Besides the reality that he is "friend-shaped" and cute, Kirby is best known for his ravenous hunger. This is the focus of Kirby's Dream Buffet, a game that revolves around devouring delicious foods as quickly as possible. While the gameib appears to be influenced by some others, most notably Fall Guys, Beautiful Katamari, and Mario Party, it succeeds in standing apart from the crowd and feeling uniquely Kirby thanks to its joyful, fun, and food-focused tone. Despite its pleasures, Kirby's Dream Buffet has some drawbacks, chief among them a severe lack of substance and compelling reasons to keep playing. Although it's fun to roll around as Kirby, the experience is more like a small snack than a well-rounded dinner.
The Kirby's Dream Buffet begins atop a table covered in bright-colored sweets and pastries. You can browse through some extra features after rolling off your plate and onto the glen plaid tablecloth, or you can move right into one of the game's three play modes: Battle mode, Online mode, or Local Play mode.
Proverbially, you and one other person can compete against CPUs in the War mode for a chance to win the cake. On the other side, the online way matches you up with players from all over the world in either randomized matches or private games that require a password. However, you may also use Local Play, which enables up to four different consoles to play the gameib together if you and your friends are all in the same room.
These modes all feature the same three events—their differences- races, minigames, and battle responders. A Gourmet Grand Prix, which is effectively the default mode of play, combines two races, one minigame, and a battle royale final fight into a single unified experience. Four Mario Party-like awards are then given out, and one Kirby is named the heavyweight king. But no matter the event you decide to play, the process is the same: You go around, gather fruit, and try to outlast your rivals.
Rolling over item boxes and gathering fruit can both provide you an advantage while battling. While collecting fruit gives you the points you need to win the game, it also makes Kirby bigger, allowing you to travel faster and giving you a little more weight to hurl when you crash with other players. On the other side, item boxes will grant you a consumable that you can utilize to advance. These goods take the form of various foods you can use to apply Kirby's patented power-absorbing technique. These are more nutritious treats like hot peppers, which make you coast through the course on fire, and appetizing-looking donuts, which let Kirby transform into a wheel.
All of these elements work together to produce a gameib that, at the time, is actually extremely enjoyable. Even though the controls are a little shaky, it seems like this was done on purpose, which eventually heightens the thrill of the bouts. Dream Buffet also combines some excellent elements from many series into something fresh, such as the random, gameib-changing rewards given at the end of Mario Party. Players frequently have the chance to make a big comeback thanks to that particular element (as well as how each race ends with some first-come, first-serve bowls of strawberries that can completely alter the number of points you have). For more competitive players, it may be grating, but I thought it made the game pleasant and lighthearted.
Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for Kirby Dream's Buffet very much ends here. Although you can set the CPUs to four levels of difficulty, standard, spicy, and extra spicy—none of them are challenging. Even worse, the game frequently experiences network troubles during online battles, making it impossible for human opponents to present a legitimate challenge. All of this, combined with the little variety in the courses and minigames, results in Kirby's Dream Buffet soon becoming monotonous. For instance, we could play about two Gourmet Grand Prix games before we were ready to move on to another, more exciting party game when I got a game out for a family game night. That the game can only be played locally by two people at once didn't help and felt like a big failure.
You can do a few different things in Kirby's Dream Buffet. You can alter your outfit and color, see what rewards you have received, and access Free Rolling mode (which serves as a sort of training field) outside of the significant events. New suits make up most of these awards; while they are nice enough, they don't offer much to break up the boring gameplay or entice you to play more. If you require any kind of accommodations, you're out of luck because the gameib doesn't even have an options menu. Although controlling Kirby in ball form is supposed to be a little challenging, the gameib doesn't consider players who might want additional help, button rebinding, or visual aids. This is even more ridiculous when you feel how tiny some of the writing is in mode.