What’s this, a Yoshi and Avengers crossover?!
Well no, of course, however evil things are afoot on Yoshi Island, and they do involve missing gemstones of various colours…
The five gems are the key to the Sundream Stone, which holds the ability to make dreams come true – or, now, held. Because when nasty old Kamek and Baby Bowser came raiding one day, they scattered those stones to the far reaches of the land – oh no, everybody’s dreams may turn to nightmares! Unless, of course, our intrepid Yoshi clan can do something about getting them back.
Being crafty types, of course they can – but they need your help. You’ll pick your Yoshi and set out on what is a familiar-yet-slightly-different style of classic Nintendo side-scrolling platformer. Quite reminiscent of Yoshi’s Woolly World, this too takes a crafting vibe for its look, but with more of a Labo-like cardboard sensibility.
As well as the classic ability to swallow enemies whole and regurgitate them as eggs, your Yoshi can now aim and fire them at various things. You can use them on enemies that you may otherwise gulp down, or fire them strategically at parts of the background or foreground to uncover everything from secret passages to sneaky hidden coins. Yes, it’s all about the collecting, and there are coins of different colours as well as suns to uncover on your travels in and out of the various landscapes. But the rub is that eggs aren’t always bountiful, so you may have to carefully pick your battles, and revisit levels later to clean up your collecting totals.
There’s a familiar home map screen upon which your Yoshi trundles from point to point, with shops for costume additions and such (which you can also gain from rubbing any handy amiibo on your Switch), and bonus levels. The most fun of these are where Poochy pups have run off and you have to find them, on reverse view levels (“the Flip Side”) that show off behind-the-scenes parts of the gloriously-constructed backgrounds.
Naturally there are boss battles dotted about, while environmental puzzles are gradually introduced that require strategic thinking. Meanwhile, various other different play styles break up proceedings. A favourite of ours is the “Go-Go Yoshi” – a giant cardboard Yoshi that trundles along relentlessly, with the player charged with punching things that get in the way high and low.
Want to play co-op? Sure thing! Two Yoshis can go at it on the one screen, with collaboration the key to success. They can even ride each other – and, even better, piggybacking Yoshis can also ride Poochy for a triple stack that would make the We Bare Bears proud!
Visually, Nintendo have outdone themselves, with a spectacularly created world of cardboard, coloured paper, icy pole sticks and whatever else you might find in a half-decent craft box that’s reminiscent of the best that PlayStation’s LittleBigPlanet ever offered.
Like all of the best Nintendo platformers, Yoshi’s Crafted World seems simple at first, but it soon reveals itself to be quite devilishly challenging should you wish to go the completionist route. Still, if it all gets a bit much in stress department there is the option to flip from “classic mode” into the more chilled “mellow mode” at most any time.
Whether you love Ninty platformers or that little (insert favourite colour here) bundle of dinosaur aceness that is Yoshi, then Yoshi’s Crafted World is somewhere that you’ll want to drop by. Plus, it’s so FLUFFY!
Yoshi’s Crafted World is available now for Switch.