Kirby’s Pinball Land (Nintendo Game Boy, 1993)
Over the years there have been several attempts by games companies to create successful characters that can become mascots for the various consoles that they appear on. When it comes to Nintendo of course most people think of Super Mario first, but another character that I used to like was Kirby.
When I was younger I tried to collect lots of games featuring Kirby. Because Kirby was a rather strange-looking large pink thing someone clearly thought that it would be a good idea to create a Kirby game where the main character is also the ball in a pinball machine, and Kirby’s Pinball Land must have been one of the games that I played the most on my Game Boy in the 90s.
When you start the game you are given a choice of three tables to play on, either Wispy Woods, Whacko, or Poppy Bros. Once you enter the table each one is made up of three screens, and as you score points the idea is using the flippers to try to get Kirby up to the top screen to take on the main boss. However, if he falls out of the bottom screen you do get a chance to propel him back, but if you fail you lose a life.
As well as this, there are also bonus games to play against the clock. In these you can score lots of points, earn more bonuses, and even earn extra lives. For every half a million points you score a special screen appears to congratulate you. There are also lots of other ways to score bonuses and get extra points and after a while you can get a really big score.
You must be wary when playing the bosses though because they can occasionally stop one of your flippers from working and need to be hit several times to be defeated. If you manage to achieve defeating all three bosses of the three tables, you enter the big final challenge against Kirby’s biggest rival King Dedede. If you defeat the King then you see a special ending screen as Kirby celebrates, then you have the chance to go back to playing the tables for even more points.
Kirby’s Pinball Land was a great game and I do feel that this character deserves more recognition, although it seems that the game was fairly well-received by gamers and critics at the time of release. My dad also liked to play this game and achieving eight-figure scores was seemingly no problem for him. In later years I bought a couple more great Kirby games on the Game Boy and Super Nintendo and I’ll be reviewing another one of those soon.