Nintendo’s latest platformer starring our adorable dinosaur friend is Yoshi’s Crafted World, and it is super cute and a blast to play. Most of the brightly coloured and carefully designed levels feature some quirky gameplay idea, whether it’s Yoshi guiding an inflatable plane or donning a dinosaur skull and crashing through walls.
The story line is about as breezy as you’d expect for a game about a dinosaur that gobbles enemies and converts them into (throwable) eggs. Events are set in motion after Kamek , an evil wizardly turtle, and Baby Bowser, intrude upon the dinosaurs gathered on Yoshi Island and try to steal the Sundream Stone.
According to lore, the Stone, which rests atop the highest spot on the island, is capable of transforming dreams into reality. Though a group of multi-coloured Yoshis do their best to prevent the villainous turtles from making off with it, five of the Stone’s encrusted jewels (otherwise known as Dreamstones) are dislodged in the struggle and spread across the island. So naturally it’s up to Yoshi - or if you’re playing the game with another player, the Yoshis - to try to recover them.
Yoshi’s Crafted World embraces a handmade crafts art style that makes everyday things look amazing. Egg cartons, red plastic cups, unfolded paper clips, and tin cans all make for eye-catching background elements. This aesthetic carries over to some of the creatures in the game. There are fish that resemble cardboard cutouts, a snake that looks like it’s made of accordion paper, and my favourite, a boss that is composed of a train crossed with a box-shaped alligator: A Gator Train.
Depending on how you play it, Yoshi’s Crafted World can be either easy or moderately challenging. Hidden throughout each level are Smiley Flowers, some of which are much less conspicuous than others. Certain levels have challenges attached to them as well. On Go-Go Yosh, you can pilot a large toy Yoshi that sports huge boxing gloves and punch your way through toy houses, cars, and balloon-riding Shy-Guys looking to make a quick exit. Throw 9,000 points worth of precise punches and you’ll win three flowers.
Or take out seventy-five moles on the stage Monty-Mole-B- Gone for another three Smiley Flowers. Flowers are used to appease gatekeepers that dot the island. So, while it may be easy to breeze through much of the game and gather whatever flowers you come across, eventually those gatekeepers will bottleneck your progress if you’re not hunting for a sizable number of flowers on each level.
Yoshi’s Crafted World is a masterpiece of great gameplay coupled with a uniquely beautiful visual style, pick it up for your Nintendo Switch today.