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I’ve got a confession to make: Until two weeks ago, I’d never played a Yoshi game in my life. I’ve always been aware of the little fella, who I imagined was to Mario what Cringer was to Prince Adam in Masters of the Universe: A loyal pal, possessing a touch of cowardice and the potential to be every bit the hero that Nintendo’s iconic Italian plumber happens to be.

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For the purists amongst you, you’re probably raging right now. How dare someone who has never experienced the joy of Yoshi, be given his latest adventure. Hand in your games blogger badge and Nerf gun! Here’s the thing: If Yoshi’s Crafted World could sell a functioning adult on Nintendo’s colourful Cretaceous critter, then surely the game could easily grab the attention of kids who’ve yet to know the magic of this unsung hero, right? So did Yoshi and his bottomless stomach manage to get me to down a jug of that Nintendo Kool-Aid?

You bet your mushrooms it did!

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On the surface, Yoshi’s Crafted World looks like a typical Mushroom Kingdom adventure. Yoshi and pals find their idyllic way of life threatened when Bowser Jr and royal wizard Kamek pop up to muck everything up when the wish-granting Sundream Stone is split across several lands and a chase begins to reunite all five magical gems. So kind of like Dragon Ball then, only with far less screaming and even more gluttony.

That’s where you come into the picture, as it’s up to you to guide Yoshi through a colourful world of arts and crafts that will see you tangle with all manner of Koopa troopers. Business as usual then for Nintendo, but hang on a tick: Yoshi’s Crafted world may just be one of the most amazingly imaginative titles to ever grace a Nintendo console.

The whole premise of Yoshi’s Crafted World being set in a papercraft paradise of hobby constructions and origami kingdoms, is stunning in its execution. There’s not a single level that doesn’t feel thoughtfully constructed, with environments wildly differing between stages. You could be flying a toilet paper rocket airplane in one stage, navigating through a garden of recycled materials in the next or even shooting for the stars amongst bottle rockets and sparkling paper.

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It’s not just fun to explore these worlds, it’s inspiring to see just what Nintendo’s collective imagination is capable of when given the chance to shine. As far as a challenge goes, don’t expect too much from Yoshi’s Crafted World. While Yoshi is still capable of consuming enemies in a single gulp and instantly processing them into deadly eggs, his ability to slam down on foes and gently fly in the sky makes most common dangers an afterthought.

Even better, Yoshi can take his accumulation of eggs and use them to find new unlockables, secrets and even more coins in each level. He may exist on a two-dimensional plae, but Yoshi’s Crafted World is very much set in a three-dimensional plane that hides a lot more depth to its surroundings than you’d expect.

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That all combines into a fast and fun adventure, albeit one that you can tackle at your own leisure. Feel like speed-running your way through a cardboard ninja hideout? You can do that! Prefer to toss an egg at everything in a quaint train station model kit? You can also do that! That fun can also be extended into co-operative play, although the results do tend to get somewhat chaotic when a melee of egg-tossing and butt slams erupts on the screen.

I’m happy though.

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I’m chuffed that my first run with Yoshi, left me feeling chilled, calm and mesmerised by some of the finest level design that a mobile game could provide. Every stage has a flipside to it as you go behind the construction, the drive to come back to collect more goodies is strong and Yoshi himself is an adorable mascot who is impossible to dislike. There’s a certain tangible feeling to all the chaos that you’re capable of unleashing, a polish that is typical of Nintendo’s high expectations for what their most popular brands should be capable of delivering and the action never skips a beat.

You could call this game a mix of arts and craftiness.

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Last Updated: March 27, 2019

Yoshi's Crafted World
Effortlessly charming, fun for any age and an imaginatively designed spectacle of origami originality. Yoshi’s Crafted World is fine art fun on the run or at home.
8.5
Yoshi's Crafted World was reviewed on Nintendo Switch
80 / 100

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