Review: Yoshi's Crafted World brings crafts to life
Arts and crafts just got a little more prehistoric.
If you haven’t played a Nintendo title featuring Yoshi as the lead, you’re missing out! Don’t let the adorable exterior fool you; these games offer quite a challenge thanks to their artsy platforming. The series is known for its unique art direction, from the original Yoshi’s Island’s crayon-like graphics to the more recent knit-inspired take with Yoshi’s Wooly World. The creative look to these games and the utter cute that is the main protagonist, Yoshi, has a distinct “for kids” vibe. Still, each has a surprising amount of difficulty and clever puzzle-solving to complete to reach that triumphant end.
The latest game in the series, Yoshi’s Crafted World, is now available on the Nintendo Switch, but how does it match up with its predecessors? Well, it has a charming “crafts-inspired” look, unique level designs, and is immensely cute, so if you are a fan of platforming and the series, this is a game you pick up if you want a more casual experience.
At a glance
Yoshi’s Crafted World
Bottom line: Yoshi’s Crafted World is a creative platformer great for all ages. With varying difficulty levels, colorful unique levels, and plenty of replayability, it’s a title just about anyone can kick back and enjoy. While the game is too easy for hardcore gamers and the co-op mode can be frustrating, it offers plenty of puzzle-solving, collectibles, and charm to earn a spot on your game shelf.
- Easy to pick up and play
- Clever theme and level design
- Plenty of collectibles
- Good for beginners and long-time players
- Mellow Mode is ridiculously easy
- Not challenging enough for hardcore players
- Co-op mode can be clunky
- Music gets repetitive
- Basic storyline
Yoshi’s Crafted World: Overload of cute in a charming platformer
From Yoshi’s Island to the latest title on the Nintendo Switch, this series has always had a distinct style. It’s unsurprising then that Yoshi’s Crafted World is gorgeous. The game sticks with school-yard graphics and is constructed from various items you’d find in an elementary school art room. It’s colorful, bright, and beautiful, but that can be disarming. These games have some tricky platforming to deal with.
As we join the Yoshis (you can pick and swap which one you use), they are going about their business tending to the MacGuffins called the Sundream Stones that make anyone’s dreams come true. This draws the attention of Kamek and Baby Bowser, and the Yoshis are left in a wild scramble to recollect the Dream Gems before they fall into the wrong hands. Like most Nintendo IPs, the story is incredibly basic, but the fun is in the gameplay.
|Title||Yoshi’s Crafted World|
|Game Size||5.6 GB|
|Play Time||8-20 hours|
The goal of Yoshi’s Crafted World is to collect as many items as possible. In addition to the Dream Gems, players can scour levels for hidden flowers and red coins to satisfy their completionist needs. Each world makes use of the art theme, and levels can be quite massive. You can take advantage of the unique style, launching eggs beyond the game boundaries, discovering hidden pathways, and turning the level design on its head. Plus, there are boss levels, which can be quite tricky if your aim isn’t sharp.
The levels aren’t just one beat either; they each have a special design, theme, and completion goals. If that isn’t enough for you, each normal level can be completed in reverse with a different objective: finding poochie pups!
At the end of each level, players get a “Report card” that shows how many flowers, red coins, and regular coins were collected, and how many hearts (or life) Yoshi had remaining. By completing these tasks, you are awarded additional flowers. There’s no end to what you can collect, so you may end up returning to these levels again and again. Of course, you don’t have to — you only need a certain amount of Smiley Flowers to advance to each area — but trust me, you’re going to want to.
If you find yourself having trouble, you can always switch from Normal Mode to Mellow Mode. Mellow Mode lowers the difficulty quite a bit (more on that later), and it makes it easier to find hidden objects and complete levels. This is especially great for younger or inexperienced players.
Graphics, music, and collectibles galore!
Yoshi’s Crafted World captures the theme perfectly. It has the arts and crafts feel from the opening screen to the end credits. As I said earlier, the developers used this style to create some truly unique platforming elements, and it cleverly hides away secret paths or collectibles you might be chasing. The bright and colorful set pieces are simply beautiful to look at, and the cuteness takes away from any frustrating sections.
The music is also light and fun. It suits the game, but it’s not outstanding — unless you’re stuck on the same level. Then it can get annoying very fast. Regardless, the soundtrack matches the theme and adds another layer of cute to an already adorable concept.
If this game has one thing going for it, it’s a variety of collectibles. While you don’t have to grab everything, there are plenty of items to check off that Crafted World bucket list. Smiley Flowers make the world go-round. The more you collect, the more places you can access. Additionally, as you complete levels, you can find red coins, and in reverse levels, you can find three poochie pups per level.
The most useful and adorable addition to the game is the costumes. On each island, Yoshi will encounter something like a gumball machine, or a gachapon machine. Throw in a few coins and you get a random costume! These little outfits are more than just for show. They can absorb damage Yoshi takes (if you’re wearing them, of course). The amount of damage the costumes can take before breaking varies, but if you take too many hits, you will lose it — but not permanently.
With so much going on, this title does have a lot to offer. However, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.
Yoshi’s Crafted World: Cute ain’t everything
While it’s super-fun and has a lot of replayability, Yoshi’s Crafted World isn’t without its flaws. If you are looking for a hardcore game experience, you’re not going to find that here. The platforming, bosses, and secrets can be a little tricky, but they aren’t on the level of other games, including Mario games. Again, this makes the game a little more accessible to a broader or inexperienced audience.
Mellow Mode, however, is barely a challenge at all. Mellow Mode is a useful feature for anyone just introducing their children or non-gamer friend to platforming games and it’s fantastic if you want to blast through levels. Yoshi gets himself some wings, so he can basically P-wing through entire levels. Plus, if he falls in a pit, he will just bounce. Add a costume, and you’re pretty much indestructible unless you walk directly into an enemy. I think it’s a little overkill, even for what is supposed to be the easiest mode.
Aside from that, playing with others can get a little sloppy. Single-player mode gives you the freedom to go anywhere and do anything without having to worry about bringing a partner along. While co-op intends to have you team up and help each other, if you have more than one person playing, you can get in each other’s way.
Both players have control over their respective Yoshis. Everyone gets their own eggs, attacks, and you can move around freely. However, some limits come with screen sharing. You can only explore as far as your partner allows. Also, a new addition to the two-player mechanics that should be helpful really isn’t. If your Yoshis are close to each other, one will hop onto the other’s back. This allows one player to fire eggs while the other runs around. This would work great if it didn’t happen at the most inopportune times…like all the time. You can miss a crucial attack or fall off a platform.
Either player might end up getting magnetized to the other, and the dual playing style turns more frustrating than it’s worth. Nintendo has way better games to fill that co-op void.
Finally, since this title was relatively early on the Nintendo Switch’s lifecycle, it doesn’t take advantage of any of the motion controls or other innovations. On the other hand, it works just fine on both the original Switch and the Switch Lite. So, no worries there.
Yoshi’s Crafted World: Should you buy it?
Yoshi’s Crafted World is a fun, charming experience for the casual player. It’s a good starter for younger or inexperienced players, and the excellent details that went into creating this world make the title stand out. Of course, if you are looking for something more challenging, this isn’t the game for you. That doesn’t mean you should discount it. There’s a lot here to enjoy in the many collectibles, clever level designs, and …well, it’s Yoshi!
Maybe just avoid playing with others. It may be built as a co-op experience, but that doesn’t mean it works. Keep in mind, you can play this the Switch and the Switch Lite, so if you’re looking to play something relaxed on a trip, this is a good title to pick up. So, sit back, enjoy the cute, and collect every last thing you can. If you are looking for something a little more your speed, take a look at some of the best Nintendo Switch games out right now.
Cute and creative
Yoshi’s Crafted World
No glitter needed
Yoshi’s Crafted World is a fun and creative platformer that is a great time for all ages. With varying difficulty levels, colorfully unique levels, and plenty of replayability, it’s a title just about anyone can kick back and enjoy. While the game is too easy for hardcore gamers and the co-op mode can be frustrating, it offers plenty of puzzle-solving, collectibles, and charm to earn a spot on your game shelf.
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