Platform: Gameboy Advance

Genre: Platformer

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: HAL Laboratories

ESRB: E (Everyone)

Released: Q4 2002

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Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland

Score: 7.8 / 10



- A prototypical platformer

- Good multiplayer games

- Good one for the kids




- Experienced gamers will blow through

- On the short side



Related Links:

Review: Super Mario Advance (Gameboy Advance)

Review: Super Mario Advance 2 (Gameboy Advance)


"The execution of NID is spot on – you can’t fault it for any control issues or presentation – and it’s totally inoffensive and suitable for kids."


Up until now I’ve managed to avoid Kirby games (unless you count Super Smash Bros. where Kirby was a playable character).  For the initiated, Kirby is an amorphous pink blob that can vacuum up objects and enemies and regurgitate them as projectiles.  Or he can absorb the enemy’s abilities, granting Kirby a pant-load of different attacks.


kirby-nightmare-dreamland-1.jpg (55553 bytes)          kirby-nightmare-dreamland-2.jpg (49208 bytes)


The game that Nightmare in Dreamland (NID) is most analogous to – other than previous Kirby games – is Kid Chameleon for the Sega Genesis.  Uncovering all the secrets and blasting through levels relies on acquiring the right abilities at the right time.  Even without picking up the right abilities, an experienced platform gamer will be able to finish NID quite easily (even without using Kirby’s “inflate” ability to rise above the levels).  NID is clearly aimed a younger crowd.  Not only is it generally easy and short, but also the multiplayer games (via the GBA link) are perfect for a group of kids.



Graphics are big and bright for the most part and the enemies are clearly visible.  It’s your prototypical platformer and the level layouts stick to established guidelines: bottomless pits, ice levels, boss and sub-boss encounters, water obstacles, etc.  Navigating Dreamland is easy too – there’s never any button confusion – and I never felt a death was “cheap”.  If I died, it was always my misjudgment.


kirby-nightmare-dreamland-3.jpg (46118 bytes)          kirby-nightmare-dreamland-4.jpg (39295 bytes)

The execution of NID is spot on – you can’t fault it for any control issues or presentation – and it’s totally inoffensive and suitable for kids.  But if you’re an experienced gamer looking for a challenge, NID will probably let you down over the long term.  Still, I’d recommend it for a five-hour flight or moderately long road trips as an amusing diversion.

- Omni

(February 17, 2003)


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