It was only labeled "Kirby: Working Title," but the new Kirby game was definitely playable at Nintendo's E3 booth. The newest Kirby game plays entirely with the WiiU's touch screen. No button controls exist for this game; you use your stylus for everything.
This claymation-style Kirby game requires you to tap on the WiiU screen for him to move in a sonic-style ball movement while drawing elsewhere creates a rainbow braid. Drawing elsewhere on the screen is equally important to Kirby's movement, since this rainbow braid also serves as a platform for Kirby to roll upwards, slope to the side and block him from moving elsewhere. But a limited meter of rainbow lines means you can't draw wildly around the screen.
Your goal, aside from level completion, is to collect stars from various heights and crevices. Once you gather 100 stars, you gain a supercharge ability, allowing you to invulnerably smash through everything for a short period of time.
Your health, which you lose by an enemy running into you (as opposed to the other way around,) is represented by four health segments, which gives you ample time to mess up before you complete the level.
The claymation adds a nice feel to the traditionally adorable franchise. Kirby's world lends itself to the cuteness added by claymation, and the rainbow line, which still appears bold, stands out just enough in the already vibrant game levels.
The three levels available at the demo each had their own distinct vibe. The water level, in classic video game form, appeared to be the hardest level, since Kirby's movement slightly changes in the water. But because controlling Kirby is different from the pure-stylus movement, it could possibly be easier with continued play.
The mechanics at times felt a bit uncomfortable, since tapping on Kirby to move would occasionally create a rainbow line instead, causing a bit of frustration even at the most basic levels. Those averse to primary stylus usage might also hold similar suspicions about the movement.
While I'm still a skeptic on absolute stylus control, the ambiance and level design behind the demos fit well with what Kirby fans can expect for Nintendo's future Kirby installment.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Working Title) will be released for the Nintendo WiiU in 2015 by Hal Laboratories INC.