|This article is about an unreleased or cancelled game|
|Information is likely to be incomplete, and may be self-conflicting.
Added information should have verifiable sources, as otherwise it may be deleted.
|This article is about the cancelled Nintendo 64 game. For the Nintendo GameCube game released in 2003, see Kirby Air Ride. For the sub-game in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, see Kirby's Air Grind.|
Kirby's Air Ride was a cancelled Kirby title originally slated for release on the Nintendo 64. It was first announced as Kirby Bowl 64, and it was the first Kirby title shown for the Nintendo 64, as well as one of the first games shown for the system. About a year later, the title was changed to Kirby's Air Ride in several publicly released videos while the game was still being developed on the Nintendo 64.
Reportedly, the game's development was very lengthy, and was mostly quiet. The game's status was frequently changed until it was finally labeled as "Cancelled". Years later, it resurfaced on the Nintendo GameCube in the form of a short video preview in March 2003 at the annual DICE summit in Las Vegas. Kirby Air Ride was later officially announced for that system, with gameplay and concepts which were different from what was seen in the Nintendo 64 footage, and several enemies as well as playable characters that were in the Nintendo 64 version were not featured in the Nintendo GameCube version.
Since the title was never released on the Nintendo 64, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards took the position as the first and only Kirby title to be released on the system.
During its time as Kirby Bowl 64, there appeared to be two predominant playing modes, both of which involves the player(s) racing over undulating three-dimensional terrain with power-ups scattered throughout. One mode involves Kirby riding on a snowboard or airboard, and the other involves rolling a spherical Kirby throughout the course; given its similarities to Kirby's Dream Course (titled Kirby Bowl in Japan), it may have been intended as a sequel to the SNES game. There was a four-player mode, which involved knocking other players out of the course.
When it was renamed to Kirby's Air Ride, the game appeared to shift its focus towards the aforementioned snowboard/airboard levels, with no new information regarding the two other modes. The snowboard/airboard levels were built upon, with new information showing more developed landscapes, a health meter, and a four-player multiplayer mode which was apparently meant to be the game's main focus, a feature that the final product retains. The snowboards and the airboards were replaced with rideable stars, which were not unlike the Warp Star. The player could also stop their vehicle, jump off of it and explore the environment on foot, another feature that was kept for the final release.  The background shown in the footage was the overworld map screen from Kirby Super Star's Dyna Blade sub-game.
Confirmed Playable Characters
Kirby Bowl 64