Yoshi’s Wooly World follows the cutest little yarn Yoshi you’ve ever seen in an adventure to save fellow knitted Yoshis from the evil Kamek, Bowser’s head sorcerer. Kamek flies in during the first cutscene, only to not explain his dastardly plan, only revealing that he needs to turn all the Yoshis into yarn. Suspicious…
The player controls the main Yoshi, which can be costumed in different Nintendo characters’ clothing thanks to the game’s Amiibo support, with a friend able to control a second Yoshi that was spared from the Great Yarn Theft – my name for Kamek unraveling all but two Yoshi and scattering their yarn bundles throughout the different worlds.
These yarn Yoshis run, jump and flutter their way through several worlds in search of bundles of yarn to remake their friends – reminiscent of many other Nintendo games, from Super Mario Bros on the N64 to Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii, and of course Kirby’s Epic Yarn.
The player starts here, in the plaza where Kamek stole the other yarn Yoshis. From this plaza Yoshi can launch himself into the different world areas, from which he can enter in the individual levels of that world. During each level, there are four items which the player can collect: beads, stamps, flowers and Wonder Wools. Beads are spent on different power-ups, such as making all yarn balls giant, super ground-pound or safety when falling into a pit. Stamps allow the player to add special stamps to Miiverse posts; flowers raise the probability of entering a secret level at the end of a conventional level, and Wonder Wools help bring back Yoshi’s friends.
The levels themselves aren’t terribly hard, but at some points I needed to think outside the box in order to move forward. This is a pretty standard difficulty for a game like this – I found myself doing the same thing while I was playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 – but if the game is indeed too hard for whoever is playing, you’re able to switch to Mellow Mode, which gives Yoshi wings to fly through the course with.
This is an example of a bonus level: Yoshi has been turned into a giant and is smashing through wooden barriers containing Piranha Plants and Shy Guys. There are many beads in these levels, as well as floating clocks that if picked up, extend the time you have in the bonus level. Pretty straightforward way to earn some more beads, eh?
Something that I thought was cute was that if Yoshi gets going fast enough, his feet turn into little wheels and carry him along at a slightly faster speed. It’s the little things in life that make me smile.
Now that we’ve gone through all the pros, let’s take a look at the cons. When I first started playing, the 3-D controls really caught me off guard. When you want to turn Yoshi, it feels like he can only go in eight directions: up/down/left/right and diagonals. I was really hoping that it wouldn’t stay this way throughout the whole game, and I was relieved to find out that the levels themselves are side-scrolling. No need for that newfangled third dimension. Another thing that didn’t seem very great was how the player is supposed to collect the stamps. They seem to be hidden behind random beads, with only a shadow of the outline of a flower to designate that it’s there. If you were racing to finish a level, it would be more than easy to miss all 20 of them per level. So really, if you were to just go out of your way to get all the beads, chances are you’d get all the stamps too.
I’m not going to spoil any boss battles for you all, mainly because I never like reading a review of a game that I would possibly buy and have the ending spoiled right there in the review, (although I will say that this game follows the “one-two-three hits you’re out!” battle system) but overall this game is not only intensely cute, but surprisingly challenging in places. As someone who hasn’t been a big Yoshi fan in the past, I’m glad that I was so entertained by this game. Nintendo seems to have a found a pretty good niche in the yarn corner of the market. Maybe they’ll spin us a yarn (get it?) of a yarn-based Legend of Zelda or Super Smash Bros game… I doubt it, but wouldn’t that be interesting?
Be sure to leave your own opinions of the game below in the comment section!