In the last few years we saw creator Good Feel try out new innovative art styles with their games. Yoshi’s Wooly World was their biggest hit and made Yoshi and the environment in to a yarny situation. Now they are back with another original take in a crafty art style. Making everything in to paper craft models. And allthough the game feels a bit of the same, we played the entire game with a smile on our face.
Just like with most Nintendo platformers, the story behind Yoshi’s Crafted World isn’t to brag about. Kamek and Bowser Jr. are up to no good again and they want to steal all of the Dream Gems from the Yoshi family. Yet something goes wrong and the gems fly off to five different locations. Now it’s up to Yoshi to go find them and bring them back to the once peaceful home. Each of the five areas have around ten levels to explore and each gem is guarded by the boss of said region.
A nice little touch in the game is that you can choose from eight different Yoshi’s to play with. Each of them are memorable from the first Yoshi game and apart from the color have no effect on the game. It’s really just a fun way to choose your favorite color and have you and a partner tag along in a world full of paper, jars, bricks and the like. Most of the objects you’ll find feel like they come right from either your childhood or the things you made in school when you were little.
Just like the story is easily set up, so is the difficulty in the game. At the start you can choose a classic mode or a mellow mode in which Yoshi gets wings and can fly indefinitely, making the game allot easier to navigate. Off course we are big boys, so we chose the classic mode to play through. But even then we found only a few hurdles where things got a little harder, making Yoshi’s Crafted World only a little tougher to beat then Kirby’s Star Allies that released just over a year ago. This isn’t to say that that is a bad thing, but if you enjoy a challenge your best to pick up Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze instead.
A big new update for Yoshi is his throw ability. In the past you swallowed an enemy and the cursor went up and down repeatedly when you wanted to throw your egg. Now however, you can aim the crosshair wherever you want without having to wait until it alignes with the target. Another big feature is that the levels are made in 2.5D, meaning Yoshi can traverse between lanes to the front or back, giving the player a sense of depth and distance in the game. Crafted World uses both new features often where you have to toss an egg in the distance to hit an enemy or get a special white flower to collect.
These white flowers were present in past Yoshi games, but more then ever they are being used in Crafted World. Every few levels, you come across a weird boxed character who asked for a certain amount of white flowers so he can regain his strength hand open up new levels for you to play. The number needed is luckily never enormous and there are tons of ways to earn flowers. Collecting them in game, completing a level without being hit, getting 100 coins or 20 red coins and so on. That does mean you can’t just breeze through and skip as much as possible, but why would any sensible person do that when he can enjoy the creativeness and charm that has been put in the level design.
Developer Good Feel had some issues in developing this game because they used the Unreal 4 engine for the first time, but in the end they mastered it perfectly. Both in handheld or docked form, the game runs and plays like a breeze. The frame rate only dips oh so slightly to around 30 fps when selecting a level, but in all seriousness that is a down time in the game where not much is happening so that didn’t bother us at all.
To extend the life of this platformer, the developer introduced a ‘Flipped Mode’ where the levels are flipped around and you play everything from end to start. This comes in to play with Yoshi’s dog Poochy, in this mode you have to search for different poochy pups who are hidden in the level. These are also means to collect more white flowers but other then the cuteness of the pups and enjoying the levels from a different perspective, doesn’t add that much to the game.
Yoshi’s Crafted World is an easy game and catered to the younger audience, fans and family’s. The game is completely playable with two people using one joy con each and that makes the game a perfect addition to your household game library. The game could have used a ‘hard’ mode however, because even in the classic mode you just can’t really die easily. When you fall in to a pit you just fly a few meters back and you can try again. This goes to show that Nintendo always has several demographics in mind when making and launching a game. Yet this one is more catered to your little nephew or niece.
Developer Good Feel made another great ‘hand-made’ style platformer with Yoshi’s Crafted World. And even when we thought things could have been more enjoyable in a harder difficulty, the charm, creativeness and great level design make for another memorable Nintendo game in their growing warchest of classics!