REVIEW: Kirby & The Rainbow Paintbrush


Before this review begins, I’ve got two questions. Why was this game’s release in the UK and Australia delayed by 3 months? And why the hell was the name changed to Rainbow Paintbrush from Rainbow Curse? Is the word ‘curse’ too intense for my European ears?


“Good Heavens! I think I’ve just spilt my tea” I’d utter at the mere mention of the word ‘curse’. I mean, a curse word is American for swearing, so that makes the word ‘curse’ offensive, right? No wait, I think I’ve just confused myself more.

Perhaps this title was delayed due to the intense translation of the hundreds of pages of dialogue from Japanese into English? No wait, there’s less words in this game than most children’s books.

Accepting that we’ll never know any of the answers, let’s just get down to business. What do we really think of Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Paintbrush?

So far, I’ve only attempted to play as Kirby and use the stylus once… right before rage quitting after two levels. As an avid gamer that’s stuck in my ways, I just can’t cope with having to use the stylus for everything – it goes against everything I’ve ever learned about video games. JUST LET ME JUMP ON THEIR HEADS!! From the moment I noticed that you can’t even use buttons on the title menu, I already felt a little bit sick. Here’s our thoughts on Rainbow Paintbrush so far:

  • Getting used to the stylus takes time and Bex still keeps trying to use the buttons out of habit. But once you do adjust, it’s a nice breath of fresh air as far as game-play mechanics are concerned. Getting blocked by your own paintbrush lines is common however, causing Kirby to have a seizure instead of going above or below the drawn line.
  • It doesn’t help matters that the game-play tutorial period of the game is extremely short/non-existent.
  • The Claycia hand ‘boss’ that features on most levels is painfully easy with Waddle Dee around. Being rewarded stars for it just feels wrong.
  • Puzzle aspects are fun, drawing lines to clear the path ahead for Kirby instead of just mindlessly bashing through everything.
  • Traditional games like Kirby: Triple Deluxe are much more straight-forward to control and just generally more user friendly. We’d ideally like to to use both buttons and stylus somehow. Using the stylus to shoot as a tank and trying to tap on Kirby to speed him up at the same time isn’t particularly possible or fun.
  • Figurines and music as rewards at the end of levels are totally pointless, but appreciated anyway. Not a fan of the ‘diary page’ prize, couldn’t we be rewarded with something better?
  • Without having the co-op player as Waddle Dee? This game would be seriously frustrating – not ‘hard’, just frustrating. Trying to press on a miniscule Kirby while he’s moving on a small game-pad screen just isn’t a game-play mechanic we should be expected to pull-off on a regular basis. My instinct is to jump on heads and I hate that I can’t.
  • It’s infuriating that Kirby can’t stop moving to that funky, funky beat (Translation: Most of the time, you’ll just aimlessly roll around into pointy things without having much say). Bex likens it to rollerblading without brakes.
  • We don’t like staring at the game-pad, making the TV totally pointless for Kirby. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker makes game-pad or TV optional. Shouldn’t this just be on the 3DS then?
  • Things aren’t overly well explained either. The benefit from using Amiibos is great, but they aren’t really explained when you scan them. What the hell does this power-up even do?
  • Playing Waddle Dee is better than playing Kirby. End of discussion.

Overall, it’s a Kirby game and we’ll always love it, play it and complete it. But after the extra wait, we can’t help but be a little disappointed that is has so many obvious flaws like never looking up at the TV. Tapping on a tiny pink blob as an attack mechanic. And how can the co-op character be better than the main character?! It just feels a little ill conceived for the Wii U. 6.5/10