I’ve waited a long time for Yoshi’s Woolly World, since the game was first announced I’d been itching to get my hands on it and with the European release having now happened I can only say how truly happy I am to have this game. Nintendo have given us something magical and something we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
The idea behind the game is fairly simple: As the name suggest this is woolly Yoshi in a woolly world where just about anything can happen. The game takes place on Craft Island where Kamek has decided to turn all the Yarn Yoshi in Wonder Wool and sprinkle them across the world, however she manages to miss two of the Yoshi who then set out on a quest to collect the Wonder Wool and save their friends.
The game has a selection of six worlds and eight stages in each world, of these eight stages two contain boss battles. Each world has an overarching theme such as ice, fire, the beach and other such things much like how the different worlds of Super Mario Bros. works. The worlds aren’t hindered by this theme however as the most wonderful aspect of Yoshi’s Woolly World is just how truly inventive these worlds and stages can be. Ice skating on ice cubes? Jumping from tree to tree on bouncy tree leaves? Anything you can think of Yoshi deliveries in an interesting and charming manner showing the magic Nintendo truly has.
The stages have been built with true love and attention to detail which shines through in some of the best ways. The ground Yoshi is on gives gently under his way as you’d expect, the snow and larva shines with tiny sequins dotted here and there to add a little bit more realism and character to the environment. The world is something you can believe in and could see being created perfectly outside of the game if someone truly wanted, all of what we see in Yoshi’s Woolly World gives off the vibe of being real. It’s true too though that because of the world being made completely from wool that Nintendo can pull off pretty much anything they want to do with the stages and worlds, enemies too fall into this category as Nintendo have had the room to breath and think up clever and interesting ways of beating each foe as they come along.
Each level is full of collectables for players to find in the form of balls of yarn, flowers and miiverse stamps but if you truly want to complete each stage then you’ll have to finish it with full health as well just to add a bit more challenge. All the collectables give you something in return for collecting them all though as balls of yarn gives you a new Yoshi design to play as, flowers will unlock a special extra level if you get all the flowers in all the stages across that world, and collecting a certain amount of gems containing miiverse stamps will give you actual miiverse stamps. It’s a good incentive to collect everything and truthfully with only five balls of yarn and five flowers hidden throughout any given stage you’re more than likely to find them all after your fourth or fifth playthrough of a stage.
Of course the flip side of this is that the levels are naturally designed to be explored and not rushed through as a lot of platformers are. There is always a small hidden section to find, some wool to unravel, or something to knit back into existence. Taking your time is for the best here and it’s something I was more than happy to do as I took in all the level had to offer. Replaying is of course a must if you want to collect everything but considering how fun the levels are this is generally never a problem.
I have to say that while Yoshi’s Woolly World is brilliant in many regards but perhaps mostly for the music which I have come to love. This is the first Nintendo game in a very long time where I’ve come away from it truly wanting the soundtrack for the game so I can put it on repeat for the next month or two. I never get sick of any of the music no matter how many times I hear it and it’s probably one of my favourite things about the game and once again it really shows the love put into the game as it sounds amazing and just clicks with the levels and world we’re exploring.
The only downside to the game I really have is probably the boss battles. The issue lays in the bosses being overused and the difficulty of them as they’re simply not that hard and once you’ve faced the same foe a couple of times and learn their weakness it’s not too difficult to work out what you’re meant to be doing. The game tries to make up for this by offering tougher boss fights after you complete the game, but I’m not sure that really makes up for my complaint. The difficulty of the game overall is perfectly fine with the levels steadily offering more of a challenge as you go, which is definitely nice to see considering how Yoshi’s New Island difficulty was pretty easy overall. That isn’t to say the game is too hard for kids and those not as experienced with platformers though as Yoshi’s Woolly World offers a mellow mode where Yoshi grows wings and can fly to safety. The game also offers a number of badges which you can use in a stage in exchange for gems which will give you different advantages depending on the badge.
Overall Yoshi’s Woolly World has proven that Nintendo hasn’t lost their magic when it comes to games by offering us something truly brilliant and a game that all Wii U owners should own even if perhaps you aren’t the biggest fan of Yoshi originally. With an impressive soundtrack, unique level designs and some fun ideas Yoshi’s Woolly World is a must have title.