Nintendo never ceases to produce games of the past in a new and refreshing way. If you’re looking for a simple platformer with loads of fun visuals, music, and nostalgia then this is the game for you, my friends!
If you’ve played Yoshi games in the past, then it goes without saying that Yoshi’s Island is one of the best game sagas out there. While Yoshi’s Crafted World doesn’t follow the same storyline, a lot of the same characters and enemies are reimagined in this world. We don’t get a cameo of the innocent baby Mario riding our hero’s back this time around. But the return of memorable baddies like Bowser Jr., Kamek, Burt the Bashful, and many others make a reprise.
In Yoshi’s Crafted World, the Yoshis are protecting the Sunshine Stone, which can grant any wish. Bowser Jr. & Kamek, learning about that power, of course seek to steal it for themselves and make a selfish wish. After an intense tug-of-war between the Yoshis and Bowser Jr. & Kamek, the Sunshine Stone is broken, and the gems that grant the stone its power are scattered throughout different worlds. It’s up to the Yoshi of your choosing to collect the gems before Bowser Jr. & Kamek can.
While the gameplay is rather simplistic in terms of skill, it’s still irresistibly hard to put down once you’ve started playing. There are 16 worlds to explore, with each world consisting between 2-3 levels each. Yoshi still gobbles up enemies to create eggs that you can toss. The cool thing about this game is that it uses multiple dimensions (similar to Paper Mario) to completely utilize the level. Which in turn allows the same level to give you different gameplay based on the point of view.
The game brings back the flowers, red coins, and hearts system we loved from Yoshi Story as well, with the collective system equal to Mario Super Stars. You’ll need specific amounts of flowers to journey onward throughout the game. There are 5 bosses (equaling the 5 gems needed to restore the Sunshine Stone) as well. Even after the game has been beaten via story mode, there is still a plethora of collectibles, like stickers and costumes, to be had in order to fully complete each world. The game also offers co-op player and you can use certain amiibos to unlock special costumes as well.
There are a couple levels throughout the game that cater to an “arcade mode” vibe where you need to gather as many points as possible to achieve victory.
There’s a level where you’re driving a Mecha Yoshi, smashing your way through a town. Then there’s a level where you’re running through a garden pummeling as many moles as possible. There’s also a level where you’re flying a paper towel tube airplane to pop as many balloons as you can and avoiding spikes to keep a drift.
Visually the game is similar to Yoshi’s Woolly Adventure, yet there is a difference. The design of the game is reminiscent of kindergarten classroom projects. The worlds are made of paper mâché, pipe cleaners, cardboard, construction paper, cups, and other classroom art supplies. It feels like each world is a diorama built by an overzealous elementary school student. Each adorable level makes you smile and reminisce about those times of childhood and making projects like these. This imaginary world also makes you feel as if you are a child playing make-believe.
The levels all come with a “flip side” as well, which really cements that ideal. These levels ask you to save Poochy’s pups who are lost within the level. Every level in the game comes with a flip side. Not only do you get to see these levels backwards. But you also start at the end goal and make your way back to the beginning!
Seeing classic baddies re-imagined in crafted form is delightful too. But there are some new characters created for the game as well. My favorite part of the game are the boss battles. The cut scenes with banter between Yoshi and Bowser Jr. & Kamek are quite comical. And they seem to use stop-motion animation for the boss transformations.
While the gameplay itself is rather leisurely and the story mode could be beaten in under 10 hours, the multitude of hours of gameplay needed to unlock everything is immense. Some may not agree with the overuse of some levels to gather collectible items. But I think it adds to the fun of leisurely play. It’s not necessarily needed. But if you want to play a game where you don’t have to think too much, then saving the collecting aspect for a rainy day is perfect. The game is cute, it’s fun, and it’s an overall good time. If you enjoy platform gameplay then this is definitely not a game you should skip.
Featured image credit: Nintendo