Score: 7/10 | PLATFORMER | REPETITIVE | GORGEOUS GRAPHICS
Nintendo have been quiet lately with first party titles. While we await for the new Pokemon and Animal Crossing games, we will play through endless ports and HD remakes and then some second rate titles and characters and here we are with Yoshi’s Crafted World. Now that’s not to say that the game is trash, it’s perfectly fine and this is probably the best way to describe this game, it is perfectly fine. The graphics are cute, the gameplay is great but hugely repetitive as the game drags on and while the levels are inventive and varied, it doesn’t do enough to stand out amongst the usual high standard of first party Nintendo titles.
The game centers around the dino Yoshi’s who after their sun stone full of gems is stolen, scattering the gems across different lands, must hourney through the crafted worlds to retrieve them and stop a mini Bowser from taking over dino island. It is a pretty simple story that when combined with the gorgeous visuals delivers a satisfying experience on the Switch in both handheld and docked mode.
Each level has a different theme with under the sea, trains, pirates etc with a similar layout to a Mario map with 2 or 3 levels in each themed zone. There is a unique blend of woolly craft styled animation and paper cut outs that scatter each world with its own unique design based around the theme it is set in. The levels are packed with colletibles with coins, flower faces and hearts to 100% each level and purchase some sweet costumes that you can dress your Yoshi up in as you travel.
Initially I hated this idea, exiting out of a level to put coins into an old school gumball machine and see what comes out, is the equievlant of loot boxes in my opinion. Fortunately it turned out to be incredibly addictive and fun as dessing up your Yoshi became one of the best parts of the game. When the game’s intro video starts and you get to choose the colour of the Yoshi you play as the main character, it was a great indication of the customisation that this game offers.
If you are looking for a run and gun platformer, this is probably not the best game for you. Each level opens up after you have completed it and is available to play backwards. This reveals more coins, more collectables and more secrets as everything turns around and you can access areas that were previously unaccessible. As Yoshi moves around the level, you use your tongue to destroy the slow moving Shy Guy’s that turn into eggs and follow you around. These eggs can be used to destroy hard to kill enemies or to push down cut outs to access other areas or collect some sweet loot.
You can play in two player co-op, regrettably there isn’t enough room on the allowed screen to allow for this to be comfortable or fun. Many times we accidentally swallowed each other or tried to go further into the level and tear on the screen. I can only imagine what trying to play with a child would be like. I definitely had the most fun when I was playing this one alone.
The game does have a slower shift to allow for a slower experience. The shift of moving this down a few levels is incredibly satisfying. Allowing for creativity and exploration with no time limits like its Mario counterparts, truly offered a unique gaming experience and fit in completely with the world it is trying to convey. This also goes hand in hand with the characters themselves who are not only adorable and fun to watch and interact with, but also evoke that child like wonder that Nintendo is so perfect at.
Yoshi’s Crafted World may not be the best Nintendo original title on the Switch, but it does offer something different. A slower, most relaxed pace with a focus on collectibles and exploration rather than the typical run and gun platformer. Gorgeous graphics and different costumes do give the game replayability value, however a lack of creativity in the levels and repetitive gameplay can discourage playing this game in long sessions. Nintendo have once again delivered a solid first party title, however it fails to reach the hights of Super Mario Odyssey and Breath Of The Wild.
Yoshi’s Crafted World is available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.