Dream Land can't get a break.
Though many Kirby games had come before it, Kirby's Dream Land 3 is only the third "mainline" Kirby game--maybe the fourth if you count Kirby's Adventure. Perhaps attempting to replicate the aesthetic of 1995's Yoshi's Island, Dream Land 3 features hand-drawn sprites and a unique pixel-blending technique that gives the characters and world a watercolor look. It's among my favorite Kirby games, just under Kirby's Adventure in fact, and it's good to be playing it again.
The game expands on Dream Land 2's "animal friends" concept. The original three (Rick, Kine, and Coo) are back, of course, and they're joined by three newcomers: Pitch, ChuChu, and Nago. All of the animal friends have their own powers, and each one modifies Kirby's copy powers in unique ways. These combinations are used to hide items behind power-specific blocks, get into certain doors, and solve the "goal" in each stage. In every stage there's a fairly abstract goal to complete, hinted at on the world map. Kirby 'n' Pals must show up at a pre-determined location in a certain combination, or perform a task (e.g. don't step on the flowers, collect four blocks) in order to solve the puzzle and, at the end of the stage, collect a Heart Star.
Collect all the Heart Stars, and Kirby will be zapped to the game's mysterious final level where the true final boss awaits. Kirby's Dream Land 3 is slower-paced and much longer than your average Kirby game, and I think it's more challenging. The real draw is the beautiful graphical style, and the music, while fairly low-key, is catchy and recognizably "Kirby." A second player can even hop in as Gooey, a blob with the same powers as Kirby.
I wholeheartedly recommend Kirby's Dream Land 3 whether you're a Kirby fan or you just enjoy a well-developed platformer.