Nintendo's first big game of 2019 is an adorable romp with a beloved Mario character


Yoshi's Crafted World

  • Nintendo’s latest major game is a starring role for Mario’s dinosaur buddy, Yoshi.
  • The game is named “Yoshi’s Crafted World,” and it’s a spiritual successor to the classic Super NES game “Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario World 2.”
  • With a whimsical art style and charming gameplay, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is a delightful, relaxing game.

The first major Nintendo game of 2019 doesn’t star Super Mario, but it’s delightful regardless.

Instead, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” stars everyone’s favorite dinosaur — the eponymous Yoshi — as he searches for a gaggle of magical jewels in a papercraft world.

Having spent several hours with the whimsical new game, I can’t recommend it enough.

SEE ALSO: Everything we know about Nintendo’s next consoles, which may arrive as soon as this year

What’s the deal with “Yoshi’s Crafted World”?

Like so many two-dimensional Super Mario games before it, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is a left-to-right platformer where you’ll navigate Yoshi past enemies and over pits to a finish line.

Along the way, there’s loads of stuff to collect, puzzles to solve, secrets to be found, and enemies to be gobbled.

It is, in so many words, a classic Mario-like game — you move from left to right with the intent of reaching a goal.

The twist with Yoshi is how he moves, which is dramatically different from how Mario, Luigi, or other classic Mario characters move. Holding down the jump button, for instance, keeps Yoshi in the air for an extra second or two — a crucial difference in how Yoshi gets over deadly drops.

Why does it look like that?

As you might’ve guessed from the title, “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is aimed at a younger audience. That doesn’t mean it’s an easy game — there’s still plenty of challenge and discovery that will test even the most seasoned video game fans.

But it does mean that the general aesthetic and vibe of “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is kid-friendly. 

Yoshi has plenty of energy should he get hurt by an enemy, and falling down a pit means a short setback to the last edge you leapt from. If you don’t collect everything in a given level, that’s totally fine — just reach the end and you’re good to go.

Even better, there’s a difficulty option that’s aimed directly at kids if you’re playing with a child.

More than just a 2D platformer, you can explore the foreground and background of any given level.

There’s depth to “Yoshi’s Crafted World,” and I mean that literally — the game’s path occasionally offers an option for Yoshi to traverse into the background or foreground of a given level. 

This is simple on the surface, but soon leads to hidden paths and secrets that would otherwise appear inaccessible.

It’s this subtle tweak on the classic Mario gameplay, in addition to several other tweaks, that makes “Yoshi’s Crafted World” feel like something unique.

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