Back from the world of wool, Yoshi is now among an environment of crafts. Surrounded by buttons, bottle caps, and a plethora of other items, the green (or whatever color you choose) dinosaur takes on another creative quest to save the world in Yoshi’s Crafted World.
Developer Good Feel did an excellent job here. The levels are abound in creativity. You would think that the developers literally went to a crafts store and played around with different objects for days. As a result, the levels are wonderful to see. You never know what sort of craft you will see next, and that keeps the game exciting.
Beautifully imagined world
While the art style is innovative, it isn’t just a gimmick to sell the game. The level design itself is superb. Its 2.5D style opens up an element of depth that not many Mario games have had. Levels have multiple layers to move around in. Moreover, at any time you can use Yoshi’s eggs to hit bonus items in the background and foreground. Sometimes, these hits will yield collectibles to help you progress in the game. Other times you might just get a few coins. Regardless, Nintendo made the most of the world, fitting in as much as they could in each level. The addition of folded boxes and magnets add another layer of depth that previous Yoshi games have been missing.
There are numerous things to find in each environment. While the levels themselves are a decent challenge in their own right, finding everything in each level ups the ante. There are a few especially challenging levels that become available after beating the final boss. The collectibles in these levels will give even the most hardcore Nintendo fans a decent run for their money. In a way, this challenge is thanks to the game’s inclusion of “Mellow Mode.” When playing in this mode, Yoshi gets wings and the game becomes substantially easier to play. I believe that because this mode exists, Good Feel likely felt free to make more difficult levels. The developers knew that the more casual gamers could switch to an easier mode if necessary. So, they did not shy away from making the game a decent challenge.
The one complaint I have is with the costumes. Throughout the game, Yoshi can be equipped with various outfits that improve his health. Unfortunately, a lot of these costumes are rather shallow and many look strange in action. It is pretty weird to see Yoshi waddle through a level wearing a milk carton.
“B Side” tracks in Yoshi’s Crafted World
One of the defining features of Yoshi’s Crafted World is the “B Side” that comes with every single level. After completing each level, players can go backward through to find all three hiding Poochy pups within a time limit. While the pups themselves are not that difficult to find, going through the level backward feels familiar, but fresh. These levels added several hours of gameplay to an already meaty platformer. It makes you wonder: why don’t more games do this? If developers could simply flip a level around and maintain the fun while giving players a different objective, it seems that more games could add optional content by taking this route.
Unfortunately, the bosses aren’t on par with the rest of the experience. The vast majority of bosses are pushovers. They are not that deep and virtually all of them can be put away within a minute without dying. The one exception is the final boss. It’s the only challenge of all the bosses.
The music can also be a nuisance at times. It fits the style well, but at times, the flute and recorder can be overbearing. I kept thinking back to the SNL skit where they kept demanding “more cowbell!” Instead, it seems like Nintendo’s composer kept demanding “more recorder!”
On the whole, Yoshi’s Crafted World is an excellent platformer worth picking up for any Switch owner. It’s a beefy experience, with lots of levels to beat and items to find. The art style is unique and the levels innovative. While the bosses and music aren’t perfect, they do little to detract from the overall experience. Yoshi’s Crafted World is well worth playing with friends or alone.
A review code was provided by the publisher.
- Lots of content here
- Level design is innovative
- Tons of collectibles, decent challenge
- "B Side" tracks
- Composer thought "not enough recorder"
- Costumes look weird