Every square inch of Yoshi’s Crafted World is oozing with cardboard charm. The game’s unique art supply closet aesthetic creates a world so vibrant and so endearing that you can’t help but to appreciate just how much love was put into the making of it. Yoshi’s latest solo adventure isn’t one of tremendous challenge, but instead an explorative chill-sesh across some of my favorite platforming levels in a long time, and the cuteness is as infectious as any Nintendo game in recent memory.
The low-stress nature of Yoshi’s Crafted World makes for an accessible adventure with few roadblocks, and I mean that in a positive note. Difficulty only arises in when it comes to collecting. Each diorama-like environment consists of three main collectibles - smiley flowers, coins, and poochy pups. Finding items early on is a breeze, but in the latter half, retracing your steps becomes a mood-killer. Unlocking the next section of the world map requires smiley flowers as payment, and despite the abundance you collected in the initial areas, your account quickly depletes as greedy gatekeepers demand more. Just as my excitement of unlocking the final boss started to rise, I was met with “sorry Yosh, I need 30 flowers.” Proper labeling of each areas' required amount would be a wise addition in a patch.
The game’s platforming and mild-combat elements are par for the course with past Yoshi entries. The lovable dinosaur-like creature swallows enemies, throws eggs at objects, ground pounds, and ends his jumps with a flutter kick and adorable grunting sound. Controlling Yoshi isn’t quite as precise as controlling Mario in the recent Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, but he doesn’t come close to feeling floaty when compared to other 2D games.
What surprised me about Yoshi’s Crafted World is the simple, yet engaging plot. When familiar foes Baby Bowser and Kamek attempt to steal the mystical “Sundream Stone” from Yoshi’s Island, resulting in five gems being scattered across the world, Yoshi must embark on a Thanos-like quest to collect them all (minus the wiping out half the population part). I never expect platformers to have much of an attention-grabbing story, but I was all in from start to finish, cliches and all.
Outside of the main game are a ton of customizable options to mess around with. Nintendo found a way to make Yoshi even cuter by giving him costumes that update both his defenses and his look. Dressing the little guy up in coffee creamer packets, a pirate ship, or even a Bullet Bill provides tons of laughs. I cannot confirm nor deny spending at least an hour just looking at him in every clothing set. It’s simple side features like this only enhance my overall feelings on this wonderful little package.
Yoshi’s Crafted World never outstays its welcome. Levels are short, objectives are simple, and the positivity it exudes is undeniable. Adding Yoshi’s Crafted World to your Switch bookshelf is highly recommended. This is Nintendo at the peak of its creative powers and another reminder what the finished product can be when a little bit of love is put into a video game.
Review code provided by publisher
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