REVIEW – Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World (3DS)

After what seemed to be an extremely long wait, Yoshi’s Woolly World finally launched on the Wii U in 2015. Here we are almost two years later with the launch of Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World on Nintendo 3DS. While it is largely the same game, the 3DS version does add a few things and takes away others. The end result, however, is a very fun game to take on the go.

Poochy & Yoshi takes place in a world made mostly of yarn. The idea, of course, piggybacks off of the beautiful Kirby’s Epic Yarn on the Wii. The mechanics follow similarly to previous games in the Yoshi’s Island franchise, where Yoshi must save the day. As you progress in this linear 2D platformer, you will use your tongue to unravel your opponents, create yarn balls, and then throw those yarn balls to fight other enemies or complete puzzles within each stage. For fans of the Wii U version, you will notice right away that the menu layout has switched from a 3D world to 2D, but I did not find an issue with that at all.

Each stage is incredibly designed with challenging platforming and interesting puzzles. While you will not get the high definition graphics of the Wii U version, the 3DS does not look bad. It is one of the best 3DS games I have seen. Further, the 3D effects are very nice, and I played most of the game in 3D on my New 3DS XL. They did not add a ton to the game, but it gave each level more depth that aided the presentation. Similarly, the music is also top-notch, as it always is with Nintendo games. Most songs create a happy feeling, but the music knows just when to bring up the tempo and intensity when heading into a boss fight.

As you progress, some levels or mini-levels will transform Yoshi into other forms like an umbrella, motorcycle, mole, or mermaid. Those times are when the game tries to introduce new styles of play into the traditional platformer. Most of the time, it works, too. Rarely did I find myself upset when I came upon one of these levels.

Other than the look and feel, the real appeal to this game is its entry point. Gamers of almost all ages can pick up Poochy & Yoshi without struggle. At any point, you can put the game into “Mellow Mode,” which makes the game a bit easier and relaxed and utilizes Poochy pups to help you sniff out the stage secrets. There are also Power Badges you can collect along the way. Before you start a stage, you get the option of using a badge that can make all yarn balls big, allow you to come back after falling into a pit, and more. The good thing is, for experienced gamers, you do not have to use any of these items or modes. If you have someone less experienced, though, it makes their gaming session much easier.

One new aspect this time around involves Poochy, who is a loveable yarn dog, who you may recognize from past Yoshi games. As you progress through the main game, you will unlock challenging timed courses in the Poochy Hut. These are very similar to something like Super Mario Run or Bit.Trip Runner stages. While Poochy runs, you control his jumps and ducks to collect beads, balloons, etc. and get through the stage as fast as you can. They certainly add to the game’s content, and I found myself playing them over and over in order to complete all the missions for each stage. If you do complete them all, you will unlock Gold Rush mode on that Poochy stage, which gives you a one-time chance to collect as many beads as you can. I actually would not mind if these Poochy levels were a separate download or a mobile game at some point. They are that fun.

Each day you play, you will also unlock one of 30 short stop-motion videos of Yoshi and Poochy. These are incredibly cute, and you will probably find yourself watching them over and over. The videos even have a trivia game built in, so make sure you watch closely. If you get the question right, you can earn more gems. (This means you will probably want to watch them on your 3DS instead of just looking them up on YouTube.)

The goal of the game is to rescue all the other yarn Yoshis, who have been captured by Kamek. Each level has an amount of flowers, coins, yarn spools, and life to earn. If you get all the spools, you will unlock another design for Yoshi. On top of that, you can scan amiibo to unlock designs based off your favorite Nintendo characters. If you still want more designs, you can create your own and share them with others. This definitely adds to the content, but it will appeal more to some more than others. While it is cool to unlock the different designs, I usually stick with traditional green Yoshi.

If you played the original on Wii U, you might be asking yourself if this is worth buying again. While the stages are essentially the same, the extra content does add to the overall package. However, I think it comes down to your play-style. If you are like me and find yourself playing more games on the go, you definitely want to pick up Poochy & Yoshi. While I loved the presentation and the two-player mode in the Wii U version, I rarely played it. The 3DS allows me to play the same game with a few more features almost anywhere.

I know I just mentioned the two-player mode is missing. That could be a factor for you. If you would like to have the option of playing co-op with someone on your big screen, you probably should opt for the Wii U version instead.

No matter how you stitch it, this is a great game. While it is challenging, it will not have you pulling your hair out. Even at its most challenging points, it has been the most relaxed platformer I have ever played. So, take your time and explore each stage as you enjoy the music and beautiful scenery. If you could not tell yet, I really enjoyed Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World and highly recommend it for any Nintendo fan.

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