Full disclosure: Yoshi’s Island for the Super Nintendo is one of my top three video games of all time and one of only two games I would give a perfect 10/10 score to so I am holding Yoshi’s Woolly World up to a ridiculously high standard.

Quick synopsis: Yoshi’s Woolly World is a game that looks like JoAnn Fabrics and Michael’s just had a colorful baby and the whole premise is that you are an adorable plush yard-doll that resembles a friendly dinosaur who swallows enemies and objects and then pushes them out its cloaca to form little yarn balls. That may sound like a gross game premise but the pooping animation (let’s face it, that is what it is) is actually adorable.

But the scat-based egg laying aside, this is a very colorful and family-friendly game, exactly what you expect from Nintendo’s Yoshi character and Good-Feel’s art supply aesthetics (first seen in 2010 with Kirby’s Epic Yarn.) A good amount of detail went into making all the characters and foreground elements appear to be entirely crafted from cotton, yarn, felt, buttons, plastic bedazzling beads, and various other bits of craft materials. The end result does give you game a very bright and happy feel to it. It’s hard to get angry at a game that looks so darn cute. Even most of the enemies are smiley and happy-looking.

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But, once you get past the look of the game is where things start to slow down a little.

First off, the music in this game is light-hearted and does alright for setting the ambiance, but it’s also somewhat boring and forgettable. One of the great aspects of Yoshi’s Island was the incredibly memorable music. Koji Kondo was at his best when he composed the music for that game and right from the music-box intro theme, the game is musically incredible. With Yoshi’s Woolly World, however, the music is just OK. There’s nothing about it that really stands out and as soon as you finish playing, you’ll probably forget that the game even had music. It will certainly not get stuck in your head like the theme songs of games like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., or Halo.

Another thing that is somewhat lacking in this game is the challenge. I know the game was released with broad family appeal in mind, so it has to be made a little easier for the children who will be playing, but the lack of challenge here is disappointing. There is an alternate game mode called “Mellow Mode” where your Yoshi takes less damage from enemies and has a set of wings (he must have drunk Red Bull with his breakfast of Shy Guys and Piranha Plants) so with an easy setting already in place, there’s even less of a reason for the game to be so easy. The only real challenge comes from trying to get 100% completion in the game. In each level you have to end the level with full life, you need to have found each of the stamp icons that are hidden within coins throughout the level, you need to find five [mostly] hidden flowers, and you need to collect five skeins of yarn. One thing to note is that when you collect all the yarn in the level, you will then knit yourself a new Yoshi variant which you can then play as. It’s only an aesthetic change and in no way affects the game, but some of them (a Panda Yoshi? How could you not love that?!) are pretty cute – as is a recurring theme in the game.

So many Yoshi patterns!

So many Yoshi patterns!

And speaking of alternate costumes, in tradition with Nintendo games of late, this game has Amiibo support in that touching your Amiibo characters to the game pad unlocks a costume that gives your yarn Yoshi the coloring of the touched character. Sadly, this does not work with Charizard or Pikachu, but does work with every other Amiibo I’ve tried so far so the support isn’t 100%, but it’s up there. Personally, my favorite costume is the Bowser one. I’m not sure if it’s possible to be adorable and menacing at the same time, but if so, that costume does it.

And on the topic of Amiibos, there is an exception to their use in this game. While touching any non-Yoshi character to the game pad will unlock a costume, touching a Yoshi Amiibo (either the SSB or Mario Party line will work, as well as the Yard Yoshi Amiibos released alongside this game) will do something entirely different. When you touch the Amiibo to the game pad a second Yoshi will appear on screen with you and mimic all your moves. In theory, having a second Yoshi to control sounds fun but in actuality it’s quite annoying trying to control both of them. You will probably end up swallowing one of yourselves more often than not. And in the second level, I had the partner while I went through an Umbrella Yoshi section (yes, this yarn-blob dinosaur can transform into an umbrella) and it ended up being a confusing mess trying to guide both Yoshis through the section and I ended up missing some gems because of it. Luckily, once you get sick of the extra Yoshi (it shouldn’t take long) you can touch your Amiibo to the game pad again to dismiss him.

Lastly, the level design is Ok, but only just. If you are looking for a full 100% completion, you may need a second play-through for some levels to find all the hidden sections that you missed, but it likely won’t take more than that second try. None of the levels I’ve played so far hold any real challenge or difficulty and I actually have yet to die on a level, or even come close to it. To be honest, in the several hours I’ve logged against the game already, I’ve only been hit by an enemy three times and two of those were due to confusion around the second Yoshi. All the levels are quite linear and while that’s the expectation in a platforming game, it just feels like there could have been more.

Overall, the game is good. It is fun, you will enjoy playing it, and it’s great for people with kids, significant others, or friends who want to play but aren’t necessarily the best at video games. While it’s only average in most departments, that doesn’t make it a bad game and I can still recommend buying it, just maybe wait until it’s no longer being listed at the new game price of $50. Again though, I am comparing this game to an early predecessor that was unexpectedly amazing so I may be judging it a bit too harshly. Also, if you are more of a casual gamer and don’t expect a challenge and story that will take you months to complete, this would be right up your alley. Plus, with all the yarn in the game, this might be the game that you can use to finally get your grandmother to play video games.

Yoshi's Woolly World Review
The Good
  • Good Aesthetics/Graphics
  • Amiibo Support
  • Easy to play
The Bad
  • Lacking in challenge
  • Mediocre Music
  • Uninspired Level Design
7.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
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About The Author

Dean M
YouTube Content Creator

Saying I have an obsession for video games is a bit of an understatement. Like Ash Ketchum my goal is to collect them all! I currently have over 1,600 games spanning more than 40 consoles and almost as many years and I have played all but a very small handful of them (I can't bring myself to open the older sealed games - even if it is the only copy I have of the game.) I like all genres and platforms but RPGs are my favorite and nothing beats the SNES if you want to have a good time while gaming. In my time away from gaming I'm a big fan of the outdoors (a bit of a 180, eh?) and a huge fan of animals. I have a dog, two snakes, and a dove and I love to spend time checking out zoos or volunteering at animal shelters.