Yoshi might have started out as Mario’s trusty steed more than anything, but since the release of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, the egg-throwing dinosaur has been a household name all to himself. Through many games across different systems and different artstyles, Yoshi will be back in his Wooly form in the all-new Yoshi’s Crafted World for the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo has been pretty experimental with the aesthetics of their platformers for a good while now. While most Nintendo icons like Metroid and Donkey Kong usually retain a consistent artstyle, Paper Mario started the trend of rendering our favourite Nintendo icons in all manner of yarn, wool, and even Plasticine. Yoshi’s Crafted World takes inspiration from the previous Yoshi game, Yoshi’s Wooly World, as well as the papercraft world of Paper Mario: Colour Splash.
With the new art direction, Crafted World is an amazing looking game. Playing it on Docked Mode really makes the game come to life, with the world and its levels looking straight out of a child’s arts and crafts project. Every thing in the game is made out of cardboard, string, and fabrics, and the cardboard boxes adorned with fictional Mario branded products and even some Labo-ish contraptions.
Gameplay-wise the game still retains the mechanics of all previous Yoshi games, with you being able to eat enemies, make eggs, throw them, flutter jump, ground pound, all staples of the character. One thing that has changed is that eating an enemy immediately makes Yoshi swallow them and produce an egg, which in previous Yoshi games you can hold the enemies in Yoshi’s mouth and spit them back out to defeat enemies so you won’t waste an egg. A small change but it might throw veterans a little off.
The game has you exploring the levels in a 2D plane, but there are times where you can go in and out of the foreground and background. Even your egg throws are not limited to the 2D plane. This effect was mostly used to great effect in Kirby Triple Deluxe, and it definitely fits right at home in Crafted World. Interacting with objects around you is the key to getting secrets and collectibles.
One of the coolest mechanics is that once you finish a level, you can now play the stage again but instead of starting from the left side of the screen, you’ll be starting from the right. Think of it as the entire level being mirror flipped, which effects the positioning of the obstacles and enemies. This turns the level into a time trial, tasking you to find 3 Poochie Pups and get back to the start of the level at the fastest time possible.
So far, the demo only covers one level, with 3 different objectives to go through. The full game will be out on March 29th and is a welcome addition to the Switch’s library of games. We definitely can’t wait to see what else this game has to offer.