Good Feel has established quite a reputation for delivering amazing unconventional platforming games starring classic Nintendo characters. Namely Kirby and Yoshi, any time a new and wacky concept is introduced for those two franchises, I always eagerly anticipate the release for I know it’s going to be good. This remains to be the case with Yoshi’s Crafted World, a game set entirely in a cardboard world. Perhaps taking a little inspiration from the recently released Nintendo Labo, the latest entry into the Yoshi series sees our favorite Mario sidekick jumping into an elementary school project. One filled with wonder and several unique ways to tackle the challenges of each level.
Title: Yoshi’s Crafted World
Developer: Good Feel
Available On: Nintendo Switch
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: March 29, 2019
Game Purchased for the Purpose of This Review
Those unfamiliar with Yoshi games, or even newcomers to the platforming genre in general, will find the barrier to access incredibly easy to overcome. There isn’t anything extremely difficult found in Crafted World, but what is here proves to be incredibly addicting and will keep pulling you back into already completed levels over and over again.
In standard fashion, each level progresses from left to right while players control the titular green dinosaur, looking for red coins, Smiley Flowers, and coins in general. Everything you do though each stage can award more Smiley Flowers, and you’ll need to collect a ton of these in order to reach the end of the game. But why am I telling you the basics of how all platforming games work? Simple. Yoshi’s Crafted World turns the formula upside-down after just a few areas.
Ever wanted to play through a platformer from right to left? Well now you can from behind the scenes! One of the unique aspects found here is the ability to go back and play through stages you’ve already finished in reverse while searching for missing Poochy Pups. This offers a completely different take on every single level of the game, effectively extending the playtime by 100%. Not only do you need to play through each level once, but it’s a different experience if you play through it in reverse with a new camera angle and perspective. You may even find secrets and things you weren’t able to see before in the normal view!
Now it would be crazy if we had to play through the levels more than twice, right? Nope! There are also side missions handed out in each world that will send Yoshi back into each level to find things like birds, crabs, cows, and a number of different things. Once you find the items or objects in question, it gives you the chance to port back out to turn the quest in, so it isn’t like you need to finish the entire stage again. I was thoroughly impressed with how much content was packed into each stage for replayability. If you’re like me and are sure to play through each level once, with some levels being done in reverse and more, expect to spend roughly 10 to 12 hours with this game.
Each level is designed with more than one perspective in mind, and a major addition to the franchise is the ability to throw Yoshi’s eggs into the background and foreground to collect items or take out enemies. This opens up a handful of new puzzle opportunities and ways to interact with the environments.
Costumes play a major role in Yoshi’s Crafted World. Each area has a vending machine that can be visited, and Yoshi is able to purchase costumes inspired by the current area you are visiting. These costumes serve more than just a cosmetic purpose also, as they provide a bit of defense against enemies. They have durability though, and taking too many hits will destroy the cardboard costume for good, so pick carefully! The costumes are an absolute blast to play around with, and some of them are incredibly well designed.
As mentioned earlier, the barrier to access is quite simple. Yoshi’s Crafted World is not a difficult game by any means, and even less-experienced gamers will find themselves having an enjoyable time. The developers have implemented the easier difficulty that we’ve come to expect with recent Nintendo platforming titles, granting Yoshi wings and allowing him to fly through levels and not worry about platforming mechanics. I really doubt this mode will be used often, as the game is easy in general, but for the younger audience, something like this could come in handy.
If we count traditional worlds like we’re used to in Nintendo platforming games, there is a total of five worlds. But each “world” is made up of several smaller areas, anywhere from 2 to 4, each with a few different stages. There is a ton of variety in level design, locations, and aesthetics. I found it hard to be bored even with the simplicity of the game due to the fact that I was always impressed with each new stage and what it was trying to do.
Fans of platforming games and Nintendo fans in general, if you haven’t played Yoshi’s Crafted World yet, you’re doing yourself a disservice. While this isn’t a perfect game and does have some drawbacks like the easy difficulty, what it manages to do with different platforming mechanics like having Yoshi control a freaking airplane by moving around it in one stage, made this title worth the journey for me. An incredibly cute and fun adventure, this title is sure to please even the most hardcore of fan when all is said and done.
8.5 / 10