August 2021: Kirby’s Block Ball (1996)

It’s AUGUST! That means a new game for the Yokoi Kids and a birthday for me! The fellas over at Drink a Beer and Play a Game have chosen Kirby’s Block Ball and I couldn’t be happier to celebrate the month with the little pink friend. Block Ball is Breakout to the maximum. Just recently we covered Alleyway, a much more traditional take on the paddle genre, but this one throws away the rules! Players have to break all of the different blocks in the given level by bouncing Kirby off a platform and keeping him away from the spikes. There isn’t just one side of the screen to watch, though. Very quickly players will be contending with four walls of spikes, four paddles, blocks of different durability, and different power-ups for Kirby to help with the destruction. It’s a real hoot! Not only do I think the game is great, but I love the look. There’s definitely some artistry to the various level layouts. They just look fun!

Here’s what Jim from Drink a Beer and Play a Game has to say about it:

Ever since my parents took the Atari 2600 down from the attic, I have always been a sucker for Breakout style games. For whatever reason, Kirby was the king of spin-off games that crossed games genres in the early 90s. I really wish that trend kept up. Kirby’s Pinball Land is one of the best pinball games from the era, and this month’s selection (you’re all welcome) might be the best breakout clone not named Arkanoid. There’s so much to do Kirby’s Block Ball and, like usual with Kirby, there is charm for days. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Enjoy, all!–Ian

Kirby’s Block Ball isn’t the cheapest game but you can get it on the 3DS store for $3. Remember, Yokoi Kids isn’t about throwing your money at tiny video game cartridges. To paraphrase my friend Donna Ramone, “Friendship > Capitalist Collector Culture”. Play this game any way you want.