For people seeking a video game that won’t fight back much, but instead offers an adorable experience that will make them feel great inside, look no further than “Yoshi’s Crafted World.”
The sequel to 2015’s “Yoshi’s Wooly World,” “Crafted World” is much of the same gameplay but more traditional than Yoshi’s last outing. Rather than a focus on yarn like the previous, this game is focused on arts and crafts. Trains are made of spare paper parts and the levels themselves are made out of cardboard.
With this focus on handcrafted levels, the game is oozing with charm. So much love and care is put into every level that it’s astonishing.
The main gameplay is simple: players control Yoshi and bounce around levels, using their tongue to eat enemies — generally Shy Guys, a Yoshi mainstay who are far too adorable — collect eggs, coins and flowers to reach their way to the end of the level. These collectables can actually take a while to find in later levels, which is nice for players who want to go out of their way. In fact, to progress in this game, players must find flowers to unlock later levels.
The gameplay is never too difficult, and that’s OK. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to recent releases, such as “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” that, while I love, are unbelievably hard. Instead, Yoshi is focused on giving players a place to relax and not worry about a game kicking them.
For players who are seeking a challenge, this game encourages players to look elsewhere. Many craving a challenge will be very disappointed. It can be a shame because the original “Yoshi’s Island” in 1995 could be tough as nails. A return to form of this scale would be great, but that isn’t what’s offered in this game. This doesn’t make the game bad, and it excels at being an enjoyable walk through the park.
The most enjoyable part of gameplay is when the game forces players to think outside the box to solve issues.
These puzzles are, once again, never too difficult. But when the game has players run around to find parts of a train, and then throw them like Yoshi’s eggs, it feels super fun and engaging.
The actual platforming and running around levels also feels amazing, too. Yoshi controls like a dream without and slippery movements or weird jumping. Yoshi controls like a cute little dinosaur should.
Despite all the fun, feel-good things, there’s an absolute standout level — a level where Yoshi is being chased by adorable little men with axes. Nintendo is known to get dark sometimes, but this level is laugh-out-loud fun and dark. It’s entirely unexpected and the antithesis of what to expect in this game. Finding signs that say “TURN BACK” is hilarious and unexpected.
The dark level is illuminated by axe swings and lights appearing in the background and blues and dark greys pop in contrast to a bright green Yoshi in the forefront. This level is absolutely worth looking up to see the design, at least.
The music is wholesome and enjoyable. Unlike 2014’s “Yoshi’s New Island,” the music isn’t based around horrendous-sounding baby instruments. Instead, the soundtrack pops and complements each level, benefitting the overall feel. The sound effects are creative and cute, and hearing Yoshi’s voice when he bounces and air flutters is heartwarming. Don’t play this one on mute.
“Yoshi’s Crafted World” is, at its core, a video game to make players feel good about themselves. For players who love something relaxing and sweet, it’s well worth playing. After being teased for years, the game is finally available and is some of the most fun to have on the Switch.
“Yoshi’s Crafted World” is available now for the Nintendo Switch for $60.