After the immensely frustrating experience that was attempting Super Mario Sunshine for like the 200th time, I needed a bit of a soul cleanse. As the release schedule on the Switch has been admittedly a bit light, compounded with the collecting-fatigue I’ve been feeling, some change was in order. I decided to do what I first wrote about a few years back, and that is stopping the purchasing of new games and playing what I already had for a few months.
One of those games that I had adored and yet eventually got side-tracked from and never finished is Yoshi’s Crafted World on the Switch. I hadn’t played any Yoshi games (aside from Yoshi’s Island back in the day), and from what I remembered, it was an extremely relaxing experience. Perfect for cleansing the soul after it got Sunshine‘d. And man, do I love this game.
The joy of Yoshi’s Crafted World lay in the simplicity of the minute to minute gameplay. It’s essentially a few different iterations of hide n’ seek, and you move throughout each stage and find flowers, red coins, and secret areas. However, each level can be played completely reversed, which is a really neat twist and introduces all sorts of interesting “behind the scenes” looks at the level construction.
As implied by the name, the levels in Yoshi’s Crafted World are made out of construction paper and random household trinkets, so for example, seeing a cloud on the “front side” of the level has you looking at the back of the cloud on the “flip side”, complete with a taped piece of string by which it hangs. If there is a large can of soda on the front side, you see the back label upon your flip side return. It’s charming and the more time you spend in a level, the more little Easter eggs you can take in.
The big appeal of Yoshi’s Crafted World is how egg-throwing works. No longer are you locked to a two-dimensional plane; you now automatically shift between the playing ground, the foreground, and the background, depending on where you are aiming Yoshi’s eggs. This allows for all sorts of cool hidden collectibles, and the game never skimps out on challenging your perception.
The real fun, in my opinion, unlocks once you complete the two or three levels within each themed world. There is a robot in each world who will ask for favors, typically in the form of finding a certain item in a level (more specifically, in the front side or flip side). This adds a great layer of depth to the game because it gives you more reason to pay attention to the level props, as well as giving you more of a purpose to returning to levels to finish off grabbing any collectibles you may have missed.
For example, if you missed two flowers and a red coin within a level, rather than going out of your way to re-enter the level and try to find everything at random, the robot will eventually ask you to find something within that level, so you can find the robot’s requested item and grab those two extra flowers and red coin all in one single run. For an efficiency weirdo like me, it means it saves me from taking multiple trips through a level to collect everything. Because now not only are you looking for those two flowers and a red coin, but you’re now playing Eye Spy (remember those books!?) as well!
Each world also has a gumball machine that gives you costumes for Yoshi (whichever color you choose, as there is a whole fleet of Yoshis to choose from!), and you spend your coins getting said costumes. Every machine has ten and cost a pretty penny per turn; but if you keep playing, you’ll easily have enough to burn through these machines. It also does a nice song and dance once you’ve completed it.
Yoshi’s Crafted World is also a completionists dream, because it makes it super easy to visualize which levels you haven’t yet completed using a convenient list view, and then you can jump right into them and continue. And the icing on the cake for me, is that once you find all the collectibles in an area, the whole screen lights up and you get a little celebration for finding all the flowers. Sometimes after a long day, a small celebration is just what the body and soul needs.
Playing this game at night, laying in bed, could not be more relaxing. If you’re a stressed out madman like myself, this game might be a sleeper hit that you are looking for during these rough times.
Got some thoughts on Yoshi’s Crafted World? Let’s chat in the comments 🙂