Yarn seems like an unlikely material to center a game around until you get your hands on Yoshi’s Woolly World. Set to release in Spring 2015 on Wii U, Yoshi’s Wolly World is the first console release of a Yoshi game since 1998. Only Nintendo can pull off a world made of yarn in which the main character eats and “produces” balls of yarn to use for traversing each level. With its whimsical style, this is one game to keep your eye on.
This game is gorgeous. The detail in the yarn makes Woolly World one of, if not the best, looking games I’ve seen on Wii U. The blurring of the backgrounds creates depth and accentuates the incredible detail in the foreground. The yarn looks so real you could touch it. When Yoshi unravels a yarn wall to reveal a secret area, the yarn twists in and out of the background, giving the game a tactile feel. The whole world feels like it was sewn together and can be unraveled. All the characters look as if they were recently crocheted and filled with cotton, lending to the adorable, unique aesthetic.
The visuals aren’t the only positive attribute. Being a side-scrolling platformer, the jumping mechanic needs to feel exact and responsive, which it does. Beyond just jumping, Yoshi eats enemies by grabbing them with his long tongue, digesting them, and carrying them around as a new ball of yarn behind him. Those balls of yarn are used to create platforms to jump on, tie up enemies, or can be unfurled onto the landscape. He also has the ability to float for a short distance by kicking his little legs, making the adorable Yoshi sounds we all know and love.
The local cooperative play allows a second player to enter as a red Yoshi. The second player can choose to be cooperative or competitive. If cooperative is the choice, you can swallow and spitting the other Yoshi into hard-to-reach areas and help gather yarn. Or if you feel like being more evil, you can shoot him off screen to collect items for themselves. I did notice having two characters trying to accomplish the same jump can cause you to get in each other’s way at times. With so few games coming out with local co-op being an option, I appreciate Nintendo still offering two-player couch co-op.
Yoshi’s Woolly World won’t offer much of a challenge, but for what it lacks in difficulty it makes up in charm. I had a smile on my face he entire time I played . Nintendo has always specialized in whimsical fun and from what I’ve played, Yoshi’s Woolly World won’t disappoint.