We've barely had the time to properly digest the wonderful clay-like adventure with Kirby and already another familiar face is trying something similar.
Yoshi's Woolly World continues the style with which Kirby's Epic Yarn enchanted us on Wii - at least visually. For there is one crucial difference that will make many fans pretty happy: This title is not as simple as the journey with the pink cotton ball. Developer Good-Feel has developed the game significantly closer to the popular Yoshi's Island series. So expect secrets and hidden collectable objects galore.
Like back with Kirby, there is a whole world of fabric and wool to explore, and the knitted version of the green dinosaur is even cuter than the original. Instead of eggs, this Yoshi lays wool balls, which can be shot as per usual and thus tie opponents, or to knit objects and platforms at designated locations. The question mark clouds can also be shot with wool, and there are pieces of fabric in the world that we can move aside. In other places, you can grab loose threads with Yoshi's tongue and unravel them.
A particularly fine example of this function is Chomp. The familiar foe persistently pursues Yoshi in this adventure, snapping away at his heels. This time, however, we have a reliable weapon, for he's bombarded with wool he will be knitted all over. At that point he can be used as a practical, pretty heavy ball, that can be rolled over opponents or switches. If we want to lift the heavy ball to another level, we eat the yarn off Chomp so he starts chasing us. This is a really nice item that fits perfectly into the colourful, woolly world.
There's some great imaginative touches. There are fences in some worlds that when we pass through, the view flips to show what's on the other side of the level. And the transformation feature is back, which Yoshi was able to do so in his own early adventures. These include a ability to transform into a umbrella that glides through the air, or turn into a mole that quickly digs through the soil. These transformations are restricted to special sections that often need to be finished within a strict time limit.
The Co-op adventure is even funnier because you can eat each other to carry around and shoot - with the premise that each player understands that it's all part of the fun. Since New Super Mario Bros., Nintendo has been offering such partially chaotic, yet fun multiplayer modes. And even in the case of Yoshi's Woolly World, friendships can grow or wither. In some places the second Yoshi can be a bit of hindrance in the level, but in other cases is more useful - four eyes see more than two.
The slightly increased difficulty will not be too difficult for experienced players and connoisseurs of the genre - especially since there is no time limit. But for beginners, there are a few additions to help if you get stuck. There's a winged Yoshi that can be activated at any time with which to glide easily through the level. There are also badges that provide us with certain bonuses - for example, we're unable to fall into holes. However, the latter must be paid with jewels that we find everywhere in the level. So the use of these badges is limited.
Of course, Yoshi's Woolly World will support the new Amiibo characters. Details of this have not yet been revealed. At the very least it is clear that three special knitted plush Amiibos Yoshi will go on sale in red, blue and green. And they are not only collectable figures, but create a second character in the game, called double-Yoshi, which we can be helpful in some places - for example, to shoot the second Yoshi as we do in multiplayer, or create platforms.
The presentation of the colourful wool adventure is again very nice and the style, which Good-Feel designed for Kirby's Epic Yarn, fits the green dinosaur perfectly. Yoshi can also change his appearance if we collect all hidden wonder wool balls in a level. The prefabricated Yoshi patterns that come out are sometimes absurd, but naturally increase the desire to search every level for these hidden bonuses.
The combination of this unique look and the accompanying unique mechanics and the many secrets makes Yoshi's Woolly World a real hit for the Wii U. While personally, we technically feel the presentation isn't quite as pretty as the artistic and outstanding appearance in Kirby, the game trumps its predecessor in gameplay. Fortunately, the experience is more demanding again and Mario doesn't steals the show from Yoshi - even Baby Mario is fortunately missing this time round.