Yoshi’s Crafted World takes everything Woolly and adds a bit more tape in an attempt to hold it all together.
I have to be honest, I didn’t have the highest expectations going into Yoshi’s Crafted World. In every way a spiritual sequel to 2015’s Yoshi’s Woolly World, Crafted doesn’t do enough to differentiate from Good-Feel Studio’s overextended formula.
‘Yoshi’s Crafted World’ review
The kazoo is back
Pop in Crafted, and you’ll immediately be greeted by another horrible kazoo theme for the poor Yoshi clan. The ills of the series’ past haunt Crafted, namely New Island‘s affinity for kazoo and/or bland soundtrack orchestrations.
The music of the Yoshi games is always a highlight, but that has seemingly died ever since the 2014 3DS New Island title. The Crafted soundtrack really drags, making this feel like a sleepy, uninteresting venture that is maybe nice to fall asleep to, but definitely not to play through.
An adventure crafted for younger minds
Crafted would absolutely be fun for a 10 year-old to play. If you’re wondering if this game would make a good birthday gift for a niece, nephew, son, daughter, or grandchild in their elementary school years, you cannot go wrong.
Why? Children won’t notice or care how Crafted feels like just another Yoshi adventure. It’s not likely that any child playing this game will feel driven to beat it, and that is not only because of the bland soundtrack, but also because of the over simplistic level design.
‘Yoshi’s Crafted World’ is too cute, too often
There is nary a moment where your mind isn’t inundated with every form of cuteness that you could imagine. From the taped together reverse versions of the levels, to the ways enemies bumble around mindlessly (and mostly harmlessly), everything is… saccharine.
This cute effect negatively hits the boss battles, which are neutered versions of the ghosts of Yoshi’s Island past. And Yoshi’s Island this is not. The bosses are all as interesting if not at times more so than the SNES original, but they are not challenging whatsoever.
Where there’s no challenge, there’s no drive
Yoshi’s Crafted Island isn’t the game to go to if you’re looking for a fun challenge. The keywords there are both “fun” and “challenge.” The puzzles are brainless, and the game is all too forgiving. There aren’t lives, and with co-op mode, you can all but breeze through the levels, just as you could in Woolly World.
Co-op is a chore, though. You’ll find yourself doing any annoying variation of eating your co-op partner to riding on their back whenever you don’t want to. It’s a less than ideal way to play the game, and is a segment that could have done with some tune-ups to the partner interaction hit boxes.
Where does ‘Yoshi’ go from here?
The Yoshi games aren’t going to meet or exceed the quality of the SNES Yoshi’s Island. Crafted World will sell just fine, but isn’t a title that will fly off shelves such as a Mario or Zelda game.
Even though there is brand recognition in the tiny green dinosaur, it seems as though consumers are well aware of the repetitive nature of the Yoshi games, and are increasingly less interested in flutter jumping over easy platforming levels.
The flutter jump is abetted in the “Relaxed Mode,” wherein players can soar through any given level on wing. I’m not sure what the point of adding in this relaxed mode is, seeing as the game is already very chill and nonplussed. Maybe this sort of thing is Nintendo’s attempt at understanding their “relaxing and sleepy platformer” genre?
‘Yoshi’s Crafted World’ review final thoughts
Honestly, don’t try to play through this game as an adult. I can promise you that the cuteness of playing as a costumed green dinosaur with friends will wear off as soon as you’ve realized just how bored you are. There are exploration opportunities abound, but none of them yield interesting enough results to justify adventuring off into.
There is an attempt here at continuing this cutesy, crafty Yoshi and Kirby genre, but it all comes off as a less inventive version of the Little Big Planet games. It’s nowhere near worth the full $60 retail price, and is just a bit better than other titles in the Wal-Mart bargain bin. Yoshi’s Crafted World is Nintendo’s latest cookie-cutter Unreal Engine game that will be as easily forgotten as it was made.