A woolly platform adventure which is so cute it should come with a health warning.
Yoshi’s Woolly World on Wii U has to be the cutest eye candy to land on Nintendo’s latest console and easily one of the cutest games on any console. The game welcomes the player to a multi-coloured island filled with knitted dinosaurs and is a world beautifully crafted with brightly coloured threads of wool to create the most stunning scenery.
If you’ve ever played Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Yoshi’s Woolly World is very similar in the way it has been designed and I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with it. What’s not to love about this game?. You play as Yoshi and begin your adventure jumping and running your way through the woolly environment, using your Yoshi skills to pull, untangle and stitch yarn to explore this material world around you.
Moving through the deeply textile landscape, Yoshi can expose stitching and tug at loose threads to expose hidden areas as they explore the environment. The challenging and puzzling levels are scattered across a myriad of colourful and graphically stunning scenery, and with baskets filled with woolly yarn balls, you’ll never run short of yarn to help you on levels. Incomplete knitted platforms and Nintendo’s traditional Mario pipes can lead you to areas filled with precious gems if you knit them back together, and you’ll bounce your way on various springs and avoid all manner of woolly traps along the way.
Yoshi is the cutest knitted dinosaur to ever grace the Nintendo world and has a selection of moves to aid his journey. A stunning and firm ground pound can transform him into a woolly mallet and a simple jump can convert his legs into a propeller for extended hover time across the larger gaps. Yoshi still has the ability to use his long tongue to chomp enemies and transform them into woolly eggs, and these eggs, which follow Yoshi along on his journey, can then be used in a projectile fashion to attack anything else coming towards you or to activate out of reach platforms or puzzles. Tugging at a random loose piece of wool, or firing an egg at a suspiciously random part of the environment will quite often uncover a new hidden area filled with goodies, or a route allowing access to some hard to reach part of the environment.
It’s not all jumping and pulling on loose threads, Nintendo has thrown some variety into the game, such as a section where you can transform into an umbrella to merrily fly through the air, or turn into a motorbike and accelerate through a level in a limited time. It all adds to the fun and excitement of this game.
Nintendo’s highly desirable Amiibo are obviously incorporated into the game, and the knitted Yoshi Amiibo are easily the best Amiibo so far. While some of the regular Amiibo will cause your Yoshi to change into a woolly Yoshi version of that Amiibo, the knitted Yoshi Amiibo bring something else to the game. For example, the pink Yoshi Amiibo that we got to play with enabled a replica Yoshi to appear on the screen. This leaves players to tackle the issue of trying to navigate two Yoshis at the same time, which can get confusing but also opens the possibility of again opening up more hidden or difficult to reach areas. It’s a lot of fun controlling the two Yoshis, but it does become a lot easier to fall foul of the environmental hazards, including seeing your replica Yoshi come undone thanks to a knitted windmill blade.
Weaving back and forth through the levels is simple with the over world map, and there are a number of collectibles to accumulate on the way. You won’t get them all first time round, but there is plenty of encouragement to revisit levels to get all those precious beads, stamps, daises and highly desirable multi-coloured balls of wool. A lot of beads and gems are hidden in the Yoshi’s Woolly World, which means sometimes just randomly jumping in areas to expose hidden places.
Players will unlock various power badges as they progress, which can be used to help them through the levels. Once unlocked, you can purchase these power-ups using the gems that you have collected along the way. These super powers can be anything from making all your yarn balls massive in the game, to an All-you-can-eat watermelon, which allows you to shoot out watermelon pips knocking out evil piranha plants or devilish Shy Guys.
Playing in co-op mode allows you to team up with a friend for more challenging levels. With another player joining the fun, you can swallow them and turn them into woolly eggs. Once your friend has become an egg, you can use them as a projectile weapon to get to out of reach areas of the game. The game can be tricky in areas, but a lot of fun if you team up with a friend.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is classic platforming gameplay, oozing with charm and cuteness, rolled into a perfectly formed woolly ball. While the gameplay may struggle to offer anything new to the genre, it is delightful to play thanks to the sumptuous visuals and the charisma of these heroic dinosaurs. Nintendo make the best platform games, and Yoshi’s Woolly World is easily one of the best.