Published on February 7th, 2016 | by Genevieve Mc Bride0
Yoshi’s Woolly World
If there’s a section of the gamer dedication spectrum for people who like non-violent, brightly-colored, platform, puzzle adventure games – that is the round hole where you can shove my square peg-ness, somewhere between casual and core.
When I feel like it, I’ve been known to beat up my keyboard or pick up a controller to hunt for evildoers, race fast cars or battle Stormtroopers. There have been plenty of rough days where traffic gets me home late, exhausted and angry, and the hubby knows handing me a controller for a quick session of zombie-killing is the only way to work out my aggression.
But on most days, he knows my happy place in the gaming realm is something less stressful and more on the charming and delightful side of the scale. Since its release in June 2015, I’ve been taking my time getting through the 6 worlds. The storyline is simple – Kamek, the familiar Magikoopa antagonist of many Mario games, invades Craft World where Yarn Yoshis happily live and turns them into “Wonder Wool”. Two manage to escape Kamek’s spell and they’re the ones responsible for saving their friends.
All the stages are handcrafted with a plethora of textiles and yarn. Yoshi could be played in one of two modes: Classic or Mellow. The main difference is in Mellow Mode, Yoshi gets wings and doesn’t sound like he’s struggling to fly. (Seriously, the noises Yoshi made as he strained to fly made him sound constipated. But in an adorable way.) Players can switch between Classic and Mellow mode easily via the pause menu.
Much like Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story, Yoshi can eat his enemies, but instead of turning them into eggs, he turns them into yarn balls. These yarn balls are tossed to tie up enemies or knit together background elements like warp pipes and platforms to help Yoshi climb. Yoshi can also unravel or push walls to uncover beads and other surprises.
What makes this game fun and enjoyable is there’s no time limit and if you struggle to get through a level, you’re gifted an egg (made of yarn, naturally) that makes you impervious to dangers like flames, lava or spikes It doesn’t make you invincible, though. If you get squashed, you get squashed. Trust me. I know.
You can play in co-op mode with a green and red Yoshi. The hubby and I tried this once and it helps if your partner understands the object is not just to finish but to collect ALL the Wonder Wool in that level to unlock another Yoshi as well. And if you’re like me, you want to explore and collect all the smiley flowers, stamps and stars, too. As fun as this game is, finding all the collectables isn’t an easy task. Each world has 8 levels. A bonus level is available in each world only if you gather all the collectables in each of the previous levels. There’s a Craft World level beyond World 6 if you collect all 270 smiley flowers in the game.
If you collect amiibo, the game makes use of a series of yarn-made Yoshi amiibo. When a yarn Yoshi amiibo is scanned, you enter a Double Yoshi mode. Double Yoshi mode works much like the Double Mario power-up from Super Mario 3D World. That means both Yoshis follow your moves but function in co-op mode. All other amiibo are compatible with the game, except for the Pokémon ones and Chibi-Robo.
If nothing else, this game made me hyperaware of the material of the clothing worn by everyone around me. I spotted a woman wearing a boxy knitted poncho one day and wondered what one errant tug of a loose thread would reveal – maybe a t-shirt with a smiley flower on it? That would’ve been so cool.
The Yoshi amiibo has an age advisory of 6+, so yes, Nintendo believes this game is suitable for 6-year olds and up. And 6-year old kids could probably finish this game successfully in less time than it took me to get through the first few worlds. But that’s the beauty of Nintendo games like Yoshi’s Woolly World. Kids love them, and so do adults who still need some cuteness in their lives.