Say what you will about the 3DS, that little family of systems keeps on chugging along, largely propped up by re-releases of older Nintendo games that time forgot.

Take Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, for example. It's an expanded version of the Wii game Kirby's Epic Yarn, scaled down for a smaller screen, and reworked with some new elements.

Ape Out Switch review - "A triumph of jazz and violence"

That doesn't sound especially exciting, but here's the thing - Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn is actually pure platforming brilliance, and it fits the 3DS almost perfectly. Who knew?

Suck it up

In Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, the famous pink blob has lost his ability to suck up everything he sees because he's been magically turned into yarn and sent to a world where almost everything else is made of yarn.

Kirby has to work together with similarly-shaped blue blob Prince Fluff to literally stitch this strange kingdom back together and return home to stop an evil sorcerer from taking over Dream Land.

Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn 3DS Screenshot Smiling Kirby Swinging Around

Now lacking his trademark suction, Kirby is instead kitted out with a whip, which can be used to unravel enemies or twirl them into a ball to then be thrown at other foes or obstacles.

There's a lot more to the whip than that, of course - it can also grab onto certain objects to manipulate the environment, or you can use it to swing from certain points and gain extra height.

On top of that, you can also find numerous different hats which give you various abilities, from swinging a big ol' sword around to being able to generate bombs whenever you feel like it.

Every level from the Wii release is here, and it must be said, each one showcases some of the finest variety in level design you're likely to find in a single game.

Twists and turns

The objective is always the same - reach the end of the level - but there's always more than a few wrinkles on the path, and a new way to approach things.

Kirby is frequently transformed into various robots and vehicles, for example. One level you'll be an enormous tank smashing everything in your way, the next you'll be a surfing penguin in an endless-runner-esque sequence.

It's sheer brilliance, and there's always something new and interesting to find in each level, or at least a new use for a mechanic you've been exposed to before.

It's also remarkably tough. While Kirby can't die, each hit does drop a huge chunk of the beads you'll be collecting on the way, and you can only get a gold medal in a level if you manage to avoid getting wrecked at every step of the way.

Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn 3DS Screenshot Kirby As A Car

New to Extra Epic Yarn is Devilish Mode, which turns the already often-challenging levels into hell-mazes, with Kirby being chased by an ever-present demon yarn who throws death-dealing items at you as you go.

But you can ignore this new difficulty if you wish. The only bonus you get is extra furniture for your apartment, a completely ignorable part of the game which serves no purpose beyond a pleasant distraction every now and then.

On top of that, there's bonus minigames starring King Dedede and Meta Knight to take on, providing new, short challenges to tackle if you're growing tired of the main game.

Wrapping up

In short, there's a whole lot to do in Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, and it's all pretty gosh-darn wonderful. The level design is on-point, it looks lovely even on a smaller screen, and it's as easy or as hard as you want it to be.

Rolling Sky 2: Rolling Dream review - "An auto runner that just keeps on rolling"

Completionists can lose plenty of time trying to gold medal every level and get all the Devilish Mode rewards, but you can just as easily ignore those and rush to the end if you're only interested in playing at your own pace.

It's a clever little game, there's no doubt about it. And if you missed it on the Wii, there's no reason why you shouldn't pick it up on 3DS.