Yoshi’s Crafted World review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Good-Feel
Medium: Digital/Cart
Players: 1-2
Online: Leaderboards

Yoshi’s Crafted World is the first time we’re seeing our old dino friend in his own game on the Switch and his first console entry since Wooly World. And that also means it’s a return to the materials-based worlds that Nintendo has been moving this and Kirby toward.

But if you think you know what to expect then you might be in for a surprise because while there is a good game here I found it very difficult to settle into Crafted World but eventually warmed up to it. The reason is that for some reason the game made a very bad first impression on me with levels that felt kind of empty.

Well after a couple hours of playing I returned to it later and must have progressed to the part where there’s more going on in the levels to help them look more dense with enemies and your surroundings. But visually I think this game is a step back from Wooly World because the look of the game doesn’t feel cozy to me. It also doesn’t help that you will see frame rate drops and the game will be at 30fps on the stage select screens so it really looks like the game is struggling with its appearance.

When it comes to how the game plays well it?s a little different from most Yoshi games. This time you will use his egg cursor much like a regular cursor instead of the traditional one we know that bounces back and forth. There is no way to choose the old cursor so you?ll be getting used to this one but that?s not a bad thing since it?s more different than a letdown. Now you can throw eggs at things in the distance or foreground which will come in handy for combat and revealing secrets. To me changing this mechanic changes how the overall game feels and contributes to a slower pace since you will have to stop and manually aim at a target. But for some reason the slower pace of Good-Feel?s Kirby?s Epic Yarn game works better where here it can at times feel like you don?t have the right tools for the job.

But the for the most part everything works out for how this game plays. No it?s not the arcade-like SNES gameplay but platforming feels good and I did enjoy a lot of the later areas compared to the dull opening.

It?s also co-op which is probably a big selling point for those of us with kids or a friend nearby. And really this seems like what the game is best at because it runs at the right pace so the two of you can more easily manage the hectic sections and make use of the point-and-shoot egg cursor. Or if you want then ride on the other Yoshi?s back and take care of shooting foes while the other guy does all the jumping!

There is also a lot of extra stuff to do here. You can replay levels in a mirror mode to hunt down poochie pups for smiley flowers, perform scavenger hunts for the lazy boxes that act as gatekeepers, and there?s a whole new area to unlock after the main game. So if you?re wondering where the challenging levels are then you?ll find a handful waiting after the end. This area was one of my favorites because it feels like a true test of skill and panders to old people like me who liked the SNES game!

And while I?m not the biggest fan of the visuals in this game they do shine at times. I just wish stages were as lush as the dinosaur world which looked very good! And my favorite thing to watch are the boss transformation cutscenes or capsule machines. I think it would have gone a long way if the entire game had this look because it might actually help set it apart in a good way. But maybe it would be terrible to play so at least we got a little extra style with these kind of cutscenes. I do find it odd that not all the cutscenes use this style.

But my personal feelings may not be how most people feel with Crafted World because I found myself enjoying the game more when I heard the music less like in docked mode without earbuds. There were a couple tunes I did enjoy like the shinobi levels but overall I just don?t like all the kazoos and chimes which remind me of whiny indie music from the early 2000s. And if like this music then be glad because there are no sound options at all!

Once you settle into Yoshi’s Crafted World there?s a good time to be had. It feels weird to call it a mixed bag in the visuals and gameplay department but it?s a mostly good bag with some stuff you just have to get through to enjoy more of the good stuff. Like Chex Mix! And with lots to do after the big boss there?s a good amount of value past the main game. But if you’re unsure then there is a demo on the eShop and you can decide for yourself if it’s worth a whole $60. I just hope if we have another adventure with Yoshi maybe he returns to his roots.

Nintendo provided us with a Yoshi’s Crafted World Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B