Kirby is, arguably of course, Nintendo's most under appreciated mascot. He's starred in some of the best platforming titles they've ever published, but you never hear the mainstream press or gamers themselves becoming hyped over the latest game in the series. In a perfect world, Kirby Canvas Curse would change that.
The odd thing about this DS exclusive is the way it plays. It's actually a bland, derivative platforming title. If players were given direct control over the pink puffball, this game would be ripped apart for being so generic. As abused as it is sometimes, the DS touch screen brings this game into an entirely new category. It's an example of what it can achieve, even with something as basic as this.
Players only have the ability to make Kirby dash and use powers gained from defeated enemies. That's the only direct contact they have with him. All of his movements, whether up, down, left, or right, are controlled by the stylus. Draw a line, Kirby follows. It's that simple.
It's the same mechanic that backfired miserably on Yoshi Touch & Go. Seeing Kirby in action proves that the latter title was nothing more than a test run. Canvas Curse is mercifully faster paced, more exciting, and far more thought out. You can't just draw lines either. You need to recharge to prevent players from abusing the feature.
Stages move in every direction, and those looking for the buried secrets will suck out just as much enjoyment as the person shooting to the end. Outside of the main quest, mini games are just as addictive. You've never played Breakout like this.
The game breaks down into a few sub sections per level, and this does become somewhat annoying, hindering the pacing. That's the only thing that can stop Kirby from moving once he gets rolling (literally). You can't save after a section either, which would be a desired feature given the portable factor.
There's nothing very attractive here, either. Aside from a few special transparencies, the water color-influenced backdrops could be handled by the Game Boy Advance. The same goes for the catchy but rather weak (especially after hearing the audio some DS games manage to achieve) soundtrack. That means this game is drawing you in with pure innovation and fun factor, something that seems to be less common with each passing day.
The obvious complaints about the game's length should be noted. However, if you're basing a purchasing decision on that, find a new hobby. Canvas Curse is a game you'll be playing 10 years from now. It creates replay value from the simple fact that it's incredibly enjoyable, can be picked up for short bursts, and never drops from the realm of near perfection. This, along with Meteos, are the current reasons why a DS should be in your console collection.