Capsule Review: Yoshi's Woolly World

(A note on versions - the 3DS received an enhanced port called Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World with some changes and additions.)

A 2D platformer that evolves the textile-based art style from Kirby’s Epic Yarn and matches it with Yoshi’s Island gameplay. Play as a woven Yoshi and make your way through levels, eating enemies and parts of the scenery and turning them not into eggs but balls of yarn which you can then throw as weapons or use to activate various other parts of the scenery. Just reaching the end of a level will allow you to progress to the next, but each level also has many collectibles with varying effects - find all of a level’s yarn skeins to unlock a new Yoshi to play as, collect all the special beads to unlock Miiverse stamps, and pick up all the flowers in all levels in a world to unlock a bonus level for that world. (For full completion you also need to finish each level with full health.)

The game is cute and kid-friendly, with the optional completion goals providing some replay value and a higher skill ceiling. Unfortunately, the way the collectibles are hidden doesn’t encourage curious exploration - many are effectively invisible until you walk right into them, meaning you need to thoroughly scour every part of every level if you want to find them all. This can get tedious and doesn’t feel like you’re being rewarded for being observant or resourceful, just for spending your time. The focus is less on learning and playing with new mechanics and more on checking every nook and cranny in case there’s something hidden there. This also makes it frustrating that checkpoints are a little sparse and death undoes collection whenever sending you back to one.

The game does have a high level of polish and attention to detail, and if you like the idea of thoroughly exploring levels populated by Shy Guys made of yarn to complete a collectathon checklist you’ll probably have a good time here. If you want a more mechanically-focused platformer, look elsewhere.

I Stopped Playing When: After finishing the first world, I felt no desire to return to the game.

Docprof's Rating:

Two Stars: Meh. The game has some merit - it probably held my attention for at least an hour or I came back to it for more than one play session. But there wasn't enough draw for me to stick with it for the long haul.

You can get it or learn more here.