Yoshi's Crafted World - Review
Quick Glance - Yoshi’s Crafted World
Platform - Nintendo Switch
Players – 1-2
Achievements – N/A
Retail Price - $59.99
High Level Premise – Yoshi is on another adventure and this time the world is comprised of levels made of various arts and crafts.
Graphics/Style – Very bright and colorful, it looks like a box of crayons vomited all over the screen.
Music/Soundtrack – Soothing but catchy tunes fill the air as Yoshi explores the Crafted World
Story – The magical gems are missing! Help Yoshi find them before Kamek and Bowser Jr. do!
Replay-ability – Medium - There are flip-side levels to complete after you have cleared the initial level. Completionists will want to go back and find every flower, red coin, and try to clear levels with full health.
Time Commitment – If you rush through it, Yoshi’s Crafted World will last about 7 hours. But there is more to do once completed!
Value – High - This is a premium Nintendo title. Perfect for kids, families and those who want a nice casual experience.
Favorite Element – Poochy has always been my favorite. Seeing that adorable canine puts a smile on my face every time.
Ah Yoshi, the lovable dinosaur that orginally was supposed to be included in Super Mario Bros 3, but made his debut eating anything in sight within Super Mario World for Super Nintendo. Eventually he would go on to star in his own series of games which included puzzlers like “Yoshi” and “Yoshi’s Cookie, platformers Yoshi’s Island, and Yoshi’s Story, and even shooters “Yoshi’s Safari”. Nintendo obviously knows what they are doing with Mario’s prehistoric pal, because the one thing that is true about Yoshi games is that they sell very well, especially to parents and children alike.
Yoshi is back again to make his way through the new crafted world and recover the gems scattered throughout the land, before the evil Kamek and Bowser Jr. find them first! Building upon the success of Yoshi’s Wooly World for the Nintendo Wii U, the backgrounds and levels are all brightly colored and all of the elements that they are comprised of can typically be found in an arts and crafts supply store. There are typical Yoshi elements found in this game, moving and floating is similar to previous games, along with the egg-shooting component which assists Yoshi throughout the level and uncovering new secrets.
Collecting things has always been present within Yoshi games, even starting back to Yoshi’s Island on Super Nintendo. The main collectible in this title is the Smiley Flower. There are several scattered throughout each level, and collecting them is as simple as touching them or shooting them with an egg. Some are easier to find than others, and the rest are usually hidden within floating question block clouds. Some Smiley Flowers require a little more skill and time you on collecting blue coins, or shooting bad guys with eggs before a timer runs out. When you complete a level you are also awarded additional Smiley Flowers based on a few criteria. You are awarded an additional flower for each of the following: If you collect 100 gold coins within a level, collect all red coins within a level, and finish the level with full health. Although collecting 100 gold coins isn’t too tough, meeting the conditions for the other two can prove to become quite challenging. So why all the talk about flowers? Well these become your main currency for progressing through the different sections of the crafted world. Friendly helper robots who act as gatekeepers and require flowers to allow Yoshi to pass into the next section of the world. It’s a little bit of a cheap gimmick, and can deter some younger players. Luckily, there are plenty of flowers to collect and I rarely ever came up short, even at the very end of the game. Gold coins can also be used to purchase costumes awarded from the prize machine. Some costumes range from cute and clever like a train or a piranha plant to strange like the garbage can costume.
After completing a level, the player then unlocks the “flip side” of the level, allowing them to traverse backwards and help Poochy find his three “Poochy Pups” which are hidden within each flip side level. This is a clever way to extend the replay value of the game, and allow the player to earn additional coveted Smiley Flowers. Throughout the game Yoshi will interact with the levels, my kids loved when Yoshi got to sail on a boat, ride on a train, and even turn into “Go-Go Yoshi” a larger than life Yoshi on wheels that can also punch trees, enemies, and structures out of his way.
The main drawback I have with the game is that some of the more ingenious portions of the level design are “one and done” and are never to be seen again. Why not have more than one “Go-Go Yoshi” level? To be fair some do show up in the extra hidden levels after beating the game, but in my opinion it still isn’t enough. I would have loved to see some of the initial level elements appear later on in the game, providing new challenges for the player to adapt and overcome. The elements are all great, and there is only one which I found particularly annoying. A ghost within a haunted mansion level that sees you will chomp on Yoshi and send him back to the beginning of the section. Although this is supposed to provide a stealth component to the level, I found this to be unlike anything else experienced in the game, and a bit off-putting. That being said, having only one level out of dozens to be unpleasant isn’t a huge determent to playing this game.
The bottom line is that this game has some of the most charming atmosphere of any game I have played since Yoshi’s Wooly World. Set pieces are incredibly well done, and are loaded with bright colors and cute crafty designs that only Nintendo could get away with. My children would probably cite this title as one of their favorite games of recent years, and are always looking to go back and play some of their favorite elements of the game. If you are looking for more Yoshi, a game to play with your kids, or just a relaxing good time, you should definitely pick up Yoshi’s Crafted World.