With its bedtime story narration and roster of huggable characters, Kirby's Epic Yarn comes on like a game made for toddlers. The game sees Kirby, Nintendo's candyfloss pink blob of cuteness, venture into Patch Land: a 2D world built out of felt, fabric and – yes – yarn.
In keeping with his new knitted home, Kirby has been transformed into a tangle of string capable of rearranging himself into cars, parachutes, weights and other handy objects. Handy when solving puzzles or dodging dangerous enemies.
But while the action is traditional platform-hopping fare, the setting is an imaginative tour de force. Each step reveals a new surprise. One moment Kirby is a strand of string travelling through tight tunnels. The next he'll be spun into a rope tank that spits string rockets at cotton enemies or end up behind the felt landscape so that he is visible only as a bulge moving beneath the scenery. It looks and feels distinctive. You almost want to stroke the screen to feel just how velvety soft Patch Land is.
But while it enchants, the game is short on challenge. Anyone who's made it to the first year of secondary school would be hard pressed to find the game testing. At times you almost breeze through its delightful levels with little opposition. Sure there are hidden objects to find and some hide-and-seek side quests but it's plain sailing most of the time.
So whether you enjoy this depends on what type of player you are. If you want a test of skill and a challenge to get your teeth into, this is just too genteel. But if you're happy to enjoy the experience of its fantastic journey, Kirby's Epic Yarn is a game to savour.