Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
Buy On
  1. 100
    Who'd have thought such an unassuming little guy would be the star of one of the best Nintendo DS titles available, and easily one of the most innovative platformers you'll ever play?
  2. For those of you waiting for the first real and complete usage of the DS system's capabilities (read: Yoshi's Touch n' Go), look no further than Kirby Canvas Curse.
  3. Computer Games Magazine
    Delightfully loopy. [Sept 2005, p.91]
  4. Touch! Kirby has replay value, it uses the touch and double screens brilliantly, it constantly plays with its own elegant control scheme, and, as the icing on the cake, is not only impeccably presented throughout (the backgrounds and soundtrack are truly magnificent) but it also comes with a nice pink stylus. You can't argue with that. [NGC Pocket]
  5. 95
    While the game might be short, it's chock full of extras to make sure any completionists will get their money's worth.
  6. It offers the most intuitive, polished and entertaining use of the touch screen yet. What's more, it has enough depth to hold a player's attention for hours on end. [JPN Import]
  7. 93
    It’s clearly the best game for the DS currently out there and a good demonstration as to how good a DS game can be when it utilizes all of its features.
  8. It has longevity, charm, and controls that endure the wild departure from traditional platformers and make a highly enjoyable game. It comes highly recommended.
  9. One of the best titles to come out for the DS yet.
  10. One of the best handheld games to come out this year. It’s loaded with fresh ideas and new play mechanics.
  11. 90
    A genuinely excellent game. It impresses on many levels, perhaps most of all for the simple fact that it's the first example of a traditional 2D platformer that genuinely works with no input besides a stylus.
  12. 90
    Not a port of an older game or a collection of mini-games or a glorified tech demo -- an actual game with actual depth. Kirby: Canvas Curse is that game. It's simple, to be sure, but it's also remarkably fun.
  13. A Kirby game that's fun and cool? Thanks to the innovative touchscreen control, you bet it is. A must-have for the somewhat under-represented Nintendo DS.
  14. Cheat Code Central
    The perfect marriage of a handheld game and a touch-sensitive screen.
  15. Nintendo Power
    The majority of Canvas Curse's medals are tied up in Rainbow Run, so the replay value is considerable, and perfect for hard-core sketch gamers. [Aug 2005, p.82]
  16. Graphically and sonically, Kirby: Canvas Curse excels and impresses with apparent ease. If you fail a level, then that wonderful “one-more-go” feeling that eats up so many hours of our lives as gamers comes into play, and whilst this game isn’t the longest by any means, it’s possibly the most enjoyable on the format so far.
  17. An engaging experience from start to finish, including the mini-games and boss battles.
  18. Kirby truly is an outstanding game. It just takes everything the DS can do, throws it together and makes it work. The controls, the level design and the presentation are astounding.
  19. AceGamez
    Kirby offers us a fully-fledged game with a main mode and great secondary modes, with plenty left to unlock and find, as well as high scores, times to beat and a great little game where you launch Kirby through the air as far as possible!
  20. With a loveable hero, incredibly technical handling, and a truckload of features all wrapped up in a wonderfully stylish presentation, Kirby: Canvas Curse not only brings a breath of fresh air to a seemingly stale handheld gaming world, but it also steals the spotlight with its undeniable quality.
  21. If you own a Nintendo DS you simply must own Kirby’s paintbrush, it doesn’t get any simpler than that.
  22. It’s a rare treat, and very appreciated. Kirby: Cursed Canvas comes from nowhere, but deserves to go everywhere. It’s another absolute proof of the validity of the DS as a unique gaming platform, and sets a new challenge bar for relaxing platform gaming.
  23. Everyone from the hardcore FPS frag machine to a person who strayed away from games all their life can pick up Touch! Kirby. Being universally enjoyable is just another benefit, making this one of the best DS games to date. [JPN Import]
  24. 90
    It's an outstanding design that captures what the Nintendo DS platform is all about: unique and creative gameplay, and speaks volumes of the potential this system can offer gamers down the line.
  25. The great single player gameplay should help to alleviate any pain that the lack of multiplayer may have caused. In typical Kirby fashion, this is a wonderful title that is fun, addicting, and exudes a kind of charm not found in many games today.
  26. Canvas Curse is one of the most unique and innovative games I've played all year, including the games I played at E3.
  27. From start to finish, Canvas is packed with beautiful graphics, awesome level designs, and compelling gameplay. Boss battles are cool and unique, and the minigames and bonus options are worth unlocking--really!
  28. With great 2D graphics, good sound and an awesome use of the touch screen, Canvas Curse is a must buy for anyone who owns Nintendo’s dual-screened wonder.
  29. It couldn't really be done on any other platform, yet it doesn't sacrifice its gameplay for the sake of short-lived gimmicks.
  30. While the story is nothing to pay attention to, the gameplay is what really shines here.
  31. A game that features great innovative gameplay, still retaining that great Kirby feel to it.
  32. Game Informer
    By combining a completely new gameplay style with nicely designed traditional 2D platforming levels, Kirby: Canvas Curse manages to fulfill the true potential of Nintendo's highly touted touch-screen gameplay. [Aug 2005, p.108]
  33. Pelit (Finland)
    A unique experience that only Nintendo DS can offer. Stylus, touch screen and Kirby is a match made in heaven. [Jan 2006]
  34. Simply one of the best DS games released thus far and an easy choice for DS owners griping about the lack of strong software for their tech-heavy handheld.
  35. It looks, feels and plays like historical Kirby installments. However, while it looks and plays well, it is incredibly short.
  36. Anyone with either an interest in a refreshing take on the classic platform genre or simply looking for something different will definitely find complete satisfaction in this one. Truly a must-play.
  37. 80
    Kinetically challenging and undeniably captivating.
  38. 80
    While short, this is the best experience available on the DS right now, and anyone with a tolerance for candy-colored adventure should give it a try.
  39. Kirby's use of touch-screen technology provides a fresh and engaging game.
  40. 80
    It may not have the lifespan or the consistency of ideas that the highest caliber 2D platformers contain, but with its unique design and control system there’s no denying it’s a fun game in its own right.
  41. 80
    The subtle blend of old-school platformer and touch-screen control give it a unique flavour and one unlike anything sampled before.
  42. You've got a brand new way to interact with a game and a slew of unlockable minigames at your disposal, so there’s plenty to do even after Kirby has restored peace and order to his colorful world.
  43. games(TM)
    It sounds simple and on paper we’re sure it looks to have more than a little in common with Catch! Touch! Yoshi!, but we’re pleased to report that it actually has far more depth. [May 2005, p.112]
  44. But there is some nice innovation, such as levels that are completely black until Kirby bumps into lanterns that put off light. And as we all know, in dark places like this, it's good to have a friend.
  45. netjak
    This certainly is a different kind of game, interesting even. But, a blast to play? A must have? These are things that Kirby: Canvas Curse sadly is not.
  46. Edge Magazine
    While it is a little hampered by it’s scale and scope, Kirby remains imaginative, detailed and demanding... It’s exactly the kind of game that Nintendo promised the DS would deliver. [June 2005, p.90]
  47. Play Magazine
    It's innovative for sure, but for me, that's not enough. [Aug 2005, p.57]

Awards & Rankings

#10 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
#23 Most Shared DS Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 92 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 92
  2. Negative: 11 out of 92
  1. DonaldDuck
    Dec 1, 2005
    This game was fun for about 10 minutes. Then all of the sudden it becomes more boring than waitng in line to get a root canal. I feel that This game was fun for about 10 minutes. Then all of the sudden it becomes more boring than waitng in line to get a root canal. I feel that Nintendo riped my of with this game. Full Review »
  2. TongG.
    Nov 9, 2005
    Fun for about 20 min. cool idea boring gameplay. still think the gba titles are alot more fun.
  3. Dec 13, 2011
    this game is awesome ! I got it and beat it and I had so much fun !!!!! it is awesome !!!!!!!!!! so it is given a perfect ................ 9/10.....