To begin, let me say that I was a big fan of Yoshi’s Woolly World and how Nintendo has been taking a little break from Mario to shine some light on his mighty dinosaur friend in yet another exclusive game. Although we have just been given access to a demo, a lot can be determined about how the future game will look and feel, and what we can look forward to as the series progresses.
In Woolly World we are taken to Craft Island, where I assume the demo takes place as well. The same game mechanics used in Woolly World appear in Crafted World, with Yoshi’s ability to swallow enemies for throwing eggs, and his extended flutter. Yoshi’s lovable companion, Poochy, also returns, offering more excitement and adorableness. Compared to Woolly World, the graphics appeared brighter and more simplistic, echoing the nature of arts and crafts. Levels are fashioned out of colorful paper, tape and glue creating a kindergarten feel. Overall, Crafted World has a playful, adventurous feel that is similar to what we experienced in Woolly World.
The demo allows you to play one “level”, where certain overall goals must be attained to earn all the points. The demo level acts as a tutorial and gives the player a chance to familiarize themselves with the mechanics. Compared to Woolly World, this game feels as if we’ve zoomed in a bit and everything appears closer and clearer. Once the player has learned the basics, the map becomes three dimensional, allowing Yoshi to move side-to-side and forward-to-backward. The lense remains fixed, but will eventually flip to view the other side of the map. Similarly to how paper is two-sided, the map — being made out of paper — is also two sided, meaning that every level has a front side and back side. This really allows the player to experience everything the level has to offer, and instills curiosity to find out what could be hiding behind buildings, trees and even paper cows.
The demo includes a train, made out of blocks, that takes Yoshi from the map’s front side to the back and visa versa. In the demo, Yoshi is tasked with repairing the train’s engine after a familiar enemy disassembles it in an attempt to impede progress. Kamek, a mischievous character that wreaked havoc in Woolly World, manages to cause trouble for Yoshi in the demo, and leads us to believe that he will return to be the main antagonist of Crafted World.
Among the many positive qualities this demo had, my main concern is how Nintendo plans for Yoshi’s Crafted World to be a unique game apart from Yoshi’s Woolly World. So far, the two games seem extremely similar, sans the graphics and new three dimensional addition to movement. The same mechanics, coins and level achievements seen in previous Yoshi games remain, as well as the enemies and overall antagonist. Now, I understand that consistency has always been Nintendo’s thing. Fans often rely on recurring methods and enemies, such as dungeons in The Legend of Zelda and Bowser in the Mario series. Although this can be a positive thing, I fear that Crafted World’s overarching concept is just too similar to that of Woolly World. I am hoping that once the game officially releases, we are introduced to a unique plot and story that will set Yoshi’s Crafted World apart.
I don’t necessarily feel it is right to rate just a demo, but for the sake of this brief review, I’ll go ahead and give Yoshi’s Crafted World a hopeful 6, with confidence that the game will put my concerns to rest. This game was pretty good, I enjoyed the relaxed feel and I am looking forward to what the full version will have to offer.