Too cute for its own good.
Adorable. That is the best word to describe Yoshi’s Woolly World. Nintendo is once again delivering one of its most treasured mascots made completely out of yarn. While the Wii U may be struggling, I can’t help but smile whenever they manage to pump out another one of their exclusive titles. Seeing Yoshi and his plethora of facial expressions lights up my heart like no other game company can. Woolly World is yet another solid argument for owning Nintendo’s latest console.
Woolly World is exactly what it looks like on the surface. It is a platformer that relies on quirky mechanics centered around the yarn motif. It really is as charming as it looks. The adventure lasts around ten hours, and never becomes overly challenging or groundbreaking. It is pure fun; the kind of game that makes it impossible not to smile while I was playing it.
MSRP: $49.99 ($59.99 with Yoshi amiibo)
Platforms: Wii U
Price I’d Pay: $49.99
Everything is based around the yarn. Enemies use that mechanic to take down Yoshi, it is used to conceal hidden areas (which are by far the most challenging portion of the game) and it adds the overall flavor to the game. Everything just screams cute. The sheer amount of visual touches and animations are incredible. Watching this game is a treat. Whether it is Yoshi subtly changing his appearance for various scenarios, or the way the world unfolds before the players’ eyes, it is dazzling.
With each level I cleared I earned power-up badges. These can then be purchased with the gems I collected throughout the stages. The badges grant Yoshi abilities, sort of like perks. It is a neat mechanic, and one that becomes necessary for the harder side missions. Those are certainly not something I could breeze through like other yarn-based titles.
My biggest test for the game is how long it held my son’s attention. Super Mario Maker burned out quick, and he still adores Mario 3D World, but has been clamoring for new games to play. Yoshi was a hit immediately. The aesthetic jumped out at him, and seeing his favorite Mario enemies, and of course Yoshi, made of yarn really drew him in. He is 5, and the levels are challenging, but not insurmountable by any means. This one kids my kid-approved badge.
As with any Nintendo platformer, there are an abundance of collectibles, nothing in the ballpark of a Banjo game, but still enough for completionists to come back for. There are reasons for collecting them as well, not just an arbitrary badge of accomplishment. For example collecting all 40 daisies on all the levels unlocks a themed area just for hunting daisies. It sounds boring, but it actually had me going back to collect them. Also stamps return for the Wii U social hub, something I find less and less interesting as time goes on.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is Nintendo doing what Nintendo does best; create a colorful world full of precision that spans generations. I loved it, my son adores it, and gamers everywhere will not be able to play it without smiling. Nothing about it changes the genre for better or worse, but that doesn’t change the fact that Nintendo still makes some of the best games out there. If you own a Wii U, it is definitely worth checking out, if for nothing more than the smile it will put on your face, the entire time you play it.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.