I knew going in that Yoshi’s Crafted World was going to be the warmest and fuzziest game I was going to play all year. I knew it, but somehow I was still unprepared for the sheer amount of cute and innocence on display here. Seriously, if you thought Yoshi’s Wolly World was adorable, you haven’t seen anything yet.
“Cuteness” isn’t usually something I look for in my games. I’m usually more interested in puzzles and tactical challenges, profound stories or emotional beauty. Yoshi games are the exception. Ever since Yoshi’s Island came out, game’s starring Mario’s best dinosaur pal have all had art direction nested squarely in the ideas of cute and cuddly. It should be something that I could never get into, but Yoshi has always been something of an exception. His games have a quality that I irresistible for some reason. I always love the character design, the creativity inherent in the art direction, and the gameplay almost always manages to feel rather satisfying. This is all doubly true for Yoshi’s Crafted World.
Yoshi’s Crafted World is just oozing with charm and warmth. No matter what kind of level I’m wandering through, it always has the feel of a quaint little setup some extremely talented child put together for their toys. Seriously, the handicrafted worlds, enemies and devices are all totally believable, and that has really had an impact on my experience. Even as I’m focusing on playing the game and trying to get through the stage, there’s an almost-everpresent sense of wonder that I don’t think I’ve ever felt before.
It’s kind of like marveling at how visually beautiful a game like God of War is, but instead of being impressed by sheer technical mastery, I’m smiling at the simple cleverness of it all. Paper cows messily colored-in with crayon, sheets of paper folding into doors and other objects, and bosses made out of things as simple as a beach ball can help but make me grin like an idiot. It’s the very definition of wonderfully, perhaps even nostalgically quaint, and I can’t wait to dive back in an see what other surprises are in store.
Have you played Yoshi’s Crafted World yet? What do you think about the handicraft aesthetic? Is there another game that had this kind of effect on you?
Lede image from Nintendo Online Store page.