|“||Race against King Dedede! Time your hurdle-hopping carefully in this three-heat match.”|
|— Instruction manual description • Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble|
Kirby is in a competition against King Dedede. When the Waddle Dee standing off on the sidelines waves the flag, the player must rapidly press A to get the pink hero running. If the player presses A before the race begins, the player will receive a foul and to try the round again. If the same mistake happens again, that round will be forfeited to the opponent.
When the race begins, Kirby will have to get past hurdles. If the player shakes the Game Boy, Kirby will jump, which is the only way to avoid them. If Kirby runs into one, he will trip and falter momentarily, losing all the speed he's built up and giving the opponent a chance to catch up or get farther ahead. Kirby must be the first across the finish line to win the round.
If the player beats King Dedede in a round, a flashing Kirby will be the opponent in the next round. If not, King Dedede will still be the opponent. In rounds two and three, the hurdles will be closer together, making it more difficult. The player must beat the opponent in a best two out of three to win the game.
Like all the sub-games in Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, Kirby's Hurdle Race can only be played if Kirby obtains the Bonus Star and clears the stage in which he found it. It becomes available to play anytime if Kirby collects every Red Star in Extra Mode.