Yoshi’s Woolly World WiiU Review

September 10, 2015

Nintendo and Good Feel have once again teamed up to yarn-ify one of their cute’ franchises with Yoshi’s Woolly World on WiiU. After what many fans have felt has only been a downward slope in terms of quality since the original Yoshi’s Island, can a new developer and art style return the series to its former glory?

Yoshi’s Woolly World is a fairly standard Nintendo platformer at its core. You go through a series of worlds where you’re tasked with getting to the end and there are some optional collectibles spread the stages. It employs many of the core traits of a Yoshi game, including egg tossing, enemy eating and flutter jumping. These characteristics give the franchise a fairly unique feel from its contemporaries. However, the throughout plot isn’t anything particularly special, seeing Kamek the wizard invade Yoshi’s village and turning the majority of the cuddly critters into skeins of wool. It’s then the player’s job to save them.


The fabric aesthetic not only makes the game of the most charming I have ever seen, but also helps to vary the level design and gameplay concepts, making the title very fresh. Each level feels distinct, as it throws in new elements, many of which are not repeated thorough out the entire game. The developers have designed levels to keep changing the focus, and it isn’t always a gimmicky power up or enemy type. One level you may have to do very precision platforming, the next you may see you solving puzzles to find keys to get out of a maze. It consistently keeps the game feeling fresh throughout.

Yoshi games and Woolly World‘s yarn predecessor Kirby’s Epic Yarn are often criticised for being too easy, but Woolly World bucks that trend. I found myself dying quiet regularly throughout the game, especially through the later levels that really tested my skills. The game doesn’t implement a life system and has some checkpoints, so you won’t find yourself having to restart levels over and over again. Nevertheless, checkpoints are treated as a luxury rather than being scattered everywhere. For example, most boss levels don’t put a checkpoint directly in front of the boss door, meaning you often have to re-play part of the level (usually the hardest part of the level) to get back up to the boss. Fortunately, for those who aren’t up for the challenge or if you are planning on getting this for younger players, a “Mellow Mode” has been included. See sees Yoshi grow wings, allowing him to fly across some of the more challenging obstacles. There are also unlock badges with beads (Woolly World’s equivalent to Super Mario’s coins) that give Yoshi a special power up that will last for an entire level.


For those looking for even more of a challenge or an excuse to replay levels, stages are littered with collectibles. Beads are the most common collectible, acting as the in game’s currency, but they may also be hiding one of twenty Miiverse stamps. Hence, if you want to get every Miiverse stamp, you will have to get every bead. The five smiley face flowers return from past Yoshi games, allowing you to play bonus minigames at the end of the levels and unlock more levels. Finally, each world contains one of the aforementioned skeins of “Wonder Wool” that unlock different patterns and colours for a cosmetically different Yoshi.

Players can also choose to take on the entire game with a friend in co-op mode. Like many co-op games, enjoyment is highly dependent on you and your partner of choice having a similar mindset, as there is plenty of opportunity to grief other players by eating them up and turning them in to yarn balls you can throw around.


Those who are part of the amiibo craze also have some extras to unlock. Whenever a player taps a Yoshi amiibo on the Gamepad, it summons a second Yoshi that you control simultaneously. I personally found controlling two Yoshi’s to be more awkward than it was fun or useful, especially as they can collide into each other and eat each other. However, a non-Yoshi amiibo will unlock a special Yoshi design based on the character whose amiibo you scan, which is a novel but still fun unlock.

As mentioned, the game’s presentation is stunningly adorable. Everything from the Yoshi’s, enemies characters and the entire level are made from some sort of craft material, giving the game a beautiful hand-made look. Combine this with some of the most pleasant and peaceful background music, this game that gives you a nice, warm, comfy feeling inside.


Overall, Yoshi’s Woolly World is a tried and true sidescrolling platformer, but that is far from a bad thing. Thanks to wonderful level design and a gorgeous aesthetic, the game feels fresh and unique, managing to stand out in a genre that has seen countless entries over the years. Like most good games, you can’t help but want more content, but the game doesn’t feel short. Yoshi’s Woolly World is one of the best platformers in recent years.


Charming Visual Aesthetic | Fresh Gameplay Concepts | Great Difficulty Curve


Could be longer | Some Frustrating Checkpoint Placement | Can Be Difficult With Multiple Players

Overall Score: