Yoshi's Woolly World - Wii U

Release Date:

October 16, 2015

Also on:

Wii U 3DS

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.


In Yoshi's Woolly World, the evil wizard Kamek has transformed all of Yoshi's friends into yarn and scattered them across the world, and only Yoshi remains to save the day. In Woolly World, Yoshi no longer produces eggs, instead dropping balls of yarn that can be used to tie up enemies or replace missing parts of the environment. Levels are filled with beads that can be used to acquire Power Badges that might make Yoshi more powerful, or rescue him from sticky situations. Various other collectibles are strewn throughout the stages, and collecting them all can unlock bonus games, secret levels, and Miiverse stamps.

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Wii U


Yoshi’s Woolly World was developed by the team at Good-Feel for release on the Wii U. Published by Nintendo, Woolly World gives fan favorite dino Yoshi another chance to shine in his own title. Utilizing an inventive art style, a unique set of controls, and the typically colorful world that Nintendo is so known for Yoshi’s Woolly World released to astounding reviews. We’ve always been a fan of Nintendo’s more unique exploits, with Paper Mario being one of our favorite totals, so you didn’t have to bend our arm in order to convince us to give this game a legitimate shot. We picked it up, dusted off our Wii U, and got right to work.

There is a lot to discuss when look at Yoshi’s Woolly World and most of it, surprisingly, has little to do with the actual art style. At its core Nintendo is trying to make another 2D platformer with a beloved character from the Mario pantheon. At face value this is exactly what you get with the title. You get 48 levels of platforming glory with super tight controls, boss levels, and a fulfilling and concluding end to the title. With pitch perfect sound and beautiful artwork there is very little to shake your head at here. Sounds fine, right? Well, the problem is that it doesn’t work perfectly and there are hiccups and we weren’t completely fulfilled. Let’s discuss why exactly this title falls a little bit short of what we were hoping for.

So right off the bat we can say that the controls are as tight as any other Nintendo platformer. You take control of your Wii U remote and instantly feel at home and as if you have known these controls your entire life. The basic platforming skills are put into full effect here with Yoshi’s natural twist: high jumps, ground pounds, and tongue whips. Playing off of the art style has Yoshi carrying around balls of yarn which he can then sling at his opponents. Hurling stuff in the game is a little more technical then the aim-and-chuck that Mario perfected in his titles. Holding down the A button while in possession of yarn will launch a reticle that allows you to target your foe and pick the trajectory that you want to hurl the item. Wool can be obtained by many different ways including eating your enemies.

Unfortunately the tight controls only further exemplify the biggest issue in the title: it is too easy and straightforward when played clean. If you attack Yoshi’s Woolly World with the intention of beating each level as fast as possible, as is the norm for Mario titles, you will breeze through the 48 levels with nary a backward glance. The title is easy, the goals simple, and the execution commonplace. You’ve played this game for the past decade in its many different iterations. Fortunately you can swerve away from this feeling of the tired old theme by digging into the classic Nintendo magic.

In order to change up the routine and really enjoy the game you will have to engage in some real collecting mentality. After you beat each level in Wooly World a treasure chest will pop up showing all of the items that you missed along the way. Go back and replay the levels, finding all of the collectables, in order to unlock new rewards and bonus content. If you do this long enough for enough levels you will start to unlock new Yoshi skins, new S levels, and much more. It’s a fun way to create some replayability while giving gamers more to focus on while they play through the relatively simple levels. It’s a more challenging and complex game when you force yourself to hunt out all of the hidden items that are hidden around the game.

Beating any of the 48 levels in the 5 minute time limit is hard enough in itself so adding on the collecting side quest makes it an actually difficult task. These were some of the most enjoyable moments for us in the game as we would start to really take in all of the artistry in order to find the slight differences that would imply a secret tunnel or a special switch to get us into a new area. And you really do have to keep an eye out. The wool based artwork can conceal all sorts of hidden areas with clues as innocuous as an extended piece of yarn that, when eaten by Yoshi, will unravel an entire secret area. Seriously! Eye strain becomes a possibility when hunting for treasures.

The art style is obviously going to be the most alluring and immediately distinguishable aspect of the video game. The transformation from flat cartoonish worlds into wool and yarn works well, for the most part. Yoshi’s Woolly World is pretty and it has a lot of great texture work done in the various items in the worlds. Yet there is a feeling of something missing permeating everything. Tiny textural details are lost and some animations just aren’t smooth. On the whole it looks different than other Mario World titles but it doesn’t necessarily feel better. Still, as a gimmick it isn’t terrible and we’re sure some people will think it’s cute or something.

In terms of gameplay quirks everything plays relatively straightforward with the exception of your sidekick, Poochy. Poochy helps you sniff out secrets and treasures as long as you can afford his summoning fee (5,000 gems - and you can). He helps you fill out your collection and on the whole is a welcome addition to the game, if only to give it a bit more depth in a different direction. With Poochy at your side you can unlock all of the collectables in order to acquire the six secret courses which are, on the whole, much harder than the main game.

Yoshi’s Woolly World on the Wii U is an average entry into a stellar franchise. The artwork is fantastic but the game itself was made a little bit too safe.

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Release Date:

October 16, 2015

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