Ever since the release of Yoshi’s Island on the Super Nintendo, the bar for a Yoshi game has been set unbelievably high. So when a new game comes out in the series featuring an evolution of Kirby’s Epic Yarn‘s unique art style, it makes one’s ears perk up. Did Nintendo deliver, or does the game unravel?
Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: February 3, 2017
Price: $39.99 (Review Copy Received)
This is a review coupled with a supplemental video review. You can watch the video review above, or read the full review of the game below.
The first thing any player will notice is just how detailed everything is. This is one game that you will want to play with the 3D turned off, as it tends to take away from the brilliant and highly detailed art style. Each bit of yarn that makes up the majority of characters looks as vibrant and dimpled as a hand-made crochet doll.
The worlds that you explore are also just as detailed and vibrant. It’s a bit of a marvel to look at on the 3DS, as it shows that the system still has some legs six years into its life cycle. The world, while having some tonal flow, changes up the surrounding quite a bit; starting in a forest, quickly moving oceanside, then to desert-like landscapes and so on. But no matter where you are, there is a nice level of warmth to each level, like jumping into a big comfortable bed.
There is also a daily theater where you can watch short stop-motion clips animated by Nintendo, with small quizzed at the end to see if you paid attention to it. If you answer correctly, you will be rewarded with some gems to be used on badges in levels.
Amiibo skins are also a nice touch for those that like collecting Nintendo’s latest accessory. The game makes it easy to quickly tap your Amiibos into the game and add them to your skin library.
Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World brings that old school Nintendo polish to the forefront. Controls could not be crafted any better; every jump, movement and throw hits with precise timing. This also makes the Poochy courses extremely fun, as without that sense of control and the speed at which it moves, it wouldn’t work and wouldn’t be fun.
One of the best aspects of this game is that it is as hard as you want it to be. This makes it accessible to young kids while not depriving players like myself of an amazing platforming experience filled with treasure hunting and puzzle solving. This was a real big worry for me and I know many others, but luckily Nintendo has taken the time to set up a system that works on both fronts.
If you have a Yoshi Amiibo, you can scan it to get Double Yoshi mode, doubling your yarn fire power. It’s a cute addition but is not something you will need to play the game. Most of the Amiibo functionality is based around looks, or minor little things that don’t take away from gameplay, so rest assured that these will not effect take away from your experience, and only add to it.
Lastly, we need to talk about all the different worlds and applications Nintendo put into this game when approaching the yarn based theme. They really used put a lot of thought into every aspect of how the game moves and is presented in gameplay. There was an instance early on in the game where you are presented with the concept of a wave of water that is a crochet of yarn, which should not compute but simply worked in its execution. Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World does quite a bit, and it’s always interesting to see what it will do.
There is a large library of music that varies from world to world, and while it does work well with the game in general, there are no real standouts. That being said, the music really adds to the relaxed feel of the game that helps make a zen-like experience for the player.
Overall, the sound design matches the soft esthetic; more like landing on a pillow less like landing on TNT. Most of the sounds just add into a cushy cute factor the game is going for.
The story is extremely simple and is in place to simply push the player into the gameplay. It’s standard Nintendo affair when it comes to their platformers. Your fellow Yoshis have had their yarn stolen from them, and you need to get it back to make them whole. This bit of context does help establish the collectibles but outside of that, it’s just a nice bit of fluff.
Over all, Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World is a game exploding with vibrant colors, great gameplay, and fun levels that’s polished to mirror-like shine. It is a perfect platformer that can be enjoyed by both new and old who want to take a break from the overly realistic worlds presented in games today. If you have a 3DS, I highly suggest you pick it up.
Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World was reviewed on Nintendo 3DS using a physical copy provided by Nintendo. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.
The Verdict: 10
- Highly detailed world and characters.
- Challenging when you want it to be.
- Accessible by all.
- Perfect controls.
- Very Refreshing.
- There is no bad.