Occasionally here at Player2.net.au we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for the same length as the average blockbuster movie (about 2 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – Yoshi’s Woolly World
I wonder who decided that a wool themed game was a legitimate graphic style. Was is a designer sitting at a nursing home with his Nan discussing what his next game was? Perhaps a Spotlight made an investment in gaming? Maybe there was a focus group that focused on feline gamers. Whatever the reason there has been quite wave of woolen gaming experiences of late. First there was Kirby’s epic yarn, then the EA conference at E3 introduced the world to Unraveled. So is Yoshi’s Woolly World on the Wii U a worthy entry in the yarn based platformer category considering the esteemed company it is sitting with? Well I certainly think it is.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is essentially just another Yoshi themed platformer with a woolen skin. You guide Yoshi through various levels, eating enemies (and converting them into balls or yarn to use as a weapon or to solve puzzles) and collecting various items that serve no real purpose (apart from unlocking new Yoshi skins and the occasional bonus level). I have always had a soft spot for the Yoshi platform games ever since Super Mario World 2 on the SNES. They have a more relaxed feeling to them with a heavier focus on puzzles as opposed to pin point jumps and dodging dangerous enemies and Woolly World is no different.
It is fair to say that the game looks amazing. In fact I would say that sometimes it looks too good. There is so much colour and sweetness that perhaps diabetics should avoid the game. It really is the definition of a cute video game. It is also hard to ignore the fact that it is aimed squarely at the younger gamers out there. There is a lot of hand holding and power ups aimed at helping gamers get through the levels without too much heartache. There is some challenge there but it certainly isn’t as difficult as a Mario or Rayman game.
The best features in the game are the ones that focus on the wool theme. There are some very clever puzzles that involve using wool to modify the behavior of enemies and level layouts. These puzzles are by no means a brain drain but it is clear that the developers put a lot of thought into them and they are quite satisfying to solve. Once I made it to about world 5 things began to ramp up considerably and the game forced me to incorporate all of these solutions to progress through the levels.
I enjoyed my time with Yoshi in his Woolly World but it is clear that the game is not meant for me. I can see my kids getting a massive kick out of it and coming back time and time again but I think once I am finished the game it will hit the shelf never to be played again. That is by no means an indictment on the game because it is a very good one, just not one for me. Despite the charm, clever puzzles and tight platforming it seems that my love affair with Mario’s pet dinosaur is running out of steam.