Hands-On Preview: Yoshi's Woolly World - An Epic Yarn
For over two decades Yoshi has arrived on a number of Nintendo’s consoles, and stolen even more gamers’ hearts in the process. Though Yoshi hasn’t had his own home console release on a Nintendo system since Yoshi’s Story in 1998, Yoshi’s Woolly World is set to end the 15+ year hiatus of Mario’s dinosaur companion with his latest adventure on Wii U.
Bearing an immediate resemblance to 2010’s Kirby’s Epic Yarn (and developed by its creator, Good-Feel), Yoshi’s Woolly World ups the ante (and the cuteness) with a new Yoshi platforming title that feels instantly familiar to fans of the series, but totally appealing and fresh at the same time. Though Yoshi may have been away on Nintendo’s home consoles for some time, it’s easy to see that Woolly World is going to be a warm welcome back for the little green dino.
Taking players through the course of a level, the brief demo still managed to show off just what to expect from the game, and the general ball of cuteness that the game (already) seems to be spinning.
As a 2D platformer in the vein of Mario, Kirby, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi titles of the past, Woolly World has players flutter jumping and ground pounding their way across a level while avoiding enemies, solving puzzles, and — in the game’s co-op mode — working together to find the best way to a level’s exit.
Though its gameplay is fairly standard to Nintendo devotees at this point, the yarn-inspired locations are more than just adorable, colorful eye candy; they add a new spin to traditional gameplay.
In lieu of the traditional eggs that come from Yoshi’s gobbling up of enemies, he instead produces yarn balls that serve as his main projectile. Aside from being used to attack enemies from a distance, the yarnballs also can be used in the environment to solve puzzles, fill in missing platforms, and more.
Of course, if yarn balls aren’t immediately available or present, teammates in the game’s two-player co-op mode also act as an acceptable substitute, with players able to gobble each other up to use in place of regular yarn balls, in a fun way resembling some of the playful co-op trolling present in New Super Mario Bros U.
Filled with color and even more charm and cheer, Yoshi’s Woolly World, though familiar at a first glance to a number of Nintendo’s previous franchises, is easily set to be a big bright spot in the Wii U library for early next year.
With its epic yarn-inspired visuals and charming co-op gameplay, this game so far has shown the first console Yoshi adventure in quite some time to be what we can expect: colorful, vibrant, beautiful, and filled with easygoing fun for all ages. But, most of all, its inspired visuals and gameplay so far assure that Yoshi’s latest yarn is a tale worth telling.
Yoshi’s Woolly World launches for Wii U in early 2015.