It’s not all just basic platforming. Nintendo loves to introduce new level designs and gimmicks–it’s one of their specialties, and Yoshi’s Woolly World contains its fair share of surprises. Some stages had me hanging on for dear life on a curtain careening its way down a curtain rod to the end, where it dropped and I had to frantically jump to the next, then the next. Some stages included my adorable pal Poochy, who carried me over spikes and large gaps. Other levels I skidded around on ice and snow, or rode cloud trails from Bullet Bills. I climbed swinging mobiles, tentatively leapt onto invisible platforms revealed by a ghostly hanging fabric, and rode flying carpets past gust-spewing cloud enemies. Every level held something new.
Behind special green doors in some levels are extra stages where Yoshi takes on the form of an umbrella, a motorcycle, a digging mole, a mermaid, or a giant and rushes through a short, timed course full of gems and at least one collectable. These areas were fun breaks from the regular gameplay and always well-worth the sprint.
The puzzles and enemies leading up to each boss presented a much greater challenge than their masters did.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is full of the solid gameplay I’ve come to expect from Nintendo, with two notable exceptions. Doors to single-rooms containing collectables look identical to doors progressing you through the stage that you cannot return through. In my quest to collect everything, I often went through a door I could not go back through, and was forced to restart the entire stage to get the item I missed. Though not a major drawback, it was still frustrating to rehash the same thing over and over because of an inability to move backwards on some stages.
The other big disappointment was the boss battles. Levels 4 and 8 of each world end in a boss, all of whom (with one exception) were painfully easy. The puzzles and enemies leading up to each boss presented a much greater challenge than their masters did. What’s worse is that after a certain point, the bosses repeat themselves. The boss of the first world is fought two other times, and never gets any tougher. Since each fight is finished with the standard formula of “knock them over, ground pound, x3”, these alleged gate keepers were extremely underwhelming.
In addition to Mellow Mode and the aforementioned palette swaps, Yoshi’s Woolly World comes with other ways to switch up gameplay. Collecting gems allows you to purchase certain power-ups to make levels easier, with new power-ups unlockable by finishing levels in which they are featured. You can take Poochy for a walk through any level you want, gain infinite watermelon seed spitting abilities, reveal all hidden items, increase your defence, and more.
Tapping a yarn Yoshi amiibo at the start of a level acts similarly to the Double Cherry in some of the Wii U Mario games–you get a second Yoshi to take with you. The additional Yoshi will follow your primary one and can be gobbled up and flung around just like a yarn ball, or used to access hidden areas a bit more easily. I found the second Yoshi difficult to use–everything is completable with just the one Yoshi, and my second Yoshi’s tendency to get himself into all sorts of trouble proved more frustrating than useful. Still, it’s another way to play the game, and one that made some areas easier, and others more challenging. Other non-yarn amiibos can also be tapped to add more palette swaps for Yoshi.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is also available in the two-player variety if you have a friend who wants to join in the fun. Two-player mode is easier, as you can help each other clear mechanics and find secrets, but also can be a bit chaotic as you jump around and smack each other in the face. Co-op also offers the same option the amiibo does of gobbling up your partner and flinging him or her at obstacles or secrets. Though by no means necessary to complete the game, the option to bring in a friend adds to the fun and playability of this game, putting yet another title in the Wii U library that you can break out when a friend is over.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is another stellar, family-friendly title joining the ranks of those like it on the Wii U. It’s co-op mode and easily adjustable difficulty make it the perfect game to play with a pal, a sibling, or on your own at any level of skill. The levels are long enough to keep you engaged but not so long that they drag, and each area has new surprises to keep the player engaged. The entire game can be finished in 10 hours if you’re rushing, or lengthened to around 25 if you’re after everything it has to offer. With the level of detail and polish put in, it’s worth picking up, especially if you intend to play with the family.
And, did I mention? It’s really, really cute.
A copy of this game and a Yarn Yoshi amiibo were provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.
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