Yoshi’s Crafted World Review
Yoshi trades in the yarn for homemade arts and crafts.
Mario’s dinosaur sidekick Yoshi first appeared in 1990’s Super Mario World before setting off on his own set of adventures as a lead character. There have been numerous Yoshi games over the years, with Yoshi’s Woolly World being the most recent outing for everybody’s favorite green dinosaur. For his latest adventure though, Yoshi features an arts and crafts theme in the ever mellow Yoshi’s Crafted World.
Dating back to the original Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi has gone through a number of art style changes and Yoshi’s Crafted World is certainly no different. Yoshi and the other characters in the game have a plush fabric look to them, which makes them look like stuffed animals placed in a world created by arts and crafts straight out of a child’s imagination. Not only do you get the ever adorable Yoshi in this form, but also characters like Poochy and even Baby Bowser.
The story is as you would expect for a Yoshi game, with Baby Bowser and Kamek trying to steal the Sundream Stone guarded by the Yoshi. This caused the five Dream Gems found on the artifact to be scattered across the land that you must go and collect to return to the platform at the start. The gems are spread out across the world map, each protected by a boss that you must defeat to get it back before Baby Bowser and Kamek can get their hands on them.
Yoshi’s Crafted World features a world map full of smaller themed worlds that each have a few stages within them. These worlds all have their own distinct themes that feel very much Yoshi mixed with the arts and craft theme. Each stage is not only side scrolling left to right either, as you can also walk into the background and foreground at certain parts, which really works well throughout the game. Egg targeting is also extended into these areas as well, which allows for some collectibles to be even more hidden than usual. Outside of the usage of the background and foreground at times though, the gameplay is exactly as you would expect from Yoshi with eating enemies to make eggs, shooting eggs, and ground pounding enemies.
While the levels definitely maintain that patented Yoshi feel most of the time, the game does throw out some more unique stages that are a bit different. Stages like the horror themed Haunted Maker Mansion and the entire Japanese themed world of Ninjarama, specifically Behind the Shoji, really stand out and show the potential of the game design as a whole with the crafting aesthetic. What is really impressive is that the game doesn’t continually rely on the same layouts or puzzles, instead introducing new level ideas throughout.
The various Yoshi games have featured a number of diverse bosses over the years, with plenty of recurring ones along the way. Yoshi’s Crafted World returns some of the familiar bosses you remember like Burt along with brand new bosses to the series as well. As per usual, most of these just involve you hitting them in their weak spot three or so times and they are defeated, but the methods in which you are able to hit them are completely varied. Like the difficulty of the game in general, these bosses are never too overly difficult, though they are still a ton of fun to fight regardless.
Levels definitely maintain that patented Yoshi feel
The world map found in the game is completely linear at first before beginning to branch out more after you obtain the first Dream Gem. At this point, the world map will now show you where the missing gems are located, allowing you to go after them in the order you choose for the most part. Some platformers that are split up with levels across a world map require you to complete a certain number of stages before being able to save, but thankfully this game saves after each and every stage. While it may seem like a small feature, this can be very helpful to have, especially with the ability to take the game portably.
Each little world in the game also has a gatekeeper at the start that asks for flowers to continue. This would seem like it may hinder your progress unless you’re grinding to find most of the flowers in each stage, but really that is not the case. For the most part, you should always have plenty of flowers to trade in to advance considering half of the flowers are pretty easy to obtain without much exploration within each stage.
Replayability in Yoshi games is typically pretty standard, with your only real reason to go back being to 100% the game by finding all flowers and red coins. However, Yoshi’s Crafted World builds on that by flipping things around literally. Once you complete a stage in the game, you can now select a Flip Side version of that very level where the goal is to find three Poochy Pups within a specified time limit. You are not just going backwards in the stage either, as the entire stage is completely flipped around, allowing you to see an entirely different side from the original run. While not an entirely new stage, this gives players something extra beyond collecting flowers and red coins in the exact same version of each stage. In addition, each little world has a fetch quest type mission given after the fact that has you collecting certain souvenirs that add additional longevity.
Yoshi’s Crafted World also has another collectible to be had in the game in the form of costumes. Its predecessor, Yoshi’s Woolly World, featured a number of unlockable costumes based on other Nintendo characters, but this game takes another approach. The costumes in this game take the arts and crafts theme very literally, by putting Yoshi in homemade costumes that you can purchase at random through slot machines in the game. Selected from the overworld menu, there are 173 costumes to collect in the game in total. These are overall not as neat as the ones available in Woolly World, but they are still very fitting for the game itself. On top of the costumes, you also can play as multiple color Yoshi as well, which is always a great inclusion.
Also adding to the experience as a whole is the ability to play with a friend via local couch co-op. Both players control a separate Yoshi as you play through the adventure together. This may not have the zaniness of a game like New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe does with co-op players, but it instead offers a much more relaxing experience that two people can sit back and enjoy.
Yoshi games rarely feature groundbreaking new mechanics, but that does not preclude them from being a blast to play. This trend is continued in Yoshi’s Crafted World by taking great advantage of the do it yourself setting and mixing it with the gameplay style that everyone knows and loves. While still a bit short overall, Yoshi’s Crafted World does not falter as a result of the the same issues as last year’s Kirby Star Allies by offering much more replayability and innovative level design.
Dating back to the original Yoshi’s Island, the Yoshi series has almost always been known for its unique art designs and Yoshi’s Crafted World once again does this by making a natural transition from yarn to other arts and crafts. Featuring the laid back atmosphere the series is typically known for mixed with enjoyable level design, Yoshi’s Crafted World is yet another delightful entry in the series that is great for families and solo players alike.
Yoshi's Crafted World
- Available On: Nintendo Switch
- Published By: Nintendo
- Developed By: Good-Feel
- Genre: Platformer
- US Release Date: March 29th, 2019
- Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
- Quote: "Featuring the laid back atmosphere the series is typically known for mixed with enjoyable level design, Yoshi's Crafted World is yet another delightful entry in the series that is great for families and solo players alike."