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Kirby's Dream Course

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Kirby's Dream Course
Developer(s)HAL Laboratory
Nintendo EAD
Director(s)Takashi Saito
Producer(s)Satoru Iwata
Shigeru Miyamoto
Designer(s)Shinichi Shimomura
Kensuke Tanabe
Hideki Fujii
Composer(s)Hirokazu Ando
Platform(s)Super Nintendo Entertainment System
  • JP: September 21, 1994
  • NA: February 1, 1995
  • EU: August 24, 1995
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Kirby's Dream Course is a golf video game that was developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo in 1993. It was made for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Gameplay[change | change source]

Kirby's Dream Course is a mini golf video game. The art is in an isometric perspective, similar to games like Marble Madness.[1] Its plot involves Kirby's enemy King Dedede stealing all of the stars in the night sky.[2] Kirby sets out to stop Dedede and return the stars to the sky.[2]

Players move Kirby (or in the case of player two, a yellow Kirby look-alike named Keeby (キービィ, Kībī)) around a miniature golf course by bouncing him towards a specific area of the playfield.[2] Players must set the power, angle, and spin to hit various enemies found throughout the levels, which earns the player a star.[3] When only one enemy remains, that enemy transforms into the goal hole, which is worth two stars.[2] In multiplayer, two players try to get the most stars. A player can hit a star claimed by the other player to take it. Kirby/Keeby can knock himself into certain enemies to get a Copy Ability, which can be used to clear courses more quickly or hurt the other player.[4][5] These Copy abilities include Kirby/Keeby turning into a tornado, a sparking ball that can break certain obstacles, and a UFO that allows Kirby/Keeby to float and move at will for a short time.[2]

The game has eight single-player courses, with eight holes in each.[4] Completing courses awards the player with medals, which can be used to unlock extra features such as different versions of courses. The type of medal awarded is based on how well the player performed, with gold being the best.[2]

Development[change | change source]

Kirby's Dream Course was made by HAL Laboratory and Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). HAL originally made the game as a new game called Special Tee Shot in 1992. It had its own characters and art.[6] The game was given several previews from magazines and was displayed on the packaging for the console, but the company stopped working on it because their Kirby series on the Game Boy was very successful.[6][7] HAL later turned Special Tee Shot into a Kirby game by replacing many of the original characters with those from the Kirby series, and adding some mechanics to make it more like other games in the series.[6][7]

Keeby, the yellow Kirby that the second player controls, reuses Shigeru Miyamoto's idea for what color Kirby should be, which was replaced with pink by the time Kirby's Adventure released.[8] After an unnamed yellow Kirby appeared in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, a yellow color appeared a lot when more than one player played as Kirby in the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. series. This design was called "Keeby Yellow" in Kirby's Dream Buffet.[9]

Kirby's Dream Course was released in Japan on September 21, 1994, as Kirby Ball.[10] It was released in North America on February 1, 1995,[11] and in Europe later in the year. Special Tee Shot was later released in 1996 for the Satellaview, which is a peripheral for the Super Famicom that used satellite broadcasts to play games.[12] Dream Course is one of thirty games included in the Super NES Classic Edition miniconsole.[3]

In 1995, Nintendo and HAL started making a sequel named Kirby Ball 64/Kirby Bowl 64 for the Nintendo 64. A playable demo of the game was shown at Nintendo's annual Shoshinkai event. Kirby Ball 64/Kirby Bowl 64 was made to use the system's analog stick to let the player move with more precision. It was going to use gouraud shading for its graphics.[13] It also had an extra gamemode where the player controlled Kirby on a snowboard.[14] Kirby Ball 64 was never released, but some of the ideas from the game were later used in Kirby Air Ride.[15]

Reception[change | change source]

Aggregate score
Review scores
CVG4/5 stars[17]
Mega Fun61%[20]
Next Generation4/5 stars[21]
Nintendo Life8/10 stars[12]
Nintendo Power3.45/5[a]
Video Games (DE)80%[25]
Nintendo Acción88/100[27]

People liked Kirby's Dream Course for its weirdness and innovation.[18][21] GamePro writer Scary Larry claimed it was just as fun to play as the other Kirby games.[18] A writer for Next Generation found the mini golf gameplay system unique compared to other games, as did a reviewer from Electronic Gaming Monthly.[21][28] Next Generation and Larry also highlighted Dream Course's complexity, which was not common for a golf game at the time.[18][21] The game's colorful art was liked for its funny design.[18][21][28] Electronic Gaming Monthly said that the game's controls took a while to get used to.[28] Larry said that the accuracy of the player's shots was not well-refined.[18] Tom Guise of Computer and Video Games believed its originality made it one of the best SNES games,[17] which Electronic Gaming Monthly agreed with.[28] Javier Abad, a reviewer for Nintendo Acción, said that Kirby fans would enjoy it for the controls and art style.[27]

People have also said good things about the game in retrospective reviews. Staff from Nintendo Life compared its silliness to Electronic Arts' Zany Golf. They said that it had fun gameplay and a good difficulty level. They also believed that its graphics looked good.[12] IGN's Lucas M. Thomas believed Dream Course's unique concept made it impossible to compare it to other games.[5] Thomas and GameSpot's Frank Provo both enjoyed how useful the power-ups were.[4][5] USgamer writer Nadia Oxford liked its unusual level design and funny design, and said it offered a break from the more action-oriented games on the console.[3] IGN ranked the game 38th on their "Top 100 SNES Games of All Time."[29]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Nintendo Power scored Kirby's Dream Course 3.2/5 for graphics/sound, 3.3/5 for play control, 3.6/5 for challenge, and 3.7/5 for theme/fun.[22]

References[change | change source]

  1. Brett Alan Weiss (1998). "Kirby's Dream Course". Allgame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Kirby's Dream Course instruction manual. USA: Nintendo. February 1, 1995.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Oxford, Nadia (January 23, 2019). "Super NES Retro Review: Kirby's Dream Course". USgamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Provo, Frank (September 4, 2007). "Kirby's Dream Course Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Lucas M. Thomas (July 31, 2007). "Kirby's Dream Course". IGN. Archived from the original on October 21, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Lopes, Gonçalo (June 17, 2019). "A Forgotten (And Kirby-Free) HAL SNES Title Has Been Preserved For The Ages". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Wong, Alistar (June 15, 2019). "SNES Kirby's Dream Course Precursor Special Tee Shot Prototype Now Made Available". Siliconera. Curse, Inc. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  8. Zablotny, Marc (September 10, 2012). "11 amazing Kirby facts and secrets". Official Nintendo Magazine. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  9. HAL Laboratory (2022). Kirby's Dream Buffet. Vol. Nintendo Switch. Nintendo.
  10. "カービィボウル". Famitsu (in Japanese). Kadokawa Corporation. Archived from the original on February 20, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  11. "Kirby's 20th Anniversary Collection: What We Expect Out of It". Nintendo World Report. June 2, 2012. Archived from the original on January 6, 2020. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Nintendo Life Staff (June 30, 2007). "Kirby's Dream Course Review (SNES)". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on October 29, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  13. "Prescreen64 – Kirby Bowl 64". No. 30. Future Publishing. Edge. February 1996. p. 44. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  14. "Kirby Bowl 64". GamePro. No. 90. International Data Group. March 1996. p. 23.
  15. Marrujo, Robert (November 29, 2018). "The History of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time". Nintendojo. Archived from the original on October 31, 2020. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  16. "Kirby's Dream Course Gamerankings Review Score". Archived from the original on 2019-12-05.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Guise, Tom (September 1996). "Review – Kirby's Dream Course". No. 178. Future Publishing. Computer and Video Games. p. 81. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Scary Larry (May 1995). "ProReview: Kirby's Dream Course". No. 70. IDG Communications. GamePro. p. 80. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  19. Mansill, Ben (August 1995). "Kirby's Dream Course". Hyper. No. 21. pp. 50–51. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  20. Björn (September 1996). "Kirby's Dream Course". Mega Fun (in German). p. 83. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 "Rating SNES – Kirby's Dream Course". No. 5. Imagine Media. Next Generation. May 1995. p. 102. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  22. "Now Playing". Nintendo Power. Vol. 69. February 1995. pp. 102–107. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  23. Bros, Majorie (April 1995). "Kirby's Dream Course". Super GamePower (in Portuguese). No. 13. pp. 30–31. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  24. "Kirby's Dream Course". Total!. No. 58. October 1996. pp. 54–55. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  25. "Kirby's Dream Course". de:Video Games (in German). July 1995. p. 116. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  26. Higgins, Geoff (May 1995). "Kirby's Dream Course". Video Games: The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 76. p. 69. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Abad, Javier (April 1996). "Super Stars – Kirby's Dream Course" (in Spanish). No. 41. Axel Springer España. Nintendo Acción. pp. 34–37. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 "Super NES – Kirby's Tee Shot". No. 65. EGM Media. Electronic Gaming Monthly. December 1994. pp. 278–279. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  29. Top 100 SNES Games of All Time - IGN.com, retrieved 2022-09-04