- Nintendo’s latest major game is a starring role for Mario’s dinosaur buddy, Yoshi.
- The game is named “Yoshi’s Crafted World,” and it’s a spiritual successor to the classic Super NES game “Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario World 2.”
- With a whimsical art style and charming gameplay, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is a delightful, relaxing game.
The first major Nintendo game of 2019 doesn’t star Super Mario, but it’s delightful regardless.
Instead, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” stars everyone’s favourite dinosaur – the eponymous Yoshi – as he searches for a gaggle of magical jewels in a papercraft world.
Having spent several hours with the whimsical new game, I can’t recommend it enough.
What’s the deal with “Yoshi’s Crafted World”?
Like so many two-dimensional Super Mario games before it, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is a left-to-right platformer where you’ll navigate Yoshi past enemies and over pits to a finish line.
Along the way, there’s loads of stuff to collect, puzzles to solve, secrets to be found, and enemies to be gobbled.
It is, in so many words, a classic Mario-like game – you move from left to right with the intent of reaching a goal.
The twist with Yoshi is how he moves, which is dramatically different from how Mario, Luigi, or other classic Mario characters move. Holding down the jump button, for instance, keeps Yoshi in the air for an extra second or two – a crucial difference in how Yoshi gets over deadly drops.
Why does it look like that?
As you might’ve guessed from the title, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is aimed at a younger audience. That doesn’t mean it’s an easy game – there’s still plenty of challenge and discovery that will test even the most seasoned video game fans.
But it does mean that the general aesthetic and vibe of “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is kid-friendly.
Yoshi has plenty of energy should he get hurt by an enemy, and falling down a pit means a short setback to the last edge you leapt from. If you don’t collect everything in a given level, that’s totally fine – just reach the end and you’re good to go.
Even better, there’s a difficulty option that’s aimed directly at kids if you’re playing with a child.
More than just a 2D platformer, you can explore the foreground and background of any given level.
There’s depth to “Yoshi’s Crafted World,” and I mean that literally – the game’s path occasionally offers an option for Yoshi to traverse into the background or foreground of a given level.
This is simple on the surface, but soon leads to hidden paths and secrets that would otherwise appear inaccessible.
It’s this subtle tweak on the classic Mario gameplay, in addition to several other tweaks, that makes “Yoshi’s Crafted World” feel like something unique.
You can jump on enemies, and you can eat enemies, but most importantly you can shoot eggs at stuff.
As you can see above, Yoshi’s got a trail of eggs behind him. Like in the classic Super Nintendo game “Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario World 2,” Yoshi is able to take aim with said eggs and shoot stuff.
Sometimes this means solving a puzzle to get ahead, and sometimes this means shooting a secret collectible in the background to snag it, and sometimes it means trying to rapidly take out enemies who are hoarding coins.
One major aspect of the egg-shooting mechanic that has thankfully changed in “Yoshi’s Crafted World” from its Super Nintendo predecessor: Aiming is as simple as moving around a cursor, as opposed to the minigame-like way it worked previously.
Also, yes, you can dress up Yoshi. Finally.
It’s not clear to me why someone wouldn’t dress up Yoshi in a silly outfit when given the chance. A handful of different, extremely silly options are available in “Yoshi’s Crafted World” for exactly that.
You could, of course, leave Yoshi as his usual adorable self.
But why not make him wear a clown fish suit made of cardboard? I don’t have an answer to that. It feels obligatory even though it changes nothing about the gameplay.
“Yoshi’s Crafted World” isn’t the Super Mario-level platforming you desire, but it’s a delightful, relaxing iteration on the classic formula.
For anyone who desires the pixel-perfect precision of classic Super Mario games, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” will not deliver. For everyone else, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is a charming, relaxing, downright fun Nintendo Switch game.
Along the same lines of the newcomer-friendly “Kirby” games, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” offers just enough depth to feel challenging while constantly reassuring players that everything is going to be fine no matter what.
There are only a handful of buttons to master, and Yoshi has enough health to withstand hit after hit – if you’re looking for the next game to play with your kid(s) on the Nintendo Switch, or you simply want something a bit more relaxing, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is a perfect fit.
“Yoshi’s Crafted World” is available now on the Nintendo Switch. Check it out in action right here:
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