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Kirby is coming to the Nintendo Switch, and we’ve got all the details

At E3 2017, Nintendo revealed a brand-new adventure starring Kirby for the Nintendo Switch. While only a couple of minutes of footage were broadcast, we did learn quite a bit about what to expect from the plucky pink protagonist’s upcoming escapade.

Kirby is one of Nintendo’s oldest franchises, and the character has starred in some classic games over the past 25 years. Here’s hoping that the new Switch game can stand up to the very best of the series so far.

Name not final

While there’s been no official confirmation either way, it seems reasonable to expect that the game won’t simply be called Kirby when it’s ready for release. Despite being referred to in this manner during the reveal trailer, it seems that the project is simply too early in the development process for its final title to be made public.

A similar strategy was employed with regards to the new Yoshi game that was also announced this week, which will likely have a less simplistic title come launch. Since neither of these releases are set to be available before the end of 2017, Nintendo is clearly in no rush to give too much information away.

Big co-op focus

One of Kirby’s abilities showcased in the trailer sees the living vacuum throw a heart at an enemy, which forces them to change their allegiance. It seems that up to three characters can be added to Kirby’s squad at any given time.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

However, we can see from UI elements at the bottom of the screen that these characters can either be controlled by the computer, or by another human player. It seems that this mechanic ties into some kind of drop-in, drop-out co-op multiplayer — which is obviously a perfect fit for the Switch hardware.

Co-op gameplay seems to offer up some intense, frenetic action, whether players are racing through a platforming section or working together to take down a boss.

Familiar faces

Plenty of classic Kirby enemies make an appearance in the trailer, from Sir Kibble, to Poppy Bros. Jr., to the ever-present Waddle Dee. We also see a few seconds of a boss fight with franchise veteran Whispy Woods.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

In fact, we see plenty of series staples, not least the range of powers that Kirby can acquire by inhaling enemies. The trailer is backed by a new version of the traditional theme, which should have fans looking forward to another excellent soundtrack from developer HAL Laboratory’s audio wizards.

Release date

Unfortunately, the new Kirby game for the Switch won’t arrive in time to celebrate the character’s 25th anniversary, which is this year. In April, Nintendo announced three new titles that would land in 2017 to mark the milestone, so at least fans have something to tide them over.

Kirby’s Switch debut is scheduled to drop sometime in 2018, although no specifics have been given at this time.

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Brad Jones
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Brad is an English-born writer currently splitting his time between Edinburgh and Pennsylvania. You can find him on Twitter…
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