The Super Nintendo was, for many, the best console ever. Sure, that is a lofty statement and one that is VERY subjective based on the person making it. The fact remains though, for a large group of gamers, both old school and new, the Super Nintendo holds up quite well. One of the titles that holds its own, even though it is 21 years old now, is Kirby’s Avalanche by Nintendo. For those that do not know, this is a puzzle game that would be squarely in the “falling objects” category that was pioneered by Tetris. Kirby’s Avalanche was the first Puyo Puyo title to reach the Super Nintendo in North America, my second time to experience this style.
The first time I experienced this style of puzzle game was with Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine on the Sega Genesis. I got it used when I purchased my Sega Nomad from a game store locally. While it was a little hard to enjoy on the Nomad screen, it was no problem on my 19” television. Kirby’s Avalanche doesn’t deviate from the formula set by Puyo Puyo and that is just fine with me.
The game consists of a story, here it is using Kirby and his friends/enemies, and you are tasked with battling your way through the game world. Instead of battles like we see in role playing games, you are facing off against your opponent in a puzzle battle. Your pit is on the left and your current opponent is on the right. Sounds simple so far, right?
Battles are won by causing your opponent to have no more space to move blobs within their pit. The blobs fall from one certain place at the top of your pit, as long as that spot is open you can continue your trek into battle. Matching four or more of the same color causes them to explode and make room for more blobs. This is where the craziness comes in with Kirby’s Avalanche, Puyo Puyp games in general. If you have a ton of blobs in your pit and make just the right match, you may set off a major chain reaction. These combos cause clear blobs to fall into your opponents pit and wreak havoc. Watch out because the same can be done to you.
Kirby’s Avalanche has all of the trappings of a quality Nintendo title. There are cute animations for the opponents and the artwork is appropriate for even younger players. I have to say though, this is true for the source material too, Puyo Puyo and even Sega’s Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine also.
If you have never experienced a Puyo Puyo title before, you owe it to yourself to give Kirby’s Avalanche a try. Grab a copy on Ebay and curse me when you are up till 4 am on a work, or school, night.