Kirby Air Ride ZG: Zero Gravity is the second Kirby Air Ride video game presented by Nintendo and developed by HAL Laboratory Inc. This game is for the Nintendo Switch and it was released on March 6, 2020.
Kirby Air Ride ZG: Zero Gravity is played primarily through use of a vehicle, many of which are taken from previous Kirby games, such as the Warpstar. Players take control of Kirby and many other characters to compete in races or other minigames. This game now features Zero Gravity controls such as the magnet which attracts the player to various places. Kirby, along with King Dedede and Meta Knight in the original Kirby Air Ride do not speak. But this game now enables Kirby and many others to speak in the game.
The simple controls are a defining feature of Kirby Air Ride. Unlike most racers, no input is necessary for the craft to move forward. Other than the use of the Control Stick to steer, the A button performs all other actions in the game, including braking, charging up for a boost, sucking in nearby enemies and thereafter using the powers absorbed from them. Some characters besides Kirby can use vacuums to absorb enemies. Gliding is also a definitive feature of the game, as the player can control the crafts' altitude when they go airborne.
Each of the three modes of the game has a "checklist" associated with it. These are 12x12 grids which contain 144 squares, all of which are initially blank. Each square has a hidden goal contained inside it, and certain goals also have unlockable content attached to them, such as alternate machines, new items and courses, new characters, and music tracks for the sound test. When a goal is completed, the squares fill to reveal completed goals. In practice, this system of discovering unknown goals is balanced out by several goals which are relatively easy to obtain, such as "finish a race three times" or "race on every course," and various other goals which only require the accrual of play time; these, in turn, make it easier to find out what other, more specific goals are, since each goal unlocked will open up the objective of the goals touching the goal completed.
Air Ride is a basic, back-view racing mode. The player chooses a racing machine and races against up to three other human or computer players via split-screen to get to the finish before anyone else. There are two ways to play a typical Air Ride race:
- Laps is the default mode, where the player finishes the race by completing a set number of laps around the course. The number of laps can be custom set from 1 to 99, or kept at the track's default. The default number of laps may depend on the current course.
- In Time mode, players race for a set amount of time, and the player that goes the farthest down the track wins the match.
In both modes, Kirby and some other characters may suck up and acquire the abilities of enemies strewn along the track and use those powers against their rivals. Doing so will slow Kirby's enemies down and potentially do damage to them (if the Health Bar is activated for the race.)
In addition to the racing mode, Air Ride also has the option of Time Attack mode, where a single player races around a track for three laps. Lastly, a single player can also race Free Run mode, an endless race with the sole purpose of reaching the fastest possible Lap Time.
Top Ride is a racing mode on smaller, simpler tracks, and is viewed from above the track. Due to the decreased track size, the default number of laps is increased per track. Top Ride has only two vehicles to choose from; the red Free Star moves in the direction the Control Stick is tilted, while the blue Steer Star rotates clockwise or counterclockwise based on tilting the Control Stick right or left.
Like Air Ride, Top Ride also has Time Attack and Free Run modes. There are seven courses total, based on seven different themes: Grass, Sand, Sky, Fire, Light, Water and Metal. In this game, Ice, Poison, Darkness and Paint (from Splatoon) are added as new racing courses.
City Trial is a larger mode where players must navigate a city, along with several more sections such as a forest, cave, and volcano, while grabbing Air Ride machine upgrade items, such as boosts, top speeds, charges, offense, defense, and more. Various Air Ride vehicles are randomly scattered throughout the city, allowing the player to switch vehicles at any time in the game. Players can even collect rare machine pieces to fuse together into "Legendary Machines". This mode also features random events such as falling meteors, UFOs, Dyna Blade, rail station fires, bouncing items, fake power-ups, a strange pillar, a thief, all boxes containing the same items, dense fog, and more. When time expires, players face off in a small competition that tests how well your machine ended up, which can vary between a drag race, a brawl, a contest to destroy the most enemies, a gliding game, and even a lap on one of the Air Ride courses.
- Air Glider
- Destruction Derby
- Drag Race
- High Jump
- Kirby Melee
- Single Race (One-Lap Race in PAL version)
- Target Flight
- Vs. Boss
- Bomb Blast
- Egg Hunt
- Space Ball
- Star Thief
- Stone Bowling
Kirby Air Ride ZG: Zero Gravity features a new mode where the player can complete missions and win cups to unlock new characters, courses and many more on the way.
- Balloon Bomber
- Bronto Burt
- Broom Hatter
- Heat Phanphan
- Plasma Wisp
- Sword Knight
- Waddle Dee
Bosses in Vs. Boss
NOTE: These bosses can also be fought in Story Mode.
- Dyna Blade
- Heavy Lobster
- King Dedede
- Mr. Shine & Mr. Bright
- Nightmare (Final Boss)
- Whispy Woods
|Everyone's favorite hero with lots and lots of abilities. He also comes in six colors.
|A King who rules Dream Land and only rides a Wheelie during a race.
King Dedede's Stats:
|A masked warrior with wings spread. Fear the Galaxia Sword!
Meta Knight's Stats:
NOTE: Bold describes hidden characters.
|Waddle Dee||A minion of King Dedede. He's a little fast, but very easy to control.
Waddle Dee's Stats:
|Adeleine||A magical and gifted young artist with magical abilities.
|Ribbon||A young fairy from Ripple Star. She has better racing skills than any other racer.
|Fairy Queen||The Queen and ruler of Ripple Star. She asks Ribbon for help on her quest to restore the crystal.
Fairy Queen's Stats:
|Susie||An android who came all the way from Planet Robobot. She's a fast heroine!
|Blade Knight||A tiny soldier in a suit of armor armed with a sword. He has better racing skills.
Blade Knight's Stats:
|Sir Kibble||One of the minor enemies of King Dedede. His weapon, the cutter boomerang is his trademark.
Sir Kibble's Stats:
|Knuckle Joe||An all-around humanoid fighter with normal racing stats.
Knuckle Joe's Stats:
|Poppy Bro Sr.||A bomb-throwing racer who packs a punch against other racers.
Poppy Bro Sr.'s Stats:
|Mr. Frosty||A polar bear who lacks speed, but has great power.
Mr. Frosty's Stats:
|Sword Knight||A knight who wields a sword in any way. He can be found in a variety of different colors.
Sword Knight's Stats:
|Waddle Doo||One of King Dedede's minions who holds the beam ability. He's a little fast though...
Waddle Doo's Stats:
|Keke||A crazed witch who flies on a broom. She may be fast, but has poor control.
|Bonkers||A powerful gorilla who wields a mallet. He's a heavyweight racer.
|Galacta Knight||One of the greatest warriors who ever lived! But a racer who isn't that fast.
Galacta Knight's Stats:
|Shadow Kirby||A darker, mirror-image version of Kirby. He is an excellent skilled racer.
Shadow Kirby's Stats:
|R.O.B.||Nintendo's Robotic Operative Buddy who debuted in Stack-Up and Gyromite in the year 1985.
|Android Robot||An exclusive character who debuted on the android devices.
Android Robot's Stats:
|Red (DLC)||The leader of the Angry Birds. He's an all-around racer!
|Chuck (DLC)||One of the fictional characters from Angry Birds. Speed is his specialty.
|Bomb (DLC)||This exploding bird from Angry Birds will blow you away with moderate power!
|Warpstar||Great for cruising and gliding. No real flaws.|
|Compact Star||Good cornering, good acceleration, but a tad slow.|
|Formula Star||The best top speed of all! Keep moving...|
|Rocket Star||Charge all the way, then get a super boost!|
|Winged Star||Slow on the ground, but a great glider.|
|Shadow Star||One hit punishes all! Fly on evil wings!|
|Jet Star||Speed increases while in the air.|
|Swerve Star||Cruise! Stop! Cruise! Stop!|
|Turbo Star||One speedy ride! But... steering can be tough.|
|Slick Star||Slippery handling makes for tough control.|
|Wagon Star||Can't charge up but... it has good points.|
|Bulk Star||Charging gives it fuel! It can take a beating.|
|Wheelie Bike||Only has one wheel. Control is unorthodox.|
|Wheelie Scooter||Jumps up very high. Charge up for quick rotation.|
|Rex Wheelie||A sturdy ride if you can handle the speed.|
|Flight Warpstar||A prototype with upgraded gliding capabilities.|
|A legendary machine with extra battle power.|
|Dragoon||A legendary machine that cuts the sky!|
|Free Star||An Air Ride Machine from Top Ride mode. Normal stats are its specialty.|
|An Air Ride Machine from Top Ride mode. Steering left and right can be tough.|
|An Air Ride Machine made out of crystals from Ripple Star.|
|A machine that is infected by the darkness of its bearer.|
Power Star (DLC)
|An exclusive machine from the Mario series based on the ones you collect from each game.|
Triforce Star (DLC)
|An exclusive machine from the Legend of Zelda series based on its symbol.|
Machines included in the Soda Brands Pack
Kirby Air Ride has a DLC pack in which several Air Ride Machines have color schemes based on Soda brands.
Air Ride Courses
- Greenyard Fields
- Vegetable Valley
- Sandy Pampas
- Snowbound Mountain
- Twisted Volcano
- Flower Forest
- Windy Factory
- Steel Hideout
- Distant Ruins
- Twilight Mansion
- Laser Island
- Cake Canyon
- Frosty Fortress
- Yogurt Yard
- Arrogant Tower
- Poisonous Jungle
- Ripple Star
- Underground Dragon Road
- Galactic City
- Rainbow Resort
- Mario Circuit (DLC)
- Hyrule Field (DLC)
- Pokémon Raceway (DLC)
- Angry Birds Stadium (DLC)
- Paint (inspired by Splatoon)