Yoshi is a fairly recognizable face in Nintendo’s cast of characters. He was widely popularized in 1990’s Super Mario World. So much so that he was the playable character in the game’s sequel, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. This, of course, lead to the spin-off series starring Yoshi. The games have been around for many years on both Nintendo’s handhelds and home consoles. As Nintendo fans, I’m sure we all played a Yoshi game at some point. The question here is, does the newest installment, Yoshi’s Crafted World, hold up?

The story begins with the Yoshis around the Sundream Stone when Kamek and Baby Bowser show up to try to steal precious relic. The Yoshis fight back by holding on to the Sundream Stone, causing it to explode; pieces fly all over the land. Now the Yoshis must retrieve them before Kamek and Baby Bowser do.

Past games in the series have always had their own look to them, usually using watercolors or inks that give a childlike, cartoony look. More recently released games such as Yoshi’s Woolly World and now Yoshi’s Crafted World are stylized to look like they’re handcrafted using everyday items. Nintendo did a really great job at this; everything looks like it was crafted from hand and put to life in a video game. One of my favorite parts of the game was just admiring the amount of work that went into making everything look so realistically handcrafted.

Yoshi's Crafted World

The goal of Yoshi’s crafted World remains pretty much the same to get through the level. Gamers can choose to find all the flowers hidden within the red coins and to reach the end goal with 100% health. The flowers are at checkpoints to open new areas of the map. Replayability depends on if you want to play one or two players also if you want to complete every level to 100%.

Yoshi's Crafted World

The Yoshi series is known for being an easier playthrough then the main series of Mario games. The thing about Yoshi’s Crafted World is that it never feels like it’s too easy. It actually strikes a good balance since difficulty increases with each level without becoming too challenging.

Another new feature is you can play the levels backward by completely flipping the play area and playing behind the scenes. The goal of this is to find Poochie Pups within the level. Each level played this way has a gold time limit for you to find and retrieve all three puppies. This certainly adds variety to the game as well as helps it stand out from previous Yoshi titles.

Yoshi's Crafted World

One of the things I missed most about this title is the exploration. In prior games, you could go down pipes and there seemed like there were more parts of the level to explore. Another change that disappointed me was when you swallow an enemy and it automatically changed into an egg. In previous games, you had to push down on the control to make an egg. It gave you a choice of spitting the character back out or turning it into an egg. By removing these things it felt like something was missing.

As a huge fan of the Yoshi series, in general, I can honestly say Yoshi’s Crafted World did not disappoint me.  I really found the details behind the levels to be stunning and highly enjoyable – I can’t stress enough how creative it looks. Despite a few minor complaints here and there, fans of Yoshi games and platformers in general should give Yoshi’s Crafted World a go – there’s even a free demo, so there’s nothing to lose. I highly recommend the game to gamers who enjoy playing with their family or a young child. Although I had a few complaints here and there, it was nothing to make me not want to recommend the game.