Kirby: Canvas Curse

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Kirby: Canvas Curse
Kirby: Power Paintbrush
Kirby Canvas Curse Game Cover.jpg
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Motomi Katayama
Producer(s) Hiroaki Suga
Masayoshi Tanimura
Kensuke Tanabe
Composer(s) Jun Ishikawa
Tadashi Ikegami
Series Kirby
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Release date(s)
  • JP March 24, 2005
  • NA June 14, 2005
  • EU November 25, 2005
  • AUS April 6, 2006
Genre(s) Platforming, Puzzle
Mode(s) Single player

Kirby: Canvas Curse, known in Europe as Kirby: Power Paintbrush and in Japan as Touch! Kirby (タッチ!カービィ Tacchi! Kābī?), is a 2005 platforming video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. It was first released in Japan on March 24, 2005, and was then later released in North America on June 14, 2005, in Europe on November 25, 2005, and in Australia on April 6, 2006. While Kirby: Canvas Curse is a platformer, it does not play like a traditional Kirby video game, as it uses the stylus exclusively. The game has a sequel titled Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.


One day, a strange portal appears in the sky, and out of it comes a witch named Drawcia. Drawcia casts a spell over Dream Land, turning it into a world of paint. Upon fleeing back into the portal she came through, Kirby gives chase, eventually finding himself in Drawcia's also paint-themed world. The witch curses Kirby, turning him into a limbless ball. After Drawcia escapes, the Magical Paintbrush (Power Paintbrush in the European version) turns to the player to help Kirby. The player and Kirby set off to find and defeat Drawcia to restore Dream Land to its normal state. Along the way, Drawcia creates replicas of Kirby's oldest foes to slow him down. These include Paint Roller, Kracko, Kracko Jr., and King Dedede.


Screenshot depicting the gameplay in Kirby: Canvas Curse

Unlike most previous Kirby games, the player does not directly control Kirby with a directional pad, face buttons, or shoulder buttons. Instead, the player only uses the stylus and touch screen to control Kirby. The player can draw rainbow lines, which Kirby will roll on, or poke Kirby, to make him do a little speed dash. These rainbow paths can form ramps or bridges for Kirby to cross, or walls to protect him from enemy projectiles. Drawing paths depletes the player's rainbow ink supplies, which recharges slowly while Kirby is in the air or on a path, but quickly when Kirby is on the ground. These paths eventually disappear, even faster if another path is painted. However, the player must either tap on Kirby to cause him to dash forward onto the path, or have the path created directly underneath him, causing him to automatically move forward on it.

The player can use the stylus to stun enemies by tapping on it. Afterwards, the player can either allow Kirby to roll into the enemy with his own momentum or by dashing to defeat the enemy. Defeating certain kinds of enemies by either dashing into them or touching them while stunned causes Kirby to gain one of several special abilities, which may be used at any time by tapping Kirby himself. This special ability replaces the dash. Once an ability is obtained, the only way Kirby can lose it is either by tapping a button in the bottom left corner or by being damaged. This is also the only way to get a different ability from the one Kirby already has.

Kirby: Canvas Curse spans eight worlds, with all but one having three levels. A variety of themes are used throughout the game. These themes range from a volcanic area to a frozen area. The objective of every level in the game is to reach a rainbow-colored doorway. As the player makes progress in the game, the environmental hazards become far more plentiful. In one level, the player must maneuver Kirby quickly enough to avoid getting defeated by an ever-rising body of lava. Occasionally, Kirby will come across a barrier, which prevents the paint lines from being created inside of them, forcing Kirby to do nothing but roll, dash, and use a power (if applicable). Portions of these levels can be played in Rainbow Run mode, where speed and amount of paint used are key factors in the player's success.

At the end of each world except for world seven, Kirby must face a boss. In worlds one through six, the first time he completes them, he must face one of each boss - Paint Roller, Kracko, or King Dedede (all of whom must be battled twice). With the exception of the final boss, all bosses are mini-game based. The boss of world eight is the main villain of Kirby: Canvas Curse, Drawcia Sorceress. Drawcia starts out in her standard form. Upon defeat, she will transform into a large ball of paint with five eyes and a mouth called Drawcia Soul.

Kirby: Canvas Curse features special collectibles called Medals, which can be used to unlock secret features in the game, such as characters, sound tests, and alternate paint colors. There are three ways for the player to find a Medal. The first way is to get one in one of the main levels. Each level has three Medals to be found, all of which can be seen on the map if Kirby is in the correct area and close enough. It is often required that the player do something particularly challenging to acquire one, and the difficulty of the challenge is respective to the difficulty of the level. Another way is through Rainbow Run mode. In it, Kirby must complete a portion of one of the main levels, with the objective being either getting through it as fast as possible, or getting through it while trying to use as little paint as possible. Reaching a certain peg awards Kirby with one or more Medals. The third way is by defeating the lesser bosses outside of the main game with an A Rank on the third level in each of the boss battles.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87%[1]
Metacritic 86 of 100[6]
Review scores
Publication Score A[4]
Edge 7 of 10[6]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 8.83[1]
Game Informer 8.5 of 10[1]
GamePro 4 of 5[5]
GameSpot 8.6 of 10[2]
GameSpy 4.5/5 stars[7]
IGN 9 of 10[3]
Nintendo Power 9 of 10[1]
Play Magazine 6.5 of 10[1][6]
Publication Award
GameSpy Editors' Choice[9]
IGN Editors' Choice Award[10]

Kirby: Canvas Curse has received positive critical acclaim since its release, with many reviews calling it the best Kirby game to date. 1UP called it "genuinely excellent", saying that "it's a welcome reinvention of gaming's most overplayed genre" and later concluded that Canvas Curse is "the DS's first great game".[4] The stylus gameplay has also been noted, with IGN hailing it as "incredibly innovative", GameSpy saying it is "quite rewarding", and GameSpot calling it "a satisfying part of the gameplay."[2][3][7] Official Nintendo Magazine ranked it the 96th best game available on Nintendo platforms.[11] On the other hand, the Play Magazine editor disagreed, noting that "it's innovative... but for me, that's not enough."[6]

Kirby: Canvas Curse was the third best-selling game in Japan during its week of release at 75,365 units sold.[12] Famitsu annual sales for the region show the game sold 276,418 copies by the end of 2005.[13] According to NPD Group, the game sold just under 80,000 copies in North America during the month of June 2005.[14] The following month, it was the top-selling DS game in the region at 50,000 copies.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Kirby: Canvas Curse Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  2. ^ a b Gerstmann, Jeff (2005-06-13). "Kirby: Canvas Curse for DS Review - DS Kirby: Canvas Curse Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  3. ^ a b Harris, Craig (2005-06-10). "IGN: Kirby Canvas Curse Review". IGN. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  4. ^ a b Parish, Jeremy (2005-06-13). "Kirby Canvas Curse Review from". Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  5. ^ Burner, Rice (2005-06-30). "Review : Kirby: Canvas Curse (DS) - from". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2010-08-06. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Kirby: Canvas Curse (ds: 2005): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  7. ^ a b Theobald, Phil (2005-06-15). "GameSpy: Kirby Canvas Curse Review". GameSpy. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  8. ^ "Kirby: Canvas Curse for Nintendo DS - MobyGames". MobyGames. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  9. ^ "Nintendo DS: Reviews Index". GameSpy. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  10. ^ "IGN DS: Games, Cheats, News, Reviews, and Previews". Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  11. ^ East, Tom (2009-02-17). "Nintendo Feature: 100 Best Nintendo Games: Part One". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  12. ^ Jenkins, David (April 4, 2005). "Japanese Sales Charts, Week Ending March 27th". Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  13. ^ "GEIMIN.NET/2005年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP500". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  14. ^ Maragos, Nich (June 22, 2005). "June 2005 U.S. Sales See GTA, Pokémon On Top". Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  15. ^ Jenkins, David (August 15, 2005). "July U.S. Sales See NCAA Football Dominate". Retrieved 2009-08-18. 

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