The game is played with the Wii Remote held sideways. Differing from earlier games in the Kirby series, Kirby uses a whip like attack to attack enemies and interact with the environment, while his usual ability to copy enemies by swallowing them has been removed. Tapping the attack button will defeat most enemies, while holding down the button will capture them and turn them into a ball of yarn, which Kirby can then throw. Kirby also no longer floats like in previous games, instead gliding in the form of a parachute, as well as turning into a car for extra speed and transforming into an anvil to drop with force from the air. Certain parts of the game see him transform into a surfing penguin, a UFO and a giant robot, some forms controlled by tilting the Wii Remote. A second player can play as a character named Prince Fluff, and the two players can stand on or throw each other in order to reach otherwise inaccessible areas.
The game features graphics rendered in a unique knitted design somewhat reminiscent of Yoshi's Story and the Japanese commercial of Kirby's Adventure, though particularly more drastic, based on animated yarn and a world of cloth and textiles. The game works its graphics style into the gameplay through creating interaction between the game and its graphical style, such as allowing Kirby to pull on stray threads to reveal hidden areas. Playing as a traditional 2D platform game, and retains the series trademark of Kirby being able to alter his shape to suit the challenges before him, both in common action and transformation into vehicles such as a car or a submarine. It also seems to have some gameplay/graphic elements similar to those in the Paper Mario franchise.