Friday 21 July 2017

Yoshi’s Woolly World review: Thread carefully

Yoshi’s Woolly World (Wii U); rating: 7/10; age 3+

Yoshi's Woolly World
Yoshi's Woolly World
Ronan Price

Ronan Price

OLD-FASHIONED entertainment wouldn’t cut it with today’s kids. They want iPads, not empty boxes or a piece of string.

 Yoshi’s Woolly World tries to straddle the middle ground, spinning a game out of a universe fashioned from a ball of wool.

Though he’s at times unbearably cute, it’s impossible to suppress a smile at Yoshi’s antics. The enthusiastic little dinosaur swallows enemies and poops them out to produce projectiles. When he jumps, he scrabbles animatedly at the air to gain extra height.

The unravelling world looks like an explosion in a clothing factory, all loose threads, buttons and leather-stitched platforms. Nintendo has been here before, with Kirby’s Epic Yarn, a kindred 2011 platformer with a similar overload of cute.

Yoshi's Woolly World
Yoshi's Woolly World

Underneath the fabric facade, though, YWW is a remake of the lovely Yoshi’s Island, a 1995 SNES game. It’s is a throwback in so many ways, from its 2D presentation to its unthreatening, gentle challenge.

The new visuals remain charming but precious little has been added to the gameplay after 20 years. As a cross between Yoshi’s Island and Epic Yarn, it splices the DNA somewhat without ever being surprising. There’s no danger of Yoshi going all Jurassic World on us.

Seasoned gamers will glide through the game without much trouble but the secondary collectibles and secrets provide reason enough to persevere.

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