Far removed from Cookies and Cartoons, Nintendo are now firmly committed to associating Yoshi with Wool.
And with Yoshi’s Crafted World, they’ve certainly proved that it’s a match made in speckled egg heaven.
The realm of cardboard cutouts is home to the most adorable, wholesome, and pure platforming experience this generation.
Every moment I spent with Yoshi’s Crafted World raised a smile and lifted my spirits. In a time where the world seems to be tearing itself apart, Nintendo have given us something truly lovely to absorb.
It’s a step forward in the Woolyverse, too, with the game using Unreal Engine 4 now, enabling players to interact with characters and set pieces roaming in the scenery
Like Wooly World, Yoshi still collects eggs from munching on goombas or other baddies, or grabbing them from egg boxes. These can then be used to shoot at clouds and coins.
However, this can also tweak the mechanics. By making use of a 2.5 Plain, Yoshi can now walk around the foreground and background, so isn’t just restricted to side-scrolling action.
You can also backtrack on Yoshi by essentially having him flip the Crafted World and enter the background of the level to progress further or discover hidden secrets.
Yoshi’s Crafted World is surprisingly ambitious in terms of what it achieves, and how it plays. On the surface, it seems like standard platform fare, but as you start to aim Yoshi’s shots and unravel its mysteries, the game really takes on its own identity.
Despite the clear, sometimes overwhelming obvious similarities to Wooly World, this is a clear upgrade and a surprisingly brave approach from Nintendo.
Its family-friendly nature offers greater immersion than New Super Mario Bros U which released earlier this year though sadly not quite as much content as you can theoretically breeze through Yoshi in around five hours.
That said, there’s plenty of opportunities to keep revisiting levels by discovering hidden Daffodils and uncovering all of the Poochy Dogs as you try to restore the gems in the Sundream Stone.
Another cool feature is the option to choose your colour Yoshi as you enter the Crafted World. You’re not just stuck with that gorgeous leaf green, as you can choose Blood Orange or Sea Blue. Variety is key.
True, some of the levels do tend to feel a bit repetitive and occasionally the design does show its limitations. It’s certainly not Nintendo’s finest platformer on Switch – admittedly, that’s quickly become a very competitive field – but it’s undoubtedly the sweetest and most infectious.
There’s true charm and a surprising amount of substance in this delightful little romp. Every time I booted up my Switch to play, it felt like the console was giving me a loving hug and when my time was up, it left me with a warm glow inside.
Yoshi started life as Mario’s dino pal and mount, but Crafted World shows that he’s not only got plenty to offer Nintendo’s rich library of content but that his adventures are a highlight on any platform they find themselves on.
With its gleeful tunes, soothing sounds, and stunning design, Yoshi’s Crafted World is another wonderful jewel in the Switch’s platforming crown.
Yoshi’s Crafted World is available from today on Switch
Review code kindly provided by Nintendo.