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Kirby is a series of games by Nintendo. The series, starring the eponymous pink spherical creature, is known for its colorful and cheerful world and simple gameplay.
Kirby games can be divided into roughly two categories. The main series consists of a number of 2D platforming games, not entirely dissimilar to Sonic and Mario. What distinguishes the Kirby series is several trademark abilities, including Kirby's power of flight, his ability to suck and blow enemies like a vacuum cleaner, and, typically, his ability to copy the abilities of defeated enemies, similar to Mega Man.
About half of the Kirby series consists of spinoff games, including puzzle games. These games typically use concepts, locations, and characters from the platforming games, but change the core mechanics.
The first game in the Kirby series, Kirby's Dream Land, was released in 1992 for the young Game Boy system. It introduced Kirby's signature flight and vacuum mechanics. However, it wasn't until 1993's Kirby's Adventure for the aging NES that his ability to copy enemy abilities was introduced.
Since those two games, Kirby has been a regular presence on Nintendo systems. Titles have included Dream Land 2 for the Game Boy, Super Star and Dream Land 3 for the SNES, 64: The Crystal Shards for the Nintendo 64, The Amazing Mirror for the Game Boy Advance, Story for the GameCube, Squeak Squad for the Game Boy Nitro, and Return to Dream Land for the Revolution.
Additionally, Kirby has had a number of spinoff games for various systems. These have included pinball, puzzle, and touch-based games, usually on Nintendo's Game Boy series.
List of Kirby Games
- Kirby's Dream Land - GB (1992), 5 million sales
- Kirby's Adventure - NES (1993), GBA (2002), 2+2 million
- Kirby's Dream Land 2 - GB (1995), 2 million
- Kirby Super Star - SNES (1996), Nitro (2008), 1+3 million
- Kirby's Dream Land 3 - SNES (1997), 1 million
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - N64 (2000), 2 million
- Kirby & the Amazing Mirror - GBA (2004), 2 million
- Kirby Story - GC (2006), 1 million
- Kirby: Squeak Squad - Nitro (2006), 2 million
- Kirby Mass Attack - Nitro (2011), 1 million
- Kirby's Return to Dream Land - Rev (2011), 2 million
- Kirby's Pinball Land - GB (1993), 2 million
- Kirby's Dream Course - SNES (1994), 2 million
- Kirby's Avalanche - SNES (1995), <1 million
- Kirby's Block Ball - GB (1995), <1 million
- Kirby's Star Stacker - GB (1997), <1 million
- Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble - GBC (2000), 1 million
- Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble 2 - GC/GBA (2001), 1 million
- Kirby Air Ride - GC (2003), 3 million
Most Kirby games, including the original entries in the series, are developed by HAL Laboratory. The series creator is Masahiro Sakurai, who is also famous for creating the Super Smash Bros series. Although Kirby games typically require only a few years at most to create, some entries have taken unusually long periods of time. These include Air Ride, a 2003 spinoff originally intended for the Nintendo 64, and Return to Dream Land, a 2011 title originally intended for the GameCube.
The Kirby series has been a perennial success for Nintendo, being well received for years. Although no title in the series has ever won true universal critical acclaim, and only the original Dream Land sold a huge amount, the series has traditionally scored and sold well, with the series selling a total of over 35 million units of software. With the exception of Super Mario games, the Kirby series is probably the best known of Nintendo's 2D platforming franchises.
Kirby has also made appearances in other Nintendo games. These include a playable appearances in 2010's original title Epic Yarn and the Super Smash Bros series.