Though this game is totally adorable and will entice novice and expert gamers alike, it is just as classically challenging as Nintendo’s other cooperative side-scrolling games, including New Super Mario Bros. U. In addition to three-hit boss battles and five worlds’ worth of enemies to defeat, there are dozens of items to collect in each level. Five smiley-faced twinkling daisies, five personified skeins of yarn, and 20 stamps are hidden inside every level, as well as health boosts and hundreds of sparkly gems.
As players make their way through the levels, they can create balls of yarn by gobbling up enemies and pooping them out. (Real.) If there are no enemies in sight, players can wait until they get to a basket of yarn, pop out as many balls as they like, and keep them in reserve as they continue on their journey. Players can take aim and launch the balls of yarn in any direction to tie up bigger enemies, like knit-versions of the iconic Piranha Plants. Or, they can launch their yarn to speed-knit platforms together, reveal hidden objects, or retrieve far away items. When players spot little bows of yarn, they can use Yoshi’s tongue to untie them, unravel the attached platform, and reveal a hidden object.
This game is all about the crafty touches. Bright buttons adorn burlap walls, bridges are stuck with little sewing pins, knitting needles elevate the platforms, and Shy Guys tote around oversized crochet hooks. Rivers run with bulky strands of fuzzy blue yarn, and Yoshi unravels when he enters a tunnel. At the end of each level, Yoshi’s feet re-knit into roller skates and he ascends through a twirling hoop made of brilliant flowers, reminiscent of something you’d see at Coachella.
Younger kids or inexperienced gamers can activate Mellow Mode at any point in the game—including in the middle of the level—which lets Yoshi sprout a pair of wings and get through the courses with ease. This game mode is not quite the leaf-of-invincibility you get in Super Mario Bros. 3D World, but it definitely makes play much easier, especially in situations where a flutter jump just isn’t quite enough.
Kids kick-off with a traditional green Yoshi, and if you’re playing with a pal you also get a red Yoshi. As you move through the levels and collect a spectrum of yarn, you will knit a whole bunch of new Yoshis, including Cotton Candy Yoshi, Panda Yoshi, and Flower Yoshi. Kids can also tap their amiibo to the gamepad to give any Yoshi a new look that matches that of the amiibo, including Link, Donkey Kong, Samus, and Mario.
Though the two-player aspect of this game is super fun, players may not always have a buddy around to play with. However, players can tap in the adorable, first-ever plush Yoshi’s Woolly World amiibo to activate Double Yoshi, and play alongside their amiibo sidekick.
While Nintendo has explored some textile fun in the past with Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Yoshi’s Woolly World takes it to a new adorable level, with extreme attention to every plushy detail. This yarn-filled game is sure to give kids and fans of all ages a serious case of the warm and fuzzies.