What is Yoshi's Woolly World?
Yoshi's Woolly World tells the story of Mario's famous companion, the cutesy green dinosaur Yoshi, as he sets out on a quest to rescue his knitted friends, who've been unravelled at the hands of the nefarious Kamek and scattered across the five corners of the land. An adorable 2D side-scrolling platformer that's perfect for experienced players and newcomers alike, Yoshi's Woolly World comes complete with an awesome two player co-op mode, oodles of hidden collectables to find (some of which unlock new 'costumes' for the titular dino), and plenty to keep you coming back for more, with a fair few puzzles to solve along the way too.
How do you play Yoshi's Woolly World?
Blessed with a rather bizarre digestive system, Yoshi is able to pull enemies into his mouth with his giant tongue, and swallow them, turning them into an egg-like wool ball. Trundling along behind him through the level, these wool balls can then be thrown at other bad guys (to defeat them), chucked at the random outlines of objects you'll find in the level to knit them in and reveal hidden secrets, or used to destroy parts of the scenery, getting you access to new areas.
With more to it than simply running, jumping and bopping enemies, much of Yoshi is about solving simple puzzles, figuring out how you can get from A to B, and exploring each of the levels, hunting out hidden collectables. Whether you're shimmying along a knitted scarf-like climbing wall, pulling a loose thread to unravel the scenery or pushing a ball through a previously unbreakable wall, Yoshi's Woolly World is a lot of fun.
How easy is Yoshi's Woolly World to pick up and play?
With the option to bring a friend along for the ride in two player co-operative play, Yoshi makes a special effort to make things easier for the less gamingly-gifted among us. If you're struggling, you can switch to the easier 'Mellow Mode' difficulty, which gives Yoshi a set of wings to help him fly through the levels, making any tricky jumps incredibly easy.
In game modifiers known as Badges can simplify things even more, letting you buy (via the game's in-game 'bead' currency) various power-ups for Yoshi, which are valid for a single level, whether it ups his defence, adds fire resistance, or highlights hidden secrets. If you're really struggling, playing in co-op with a more experienced friend can make the game even easier, as, thanks to Yoshi's egg-making abilities, you can swallow your co-op partner, and turn them into one of your eggs, letting you get past particularly tricky sections with ease.
However, one thing that does make the game a little bit more complex is the irregularity of the game's checkpoints. While many games put an obligatory checkpoint just before or after a tricky section or boss fight, Yoshi's Woolly World often doesn't, and so, should you come a cropper just after a boss fight, you'll often find yourself having to replay the boss fight all over again.
On the plus side, it's also worth noting that, outside of a short intro with the Kamek villain unknitting the island's inhabitants, reading is non-existent, and whether or not you understand the story has little to no bearing on enjoying the game.
Yoshi's Woolly World is as cute and fluffy as it's knitted graphics - there's no sex, bad language or gore in sight. Violence is limited to unravelling enemies and bosses, or swallowing them and turning them into wool ball projectiles, while defeated bad guys simply fall apart and fade away.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Wii U