As an introduction to gaming, I needed to pick a game that my wife would think was cute, wasn’t hard, and that she could grasp the controls of quickly. She has never really played games and so I wanted this to be a positive first experience and something that we could play together (so I could get her through the frustrating parts). Well, Yoshi’s Woolly World hit all of my criteria right on the nose and it was a newer release that I had never touched so it could be fun for me too.
Let me start off by analyzing each of those criterion. If the game is one thing, it’s cute AF. The other company besides Nintendo behind this is Good-Feel and it feels good man. The whole time it’s a cozy romp through an imaginary world entirely made of yarn and various fabrics. They do a great job creating varying worlds for you to travel through together, each with a new mechanic to learn. There are fun mini-games as well strewn throughout where you can turn into a plane, mermaid, dirt bike, umbrella, or mole in order to get a collectible. There’s a loose story that knits it all together with a crocheted bow but it’s not particularly engaging and seems written for children (which it probably is). Kamek unraveled all of the Yarn Yoshis into little yarn bundles for you to collect. He is taking them to Bowser Jr. for a dastardly plan but that’s really about it and you just chase him through the levels and collect the dropped bundles to knit back together the different Yoshis, each with a new theme from Spooky Yoshi to Citrus Yoshi (additionally you can touch an amiibo to NFC point and unlock a costume). The Yoshis are definitely fun to collect and the one really engaging part of the game for me.
Now I honestly did think that the game wasn’t going to be very hard and boy was I kind of right. It wasn’t too difficult if you are playing on your own. However, once you add in a second player, the potential to get in each other’s way is incredibly easy to do. First of all, you can kill each other if you want so there’s the added challenge of getting over your own human nature not to spit your wife off of a cliff. The first couple of worlds are not super hard but the challenge comes from finding the collectibles. There are three kinds and the only one I cared about are the bundles of yarn to knit new Yoshis. The other two are stamps for Miiverse and flowers to unlock extra levels. They are pretty cleverly hidden and very often we would have to go back in order to find one that we missed. We collected all the flowers in the first world and realized that the special levels that you get are freaking tough. My wife sat it out and it took me a bunch of tries to beat it until I realized that you can FLOAT INFINITELY. That instantly broke the game for me and it was a piece of red velvet cake from then on. The levels do get a bit more challenging toward the end, especially because they hide the collectibles pretty well. Needless to say we were slightly frustrated with the levels which can be a good thing because we felt challenged and accomplished in all honesty.
The controls are classic Yoshi game style controls which people either love or hate. The reticle moves up and down at a set pace and you press the button again to fire the yarn balls you make from enemies. My wife had no problem picking up the double jump and reticle motion on a 2D plane so check that off the list. While she used the Wii U gamepad, I used the Wii remote and opted for tilt controls (because there was no other option..). It actually worked well except for when I was laying down and I was often quicker to get my aim than my wife. Playing with a partner had one incredible benefit though, we always had a yarn ball to throw because we could swallow each other to be thrown at a target.
Overall, it was a good game with some challenging obstacles and levels but every time we sat down to play, we could only muster up enough interest to play for an hour or so. The story is childish but the style matches and in the end I give it a 3.5 out of 5 Poochys.