Yoshi’s Crafted World has arrived for the Nintendo Switch, and it’s the most joyful experience as the green dinosaur since Yoshi’s Island. With challenging new titles like The Division 2, Devil May Cry 5, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice testing our limits, it’s a welcome breather courtesy of the “play with a smile” pros over at Nintendo.
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The best part of Yoshi’s Crafted World is the game’s titular “Crafted World.” The team over at Good Feel—responsible for games like Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Wooly World—created an absolutely gorgeous playground out of cardboard, felt, and Nintendo-sanctioned yarn, and it’s charming through and through. I was shocked by the attention to detail; every world feels alive with tons of moving and interaction with Yoshi.
Gameplay in Crafted World is pretty true to form, which is to say flutter jump and egg throws are galore, plus a few new twists. While this is a 2D game, there are a few wonderful moments where you interact with the foreground and the background to gather collectibles, fight enemies, and complete target challenges. The simplistic-but-charming puzzles we’ve come to expect from Yoshi titles also make a comeback, and Yoshi’s eggs are now fully aimable.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
For players who like customization, the game contains a surprisingly vast costume wardrobe. Unlocked through an in-game vending machine and amiibo, the costumes all share the same DIY aesthetic that this game has hit out of the park. And they’re not just cosmetic: The costumes also function as armor, even if the game isn’t necessarily tough enough to require it.
Co-op mode is a wonderful addition, allowing the choice between easy and regular co-op through a simple back ride. A 2nd player can sit on your back, throw eggs, and combine their moves with yours to create a super-powered Yoshi; it offers enough involvement to keep them engaged, while saving them some of the headaches that come with two players navigating platforms simultaneously. It’s as easy to activate as jumping on the other Yoshi’s back, and can be de-mounted at any time.
Yoshi’s Crafted World may not be the nail-biting, rage-inducing gauntlet we’ve seen in game difficulty as of late, but maybe we all could use a break. Yoshi will have you smiling from ear to ear, and there’s enough to discover along the way to see it through to the end.
Yoshi’s Crafted World is available now for Nintendo Switch.
Cameron Sherrill is a designer and writer for Esquire.com, where he covers technology and video games.
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