Yoshi’s Woolly World, a colorful and creative take on Mario’s green sidekick, originally released on the Wii U back in 2015. Bringing forth an original yarn-inspired aesthetic that presented the most adorable and charming Yoshi game yet, and featuring some solid and entertaining side-scrolling platforming, the game was an excellent addition to the console’s catalog. With this year’s Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World, 3DS users also get a chance to check out the game in a fantastic port that brings even more features in tow, but also drops some old ones as well.
Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World
Developed by Good-Feel / Published by Nintendo
Available on the Nintendo 3DS.
*Review code provided by Nintendo
Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World follows the plot of the original release. After Kamek the mischievous Magikoopa kidnaps the majority of the peaceful Yoshis and turns them into balls of yarn, the remaining Yoshis go on a stage-hopping quest to save their friends and stop Kamek before it’s too late.
Being an entry in the long-running Yoshi series, Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World plays exactly as you’d expect, which is both good – since the gameplay and mechanics are solid – and bad – as there’s not much new here and it’s extremely familiar. Once again players take control of the loveable Yoshi and guide him through side-scrolling stages as they swallow up enemies and turn them into balls of yarn – which replace the eggs of previous iterations, shoot at enemies and objects, and jump/float across perilous pits and onto a variety of platforms.
Being all about the yarn aesthetic, the game gets a spin on the traditional mechanics. While Yoshi will still be throwing balls using an aiming reticle, flutter jump when he floats across gaps, butt-stomp objects, and occasionally transform into different objects, Yoshi will also be able to create new platforms by tossing balls of yarn at unknitted sections, pull at bows to unweave walls and reveal hidden goodies, push false walls to access secret areas, and more. It’s fun and it controls pretty well, though the gameplay can get a bit repetitive, and there’s not much variety aside from the occasional boss fight.
In addition to clearing levels, players will also be collecting quite a few things as they progress through them. Once again players will collect flowers hidden throughout the stage, as well as hearts that represent Yoshi’s health and beads that act as currency, but this time around players will also collect five Wonder Wools that’ll grant new Yoshi skins if they’re found. Players will also be able to unlock power badges, granting unique abilities like bigger balls of yarn, protection from pits and more, as long as they have the beads to purchase them, and pencil stamps that give players more options in Craft Mode.
The game is pretty friendly for kids and newcomers, as it brings a Mellow Mode that’ll help players by giving them access to Poochy Pups that serve as an infinite amount of yarn balls, highlight all the game’s secrets and tie up enemies, as well as the ability to float forever as Yoshi. Player’s looking for challenge can go the normal route, while others looking to just have fun can use the simpler difficulty. It’s nice that the game comes with this option, and it can be switched on at any time if players need a helping hand.
Among the new features in the 3DS version is the new Poochy Dash Mode, which has players take control of the dog-like creature in unique stages that have it sliding and hopping in order to collect pups and beads. Then there’s also Craft Mode, which lets players design their own Yoshi skin and share it with others through StreetPass, and a theater that plays short stop-motion clips of the characters.
Amiibo functionality also returns in Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World, allowing players to play with Double Yoshi (the second Yoshi mirrors actions), or summon Poochy as an A.I. sidekick. What’s missing though is the co-op feature from the Wii U version, which let players team up and have fun together. It would have been fun to allow one player to play as Yoshi while the other controlled Poochy, but unfortunately it was skipped.
The beautiful aesthetic from the original Wii U version also suffers a bit due to the port, which is to be expected as it’s quite a difference in power between the two. While you can tell that the environments have the hand-crafted looks (though it’s a bit muddied) due to their size, smaller objects like enemies and Poochy and Yoshi themselves look nothing like the sort. It’s still a colorful and well-designed game however, it’s just not as impressive and awe-inspiring as the Wii U version.
When it comes down to it, Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World is an excellent port of the Wii U game, bringing most of the original content and padding it with some extras. While it doesn’t look as hot, is a bit repetitive and cut out the multiplayer, it’s a solid platformer that’ll entertain kids and adults alike.
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