Some games are frustratingly hard, some are frustratingly easy, and others frustratingly long.
Yoshi’s Wooly World is frustratingly cute. As if an entire world filled with yoshi made of yarn wasn’t cute enough to make your face shrivel in disgust, Woolly World incorporates other common craft supplies into enemy designs, such as buttons that make up a koopa troopa’s shell.
The game opens up with the magikoopa Kamek appearing on an island of our adorable protagonists and using his magic to turn them into spools of yarn for some unknown reason. Thinking about it, it’s actually pretty brutal. Kamek literally reduces the majority of yoshi into their most basic form and harvests them for seemingly no reason. Savagery! From here, you embark as a yoshi (or two yoshi if you’re playing co-op) on a quest to gather the spools of yarn dropped by Kamek in order to reassemble your friends and take the rest back from the evil magikoopa.
Woolly World is a 2D platformer that doesn’t necessarily innovate the genre, but rather adds a few new elements to concepts already integrated by Nintendo.These new elements include a slew of new yoshi transformations, like Umbrella, Mega, Moto, Mole, Sky Pop, and Mermaid yoshi. Much like in Yoshi’s Story, these transformations will occur at specified points in certain levels. These transformation segments are timed, so if the player doesn’t clear the segment quickly enough, it will start the segment over. These transformations being timed adds a sense of hustle to the player. Looking for any hidden flowers or yarn spools while scrolling through the level at a casual pace has been replaced with a risk/reward of possibly finding a secret but not finishing the segment and having to restart. Another new feature added into Woolly World is “Mellow Mode.” In Mellow Mode, Yoshi gains wings and can fly over most of the danger in any particular level. This is of course optional, but it can be toggled on or off at literally any time. The downside to this is that, while the game has solid level design, none of the obstacles in your way feel super hard to deal with. Any difficulty that the game has to offer seems to be from finding hidden flowers and yarn spools. The infinite flying (well more like floating as yoshi can only maintain the height of his jump), makes it possible to evade enemies and easily explore the level, making any hidden secrets more easily obtained.
Another plus to Woolly World is that the bosses feel unique and well-thought out. Each boss has a distinctive way to make them vulnerable to attack. Each boss also has a sense of personality, despite the lack of dialogue, that is displayed through their actions that makes them relatively likeable characters.
Yoshi’s Woolly World also provides the player with a relatively good incentive to find all of the collectables hidden throughout the levels. Collecting all 5 yarn spools in a level reconstructs one of the yoshi that Kamek transformed. After reconstruction the player can change yoshi. While these yoshi don’t alter the gameplay in anyway, shape, or form they are insanely cute and that’s all I need to want to unlock them all. As far as the flowers go, each world has an unlockable level that can be accessed by earning the set number of flowers in that world.
Woolly World bring back a lot of what fans loved from Yoshi’s Story into the modern area. While the game isn’t overwhelming, it is pretty good. With its unique boss fights, fun gameplay, and a wonderful aesthetic Woolly World is worth a pickup.