Kirby Super Star touts nine games for players to explore as Kirby. Games range from full length adventures to simple mini-games. It is also the first Kirby game that features comprehensive move-lists for each of Kirby's copied abilities, as well the introduction of unique hats for each power. Super Star also allows players to team up with a friend or compete against them. At any time, players can give up their power in order to summon a helper, which is a computer controlled version of the enemy that gives Kirby that power. This ally has the same abilities as Kirby, and occasionally a few unique powers, as well as a shifted color scheme to tell it apart from an enemy. At any time, another player can take control of the computer-controlled ally by using a second controller.
Kirby's adventures in this game range from space exploration, to defeating arch-nemesis Meta Knight aboard his airship, the Halberd. Mini-games on the other hand range from a samurai showdown of reaction times to a heated race against King Dedede to see who can eat the most food before the finish line. Each one allows for a single save, but up to three separate profiles can be made to track the player's overall progress in each title. 100% completion on each of the Kirby games unlocks the Sound Test.
In 2008, Kirby Super Star made a return on the DS with the title Kirby Super Star Ultra. It contains additional features and a harder version of the Arena.
- Gourmet Race
This is a mini-game where Kirby must race King Dedede in three different courses, while eating the most food along the way.
This mini-game is a timing game where the player must react to the sudden signal to attack faster than his opponent.
This is another timing mini-game featuring three challenges to rack up the most points. Hitting each meter at the perfect point increases the score.
This is the shortest game in Kirby Super Star. Kirby must retake the stolen food from King Dedede by journeying to his castle. The game is a remake from the original Game Boy game Kirby's Dream Land, and features updated graphics from the original. There are four stages and the game play time is about 15 minutes.
Arguably a much longer game, The Great Cave Offensive is a non-linear treasure hunt. Kirby must collect treasure chests while navigating through the cave. There are a total of 60 different treasures, and depending on how many are collected raises the player's completion percentage. The game does not feature strict level design; it is more akin to Metroid and Castlevania and allows for backtracking (which is necessary for perfect completion). The game is one of the longest out of the nine games.
In this game, Kirby must stop Dyna Blade from causing trouble by fighting it at its mountain. The game features a world map for selecting levels. In addition, there are two secret levels that can be unlocked, which are used as an area for the player to choose any of the game's various power ups. The game is only slightly longer than Spring Breeze.
In this game, Kirby must destroy the Halberd, Meta Knight's ship, before Meta Knight can conquer Dream Land. The game is entirely linear, and features limited environments (a forested area, and the Halberd itself). However, this is the only game to include a timer on each level. Members of the crew are also conversing as Kirby destroys parts of the ship. The game is generally more frantic than any of the other games in consequence. The Halberd, as well as certain bosses such as the cannon, are featured in Super Smash Bros Brawl.
This is the final game and can only be unlocked after beating Revenge of Meta Knight and the Great Cave Offensive. The Sun and Moon are fighting on Planet Popstar and Kirby must travel to a machine in space known as NOVA to stop the fight. The game features another map screen used to navigate between levels. The game features a different mechanic in regards to copy abilities. Kirby cannot swallow enemies in order to gain their power. Instead, the player must obtain pedestals for each power up. Once a certain pedestal is obtained, the player can use that power up at any time by selecting in in the start menu. By obtaining many pedestals, the player can select from many power ups at any time. At the end of the game, Marx, a resident of Popstar, tells NOVA to take over Popstar. The sequential battle is a side-scrolling shooter battle to disable NOVA, a first for the Kirby series. The last boss is Marx himself.
The final game can only be unlocked once Milky Way Wishes is completed. The Arena is an endurance challenge akin to Super Smash Bros Melee's and Super Smash Bros Brawl's All-Star Mode. Players can select from any power up they want before the fights begin. Then, players must fight through a series of boss battles, featuring every single boss battle spanning across all 9 games. Two of the battles are mini-bosses, and one of them being Waddle Dee, a common enemy. Between each battle, players can recover using the five maximum tomatos or they can change their power up for one of the two randomized power ups. The last boss is always Marx. At the end, the game reveals the length of time it took to complete the run.