while trying to eliminate all of the blocks on screen while killing enemies. Eliminated enemies leave behind goodies that pump up Kirby's score and occasionally you can find power ups that destroy certain blocks or simply prove useful eliminating enemies. Pressing the A button at the right time when Kirby hits your paddle launches him at full speed allowing the player to break blocks not normally breakable through regular means.
There are 10 stages with bonus stages available for skilled players to get some extra lives, at the end of each stage is a familiar boss from the Kirby universe. There are also cute little cutscenes reminiscent of Kirby's console capers.
The gameplay is in essence very solid, it's not entirely challenging but feels perfect for a pocket game. This is at its core, a pick up and play experience. The game is fragmented into the various stages that take anywhere between 5-10 minutes to complete depending on the difficulty. These bit sized chunks of Kirby Breakout action feel perfect for short bus or train rides.
Kirby's Block Ball is one of the better looking Gameboy games. Kirby himself and his various enemies are animated well and there are pleasant little touches like explosions and flashes that look great on the tiny screen.
In addition to a very solid graphics engine the game features fantastic use of the sound hardware in the Gameboy to synthesize some pretty catchy background music. There are some familiar themes and sound effects and in general you'll be satisfied if you're a long time Kirby fan wanting some recognizable music.
The BadKirby's Block Ball is short and depending on your level of aptitude could be perceived as overly easy. The levels themselves aren't particularly challenging and boss encounters are predictable and simple to overcome.
When the game is over there isn't much motivation to go back to it. If you're a fan of the game play then you'll probably head back once or twice to relive some of the levels however some sort of a challenge mode would have been appreciated. The fact that there is no sort of challenge mode or boss attack mode is strange and would have helped longevity.
The Bottom LineKirby's Block Ball is an archetypical pocket game. It's best played in short bursts when you need something to pass the time and if you've got a Gameboy Pocket then this is a perfect pickup.
The game itself is very solid, looks great and makes great use of the synthesizer in the Gameboy. The issue is Kirby's Block Ball is simply too easy and too short, the bosses aren't challenging at all and there is no sort of challenge or boss attack mode to reward you for finishing the game.
If you're looking for a simple pocket game to keep you entertained then Kirby's Block Ball ticks all of the right boxes, those looking for something more substantial will probably want to look elsewhere.