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I don’t take notes when I’m reviewing games. I used to, right when I got started, but I soon found I never used them. It turns out that if something about a game is especially good or bad, I’ll remember it. And then I write my reviews based on those things.
For Yoshi’s Crafted World, I almost wish I did take notes, because so little about this Switch platformer is memorable. Just like 2015’s Yoshi’s Wooly World for Wii U, Crafted World has similar gameplay mechanics to the classic Nintendo sidescroller Yoshi’s Island within a home crafts-inspired aesthetic.
I reviewed Wooly World back when came out. Reading that story now is bizarre, because I remember almost nothing about that game. Crafted World will have the same fate. It’s cute, but it’s so easy that nothing feels the least bit challenging.
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What you’ll like
It’s still adorable
The characters, the levels, the backgrounds, and the art are the best parts of Yoshi’s Crafted World. Levels look like something you could make yourself if you had an unlimited budget at Hobby Lobby, and it’s neat to see how Nintendo makes these stages out of things like milk cartoons and soda cans.
You can even go back through levels in reverse, which turns the camera around and shows you just how hand-made these levels are, exposing all the tape that’s keeping everything together. It’s a neat trick.
A chill experience
If you’re looking for an easy-going game, Yoshi’s Crafted World will make you happy. The game isn’t difficult, the music sounds like a collection of sleep-inducing lullabies, and everything looks super cute. It’s not a bad game to play if you’re in an awful mood, and you’re looking for something that isn’t the least bit stressful.
It’s like the video game equivalent of playing a background audio track of rainforest noises.
What you won’t like
Not challenging, not engaging
Of course, when I’m calling Crafted World chill, I also mean that it’s dull. You can progress through everything with the smallest bit of effort.
I wasn’t expecting a Yoshi’s Island-like experience. I understand that Nintendo now sees Yoshi as brand to target to younger, less experienced audience. It’s become the company’s second Kirby. But even Kirby is able to give us some platforming experiences that require a bit of brain power.
Crafted World became a game I would play while doing something else, like watching TV. I needed extra stimuli to get through it.
The game flirts with some cool ideas, like levels with branching paths that extend beyond the 2D plane and a series of puzzles involving magnets and tin cans, but none of these mechanics get the exploration they deserve.
Yoshi’s Crafted World may be a good fit for young children or other gamers interested in the cute-factor. But as someone who prefers more fast-paced sidescrollers, I was too bored to let the clever, crafted world put a smile on my face.
This is yet another Yoshi game that doesn’t come close to reaching Yoshi’s Island greatness.
Yoshi’s Crafted World comes out for Nintendo Switch on March 29. Nintendo gave us a code for this review.
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