Nintendo recently released an extended gameplay trailer for Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, a new upcoming touch-play platform game for the Kirby franchise. One exciting new feature is that the game will be compatible with Nintendo’s Amiibo figurine line. The Amiibo figurines of Kirby, Meta Knight and King Dedede are all compatible with the game. The game will allow players to scan the Amiibo figurines once per day to get a special power-up for one stage. Kirby can gain an unlimited Star Dash Power. Meta Knight gives Kirby an attack bonus with a Meta Knight Mask. King Dedede gets grants Kirby a defense bonus and additional hitpoints through a gift hat. The game offers additional compatibility between the Amiibos and first-party Wii U games– a great feature. However, Nintendo is still only scratching the surface of the potential Amiibos can offer. Nintendo should be offering much more through the Amiibo line.
Recently, Nintendo started releasing store exclusives for the Amiibo line. This is a great strategy that is working out well. The store exclusive Amiibo figures are selling like hotcakes. A game like Kirby and the Rainbow Curse should take the Amiibo platform another step further. Instead of merely offering compatibility for existing Amiibo figurines made for the characters in Super Smash Bros., Nintendo should make an exclusive Amiibo figurine to promote a game’s release. Make an Amiibo figurine for a specific character in Kirby in the Rainbow Curse. Why not an Amiibo figurine for Bandana Waddle Dee that offers its own unique power-up?
To be perfectly fair, I am sure that Nintendo has plans for Amiibo that have yet to be revealed. However, so far the plans that have been disclosed seem limited in the scope of the opportunities the Amiibo line could offer. First-party games like Kirby and the Rainbow Curse could certainly see a sales boost if the games offer further Amiibo compatibility, or even exclusive figures. That feature will certainly make the game a more demanded commodity in the eyes of consumers. For example, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was a mechanically fun and sound video game. However, per VGChartz.com, the game sold about 860,000 copies and was not a huge hit. The game was released pre-Amiibo. Perhaps, if the game had an Amiibo component and its own exclusive line of Amiibo figurines, that could have pushed sales for the game even higher.
I would like to see Nintendo completely run away with the ball that has been handed to the company with Amiibo. The toys-to-life sub-genre might not be viable forever. Now is the time to strike while the iron is hot. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is due out for the Nintendo Wii U in the US on February 13.