Review – Yoshi’s Crafted World

The toughest obstacle any Switch platformer or collectathon has to face is being on the same platform as Super Mario Odyssey. Simply being good isn’t enough when facing off with one of the best in the genre. Through a unique level flip mechanic, a plethora of 2D puzzles and collectibles, and the irresistible charm of the main character Yoshi’s Crafted World manages to be a AAA 2D platformer worth playing in a time when the indie scene has dominated the genre. It’s also yet another reason to not buy New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, as if more were needed.

Sun Face

That’s the most shocked sun in the history of shocked suns.

It’s a well known fact that Yoshi is one of the most adorable video game characters ever made, and that’s as true here as it’s ever been. His main ability is to swallow enemies and then either turn them into throwable eggs, or in the case of Koopas, spit their shells back out as a projectile. Combined with a jump hover and a ground slam, you have your primary tools for navigating the game. Some levels change things up by giving you Poochy to ride on or a giant Yoshi cardboard mech to pilot, but they’re more treats for progression rather than gimmick levels to break up monotony. This is a fun game, start to finish.

Nintendo Lootboxes

There’s a variety of cardboard costumes to unlock through what are basically lootboxes. Make sure to keep young children away before they gamble all their coins away trying to get the cow costume like I did.

Platformers live or die based off of their level design. Fortunately Yoshi passes with flying colors. Aesthetically it’s very unique and consistent. Moving away from the wool theme of the last Yoshi game, Yoshi’s Crafting World uses a new arts and crafts theme. The levels are constructed out of cardboard, felt, construction paper, and a variety of other items you’d find in a children’s art class. Also similar to Yoshi’s Wooly World, the aesthetic extends beyond simply the look of a level and inspires the gameplay mechanics and level design as well. Parts of the levels can unfold, be knocked over, opened up, or otherwise manipulated. There will be sections where you have to find a number of items in order to put build something, living up to the Crafting part of the title.

The Infinity Stone

This is essentially Infinity Gauntlet/Yoshi crossover the world never knew it needed.

Getting from one end of the level to the other is usually easy enough. You’ll run into the usual obstacles such as jumps that must be perfectly timed, moving platforms, and manipulating the level in order to open walkways or clear obstacles. However, trying to collect all the flowers and red coins will require much more dedication. Some are easy enough to find, but most are well hidden requiring you to fully explore not the just the level, but the backgrounds as well. Most background elements can be knocked over with a thrown egg and there are plenty of items hidden there. There’s more than enough traditional platforming puzzles however, so don’t think just knocking down everything you see will let you 100% the game. The name of the game here is variety, and you have to think outside the cardboard box if you want to find it all.

FORM YOSHITRON

Anyone who says they never wanted to pilot a giant Yoshi and punch houses is simply lying.

Once you finish a level, collect all the coins and other items you could find, and unlock the next stage of your gem collecting journey, you still aren’t done with that level. This is where Yoshi‘s defining feature comes into play: the level flip. Every single level in the game is playable in both the usual left to right gameplay, as well as right to left. On the surface this makes for better designed levels as they may be 2D, but they use 3D level design concepts in order to be fully explorable, regardless of the direction you’re traveling. Not that you’ll be hunting down the same collectibles, as this new direction comes with new objectives, namely finding where three poochy pups are hidden. This was in my opinion the hardest part of the game, as the pups could be hidden anywhere. In the background, foreground, amongst buildings, anywhere on the level you can reach or throw an egg at is a possibility.

For the Felt Covered Dawn!

Poochy is an unstoppable tank that destroys any enemies he hits and scales any wall he meets. Best doggers.

Needless to say, any journey to 100% will not only take much longer than any Yoshi game in recent memory, it is far more challenging. Which is exactly what we’ve been asking for.

Yoshi’s Crafted World manages to be another exemplar sample of modern Nintendo games managing to appeal to everyone. Standard level progression is at the perfect difficulty level for children to finish with minimal difficulty, but actually completing levels are much more engaging with puzzles to solve and well hidden items to locate. On top of that are the flipped levels which are even more difficult. It may not be a system seller, but it’s still well worth any Switch owner’s time.

Graphics: 7.5

While Yoshi is his same old usual adorable self, the rest of the game has an arts and crafts aesthetic. The cardboard and felt constructed levels manage to both look and run fantastic.

Gameplay: 8.5

It’s the usual top tier Nintendo platforming with a twist. Due to each stage supporting a flipped backwards version, levels feel more solidly built and fully explorable as a result.

Sound: 6.5

The music may be monotonous, but the many different sound effects and noises Yoshi makes are just adorable.

Fun Factor: 8.0

This is a game with something for everyone. Finishing levels is generally easy enough, but solving the puzzles and completing levels requires a lot more thinking and effort.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Yoshi’s Crafted World is available now on Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

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