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Yoshi's Wooly World Review

The Wii U seems to be having a little resurgence of late, what with the excellent Splatoon and now the appearance of Yoshi in his very own title, Yoshi’s Wooly World. Those who have never heard of Wooly World will be pleasantly surprised with this platformer. It’s bright, bold and full of fresh ideas and it also makes great use of amiibo figures, which is a welcome bonus.

There will be those who suggest that Yoshi’s title borrows from the Mario games, thanks to its hidden areas and the fact that you need to go down pipes to find them, and in some respects this is true, however Yoshi has his own way of doing things too, such as unravelling loose threads to reveal new areas and finding hidden items that would otherwise be forever lost. Finding these areas is a main part of the challenge, as without doing so you’ll literally fly through the 48 levels pretty much unchallenged. Wooly World isn’t the most difficult of games, but much like Yoshi himself, it’s relaxed and laid back, however it’s also full of fantastic ideas which make the experience well worth your while.

First impressions are always important and Nintendo starts things off well by giving you a huge choice when it comes to controlling your character. As expected, the controls are also perfect, meaning that you’ll be pulling off high-jumps, tongue-whips and the like without any effort whatsoever. One of the main features of the game is the fact that Yoshi can carry balls of yarn, which can be thrown to destroy enemies, hidden items or used to rethread platforms, allowing you to progress further into the levels. To aim, Yoshi uses a reticule which runs up and down the screen; to fire you simple hit the button when the timing is right. Yoshi will run out of yarns as he can only carry five at a time, however to replenish you simply unravel an enemy or find one of the wool baskets which are occasionally floating around.

Yoshi’s Wooly World is all about collectables and you’ll find plenty of them spread throughout the game's 48 levels. Items to collect include the five hidden rolls of yarn in each area, which reward you with a custom Yoshi skin. There’s also plenty of hidden gems too and if needed, some extra lives. Other places to find hidden (thought generally not very well) collectables come via the small question-mark clouds. These are generally easy to spot as they are often out in the open. To get what you need from these clouds you simple give them a prod with a projectile and in turn will be rewarded with sunflowers and other items. Finally, there are special challenge levels, which will given even greater rewards and see Yoshi changing in different ways, be that by riding on a motorbike or by becoming giant as seen in the screen above.

All this exploring does have its perks as later in the game you can unlock the dog sidekick, Poochy. Summoned for 5000 gems he sniffs out secrets and gets more than a little excited when he uncovers them. You can also use your gems to unlock other perks and when combined with Poochy you’ll soon find those pesky hidden sunflowers in even the trickiest of levels. Find everything and you’ll be rewarded with some special challenges.

Exploring is definitely what makes Wooly World so much fun. Everyone loves to pull at loose threads, although when you do it here you are generally rewarded. The look of the world helps too, with everything being portrayed as being made of wool and it really does make the game look special. The world is so bright and pleasant that even the enemies look cute. It all makes you want to take up knitting really.

Amiibo play a big part in Yoshi’s Wooly World. I was pleasantly surprised when touching our older amiibo on to the screen resulted in a reward of new skins for Yoshi. So if you fancy a Yoshi styled on Mario, Donkey Kong, Kirby or any of your other amiibo, then you’ll likely be quite happy with the results. Meanwhile, placing a Yoshi amiibo on the gamepad will see another Yoshi come along for the ride. You can't get enough Yoshi's right? 

Finally, if you wish, you can also play each level with two players. It’s always more fun playing with friends and in my case, it’s always more peaceful when both of my kids are able to play together. Single player games are all very well, but there's nothing quite like having someone next to you to enjoy the adventure.

Yoshi’s Wooly World isn’t exactly a stealth release from Nintendo, however there seems to be more emphasis on the wooly Yoshi amiibo than there does the actual game, which is a shame really. Yoshi’s Wooly World is a fantastic game. It’s beautiful to look at and best of all, fun to play. The game has taken me completely by surprise and in my opinion is well worth anyone’s time, unless of course you don’t like having a smile on your face.

Words by Joe Anderson
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta

(Version Tested: Wii U)


+ Looks wonderful
+ Plays wonderful
+ Fun and pleasant to play


- Not difficult

Edited On 26 Jun, 2015

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