In this new iteration of Yoshi’s adventures, our hero and his fuzzy brethren are squaring off against Bowser Jr. and the wizard Kamek, on the hunt for Blue Gem MacGuffins that will restore prosperity to the land. Levels are largely presented in 2.5D, allowing you to move to the foreground and background in search of items. While the papercraft aesthetic of Feel-Good’s latest is undeniably adorable, it’s hard not to notice how blurry and low-resolution things can get to allow for this at the same time. While visuals might disappoint, gameplay always runs smooth as silk in 60 frames per second.
Levels generally run from left to right and involve the collection of sunflower-like Smiley Flowers. Finishing a level with full health and at least 100 Yellow Coins will earn you one each, but you’ll also have to hunt to find more hidden Smiley Flowers alongside Red and Blue Coins too. A large part of that hunt requires Yoshi to gobble up enemies and spitting them out as eggs rather than simply stomping on them; said eggs can be thrown into the fore- or background of a level, dispatching baddies or collecting further items. Not only will you need eggs to throw at clouds hiding timed challenges, but usually at objects as part of those challenges itself. As such, it’s always useful to stock up on as many eggs as Yoshi can carry.
Collecting as many Smiley Flowers as possible is key to progress through Yoshi’s Crafted World, as new regions are locked until you can turn over a certain amount of the collectible. The game’s map is largely linear, though as you progress you’ll be able to determine which direction you set off on the map, and therefore which regions you complete first.
On top of this, there’s some collectible padding thrown into the mix whether you like it or not. Thankfully optional, you can replay completed levels to find things like Yoshi’s woollen dog Poochy or items that are asked of you by the Caretakers who look after each region.
For little ones, an Easy mode will give Yoshi constant wings to fly above enemies and co-op mode provides the option to have one Yoshi ride another, freeing the second character to throw eggs as he or she goes. For those after a single-player experience, Feel-Good will keep you on your toes with levels that add a quasi-playable Poochy to the mix, by obscuring half a scrolling level with a Japanese shoji or putting Yoshi on a papercraft plane, train or giant version of Yoshi himself. These levels are the best Yoshi’s Crafted World have to offer, illustrating creativity and also presenting a more of a challenge than normal levels.
That’s not to say normal levels aren’t good, they’re just rather bland. They’re safe, much like the game itself. Yoshi’s Crafted World is not going to win any awards, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. Things are easy for far too long before ramping up near the end; I wish that challenge was present throughout more of the levels. If you’re after a cute time rather than a genre-defining one, this’ll work just fine.
Yoshi’s Crafted World was reviewed using a promotional code on Nintendo Switch, as provided by the publisher. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale.