In Kirby's Adventure, switches were big buttons used to unlock secret areas in the level they were found in. Once Kirby activates a switch, they vanish for the remainder of the game.
In Kirby Super Star, there were more of the switches found in Kirby's Adventure. Also introduced were small switches that open mechanical doors that block Kirby's path. These small switches can only be pressed-on for a certain amount of time- so Kirby must move quickly- or in some cases, solve a puzzle that is even more complex. An example of a more complex switch puzzle is the one in The Great Cave Offensive, where you must press a series of switches in the right order to get the treasure.
In Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, switches lose their distinctive, star look and now look more like buttons or toggles. They appear in some levels, where any number of them must be pressed down to open doors or move Blockbots. If the player takes too long trying to press all the switches, they will pop back up and will have to be pressed again.
In Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, big switches are pressed to place a door; leading to the world they're pressed in at Rainbow Route. If the player hits every big switch, a golden door will appear in Central Circle. This door leads to a room containing almost every Copy Ability in the game.
In Kirby: Canvas Curse, a switch is drawn in Paint Panic. There are also three within the stages – an orange one in Rift Ruin, Iello Adventure; a green one in Cold Course, Bloo Hills; and a blue one in Frozen Fantasy, Wonder Lilane. There are also several blocks in the same three colors, that usually block Kirby off from medals. Pressing a switch flattens it for the rest of the game, and destroys all the aforementioned blocks of the corresponding color.
In Kirby: Squeak Squad, they act like the small ones in Kirby Super Star, but sometimes stay down after pressed and leave the door open. Some doors open to areas containing treasure chests and may stay open for only a short time, adding a challenge to obtaining the chest.
In Kirby Mass Attack, switches are less common and look like pedestals; these switches require more work to push down. The player must make his/her Kirbys jump on it and push it into the ground. These switches do things like opening up blockades and releasing bomb bricks. The Kirbys also push these down in the intro to each level.
Additionally, there are three exclusive switches only found in Stage 10 of Dedede Resort. There's a red switch, a blue switch, and a green switch. The Kirbys must uncover the order to hit these switches in. When the player hits them in the correct order (which is red, green, blue, green), a blockade disappears, allowing the Kirbys to enter a secret room. This room contains a medal.