Despite being a huge fan of the Mario franchise, my experience with Yoshi has been limited. My first experience with a Yoshi title was Yoshi’s Wooly World in 2016 on the WiiU. The look was what captured me, that and the cute little blue stuffed Yoshi amiibo. The look is Wooly World’s strong point. The gameplay is fine but ultimately it plays like more of an introduction to platforming than I’d prefer.
I know the Yoshi series can be more than just a visually pleasing, intro to platforming because with the release of the SNES Classic, I played Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. Yoshi’s Island is a phenomenal game than many of the 2D platformers that Nintendo have put out. It is a smart, innovative title, with a great soundtrack and arresting visuals.
Which brings me to the latest Yoshi release, Yoshi’s Crafted World on the Switch. Crafted World continues the approach that Wooly World had presenting a laid back platforming experience that anybody could jump in to. Some thoughts:
*Visually the game is magnificent. All the levels are intricately crafted and look and act like they are made out of real world materials. They’ve also made flip side levels (played from end to start) that show the stagecraft that goes on in creating crafted dioramas. It’s really cool to see the unpainted cardboard, tape, and string that holds the level together from the front.
*On the gameplay front, the game is fairly easy. I’m not saying, there aren’t a few parts that may challenge you a bit, but they are mostly few and far between. On top of this, I suppose if you are playing with someone less skilled or abled, there is an even more chill mode that can be played. I did not try this out so I’m not sure how it makes the game easier or more relaxing as it’s already pretty chill.
*Like Wooly World before it, there are a handful of levels (and sub-levels) that break from the pretty straightforward 2D platforming experience and they are also the most interesting and fun levels in the game. These levels include flying an airplane, driving a solar powered go-kart, and helming a pirate ship shooting cannons.
*For as chill as the game is, it features my most hated progression requirement in platformers. Collecting crap to unlock new areas. In general, I only ever had to backtrack to collect more smiley flowers once, but having to do it at all is pretty annoying and it is a requirement that actually isn’t very friendly to lesser skilled or abled gamers as some of the flowers require perfect timing.
*Thankfully the game does almost immediately offer the flip side levels, where you have to chase down Poochie’s pups. Each puppy you find grants you a flower and finding all three of them and finishing the course under a set time will grant you a fourth flower.
*There are occasional boss battles and each of them follow the standard three hits and win Mario formula. They are mostly fun (offering a bit more challenge than the standard levels), and like everything in the game, look great.
*Yoshi can get a large amount of cardboard costumes by buying eggs out of gumball machines. I like that the game features a reason to collect the coins, like in Mario Odyssey. And I like even more that the costumes are more than just cosmetic and basically work as armor for Yoshi.
*Finishing the game opens up a couple new things, including a whole new world of levels and a hide and seek objective over past levels. The new world requires smiley flowers, of which I didn’t have enough at the end of the game. I may go back later and hunt some other flowers down but after three days of playing it, I’m a little burned out on the game (it’s a bit too simplistic to be long term engaging).
*Overall, it’s a cute, little game that has a light, happy feel to it but doesn’t offer a lot of depth. I’m going to level it a 3/5 rating and it will rank in at #463 on my all-time rankings, below Child of Eden and above Battlefield 4.