Yoshi’s Crafted World (Switch) Review

Handled With Care

Good-Feel is known for developing visually unique platformers like Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Woolly World. Its latest platformer Yoshi’s Crafted World once again stars Mario’s dinosaur buddy, except this time he ventures courses entirely designed as arts-and-crafts projects come to life.

Here’s my Video Review for your viewing pleasure!

It’s a gutsy move to fashion every area like a third grader’s diorama, but Yoshi’s Crafted World balances its seemingly childlike design with carefully constructed set pieces. DIY tools and fabrics cleverly come together to form platforms and backgrounds. The little details stand out, from creases on a plastic backdrop to folded edges of cardboard. I firmly believe that any of these stages could be recreated in real life. I’ll take a “Nintendo Labo Stage Builder” please? The HD resolution enhances the crafty visuals. It’s not as sharp as other Nintendo Switch games in either docked or undocked mode, but the eight colorful Yoshis and their foes shimmer in this sculpted setting.

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Yoshi, but crafted.

The crafted world isn’t just for show. Different elements serve the various level gimmicks. Tape unfurls to form pathways, yarn ropes create bouncy platforms, and magnets weigh down cans for puzzles. The mechanics are creative and give each level a fresh feel, but they’re usually restrained to the course they’re found in, so you never really get to see them evolve. At least there are a wide variety of themes from levels based on sweets to ninja castles, complete with tricky trap doors. The most memorable stages branched out from standard platforming, for example, to target shooting or riding a giant robot.

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I would watch a stop-motion Yoshi series.

For the most part, Yoshi plays similarly to other titles in the series: he has a flutter jump, eats enemies to make eggs, and throws those eggs as projectiles. However, that last element has changed significantly. In Yoshi’s Crafted World, you can move the aiming reticle anywhere on the screen for precise egg tossing. The catch is that Yoshi can’t move while aiming, so you are stuck in a static position until you throw that egg. Why such an odd gameplay shift? Because Yoshi can now throw eggs into the foreground and background. Tossing eggs and walking in and out of different planes of depth lend credence to the game’s “2.5D” side-scrolling style, and it looks neat to jump back and forth. However, due to this shift in stage design, Yoshi screeches to a halt when performing one of his primary abilities, just so he can adjust to shooting in 3D space. The series isn’t known for brisk platforming, but Yoshi’s altered egg tossing doesn’t do the pacing any favors. Nor does the slow lullaby-like soundtrack, which creates no tension whatsoever and is reused gratingly throughout the entire campaign.

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I wish I had made a Yoshi diorama project in school.

Extra objectives highlight the game’s theme of discovery. Nintendo has emphasized in its marketing that every level has a flip side. Basically, you play the stage in reverse, and the perspective switches such that you can see the backsides of every object. I had a smile on my face anytime I saw a box’s nutrition facts or a bar code; the charm is at maximum ooze in this mode. Unfortunately, flipping the stage doesn’t offer any new meaningful challenges. Instead, the game tasks players to find three Poochy Pups and escort them to the end within a time limit. It’s an entertaining mission that fosters exploration, but it’s underwhelming considering how heavily the flip side levels were promoted. Catching these adorable puppies is at least more substantial than the souvenir hunts that function like tedious hidden object fetch quests.

The discovery train doesn’t end there as plenty of collectibles adorn the world, from the core Smiley Flowers required for unlocking levels to 20 red coins scattered throughout each area. Achieving 100% on a stage requires nabbing every flower, red coin, over 100 gold coins, and maintaining maximum health – which is definitely tough. You’ll need an eagle eye to see some pesky hidden collectibles and may need to replay levels repeatedly just to find a single red coin or flower. Thankfully, the game tracks what you’ve already obtained. Hardcore players will find it worth their while to amass Smiley Flowers for some key rewards, though I wouldn’t say it’s a must to get every collectible for anything but bragging rights.

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Finally, a game mode where I can ask “Where’s Poochy?”

Completionists will get the most out of Yoshi’s Crafted World. Otherwise, a standard run through the approximately 40 levels takes about eight to ten hours. The plateaued difficulty curve is what ultimately limits this platformer. Unless you’re actively trying to find everything, the challenge is stagnant until the last set of levels and the few bosses. Truth be told, the game is well-tuned for younger or inexperienced gamers. Interestingly enough, there are actually ways to make the game easier. A Mellow Mode setting grants Yoshi wings for infinite flutter jumps, and cardboard costumes function as defensive armor. I wish the costumes, which you unlock via a randomized gacha-style machine, were purely cosmetic as I wanted to wear them without further simplifying gameplay. On one hand, I appreciate that difficulty is variable depending on how you approach the game. On the other, with two ways to reduce challenge, surely, the developers could have produced more devious courses.

Finally, there is two-player local co-op. It’s a bit more chaotic than other cooperative games because the Yoshis often get in each other’s way. Nevertheless, the unique abilities grant this mode its own personality. The Yoshis can gobble each other up and spit them out as extra ammo. And one Yoshi can ride another’s back, Mario-style, such that the steed can focus on the platforming while the rider assists with aiming.

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YOSHILLA!!

Conclusion

A creative arts-and-crafts artstyle synergizes with innovative mechanics to produce the game’s impressive interactive diorama courses. There’s a little something for everyone, from a mellow mode for casual gamers as well as completionist challenges for the hardcore. It’s style over substance, however, and a harder base difficulty would have vastly improved the adventure. Also, the heavily advertised flip side mode didn’t quite meet its potential. Regardless, the uniquely designed set pieces are engaging to uncover. Yoshi’s Crafted World may not make waves, but it’s a solid choice for younger players and fans of the lovable green dinosaur.

Score: 8/10

Note: A review copy was used for this article. This review was posted on DarkStation.

What do you think of Yoshi’s Crafted World? What’s your favorite Yoshi game? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below! Thank you so much for reading and watching!

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28 thoughts on “Yoshi’s Crafted World (Switch) Review

  1. Yoshi! Loved your review of this adorable game! The Poochy Pups make me giggle. I think the design of Yoshi’s Crafted World is very clever. I’m not used to seeing obstacles made out of cardboard. Although I do prefer Yoshi’s Woolly World’s aesthetic over this arts-and-crafts diorama feel, being able to interact with the foreground and background is pretty cool. Co-op was clunkier than I expected. I felt that we were constantly getting in each other’s way or accidentally eating one another. In that respect, I loved Yoshi’s Woolly World and Kirby’s Epic Yarn much more. There should be a Yoshi-Kirby fusion game for extra epic cuteness. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful words and support especially at this time! I truly appreciate your awesomeness! Yoshi! I’m so glad that Good-Feel started making Yoshi games, first with Yoshi’s Woolly World, then with Yoshi’s Crafted World. Kirby’s Epic Yarn felt like such a Yoshi game that I was always hoping Yoshi would be the next step. I still prefer the original Yoshi’s Island on the Super Nintendo, but Yoshi’s Woolly World was my favorite since Yoshi’s Story. I enjoyed co-op in YWW too, and I was hoping it would be more manageable in Yoshi’s Crafted World. It’s still an adorable game, and I appreciate Good-Feel’s efforts in creating fabric-based artstyles. I’d love to see a Kirby’s Extra Epic Yoshi World or some other fusion too haha! Thank you again! 😀

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  2. I have been playing it for the last couple of days, but unfortunately I haven’t had much free time so I was only able to clear 4 stages. What I can say, though, is that I have been having a blast. I think the visuals are excellent and the level design is pretty sharp too, despite the fact it is all – as you said – very easy.

    I only played one flip side level, and I quite liked how it gives players a backstage look on how the dioramas were put together. However, in gameplay itself, it is certainly sort of dull to simply replay the same level all over again, even if from a slightly different perspective. I am also not a big fan of how some collectibles are handled.

    Yet, overall it looks like I will greatly enjoy the ride when it is all said and done.

    Very nice review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Matt! I really appreciate your wonderful comments and kind words man! I had a lot of fun with Yoshi’s Crafted World, overall, but I completely agree that the flip side (which was supposed to be the BIG thing about this game) is a wasted opportunity. I like the idea, and I would have gladly played through a harder version. Could you imagine a flip side that is actually a challenging mode as opposed to Poochy Pup hunts?

      Anyway, the collectibles, hmm. Which part didn’t you like? For me, I didn’t like having to eagle eye search for every individual collectible. I was always missing like one red coin because a nearly invisible Shy Guy in the background was flying with it…

      I still hope you have a lot of fun with Yoshi’s Crafted World!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, the flip side certainly could have been much more.

        As for the collectibles, you pretty much summed up what bothers me about them, which is the same thing that bothered me about them in Yoshi’s Island: the fact they can be obscurely hidden and how some of them can be missed even after you have spotted them, like the ones that are obtained through timed challenges.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I felt like those collectibles are worse in Yoshi’s Crafted World, because of the different planes of depth. The timed challenges stink, too. Funny enough, those are the few times that the levels flip other than the Poochy Pup levels. It’s silly, because you’d think there could be so much “depth” to being able to flip such a large 2.5D stage. Not gonna lie, I was hoping for something like Super Paper Mario’s flipping mechanic.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review. I was really impressed with the diversity in level designs and themes here. And of course how well-executed the art direction is. This is definitely a game where the challenge comes from trying to get everything as opposed to just completing the platforming challenges. And while I certainly prefer more challenge in my platformers, I do find myself really enjoying this even now going back to get some of the stuff I missed. I think for a more exploration-based platformer, it is really really good. My biggest issues were probably the soundtrack being so repetitive and the way they did the souvenirs (I don’t think I’ll have the patience to collect all of them).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot man! I really appreciate it! Having a bunch of miniature island worlds as opposed to just 5 or 6 worlds really helps to bring diversity to Yoshi’s Crafted World. This was one of the few games where I loved the “extra” vehicle or target shooting levels, simply because they were genuinely fun. I unlocked what I wanted to, mostly post-game stuff, but I do feel like completing each stage little by little. I’m not in a hurry since there isn’t much there besides satisfaction and costumes. But I still feel like I’m going to enjoy going back to this one. The souvenirs are extremely boring to collect, though… And the soundtrack, uggh. Yoshi music hasn’t really been that great since Yoshi’s Island (which is masterpiece level of music for me), but the xylophone lullaby theme for Crafted World was literally putting me to sleep haha…

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  4. I’m glad this got a sequel! I thought the first was better than Yoshi’s Story, despite being seemingly less popular. The flip-side gimmick is also really clever, even though it sounds like they don’t fully take advantage of it. All in all, this looks like a lot more of the same, and that’s a good thing. Plus, it’s nice we didn’t have to wait another 17 years or so for a Yoshi platformer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed. I was a fan of Yoshi’s Story, but it had its issues (six levels in story mode, eating fruit to continue?), but I really thought Yoshi’s Woolly World was the best Yoshi game since the masterful original Yoshi’s Island. Yoshi’s Crafted World is solid, but it just didn’t feel challenging until the very end. And the flip-side, cool as it is, feels wasted. I’m also pleased that we don’t have to wait, although I’m not sure if you’ve played Yoshi’s Island DS or Yoshi’s New Island for 3DS? It’s okay if you haven’t since we don’t talk about those games. Haha nah they’re okay. 😛

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