Yoshi Touch & Go (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 10.06.2005

Review for Yoshi Touch & Go on Nintendo DS

Nintendo is definitely pushing the innovation ticket further than usual lately, especially when it comes to games that are due out on the Nintendo DS. This time round the company has taken a small touch-screen demonstration from E3 2004 and developed it into a fully-fledged DS release featuring the loveable green dinosaur, Yoshi. The question, as with Namco’s Pac-Pix, has to be whether or not the transition from demo to finished product was a worthy one.

With two Yoshi games coming out in close succession, yet both being on systems of differing graphical ability, it would be unfair to compare Universal Gravitation on the GBA to Touch & Go on the DS. What you basically have here is a massively improved version of the SNES classic Yoshi’s Island. This is far preferable to the cleaner visuals of Yoshi’s Story on the N64, as the childish-styling of the backgrounds in Touch & Go give the game a great identity, rather than looking like a run-of-the-mill platform. What difference that can be made fairly is the amount of detail that has gone into how YUG and YT&G – with the former developed by an outside team, Artoon, and the latter in-house. The distinction is stark, with far more of that special Nintendo touch present on Touch & Go. The game truly is a pleasure to play through – everything is happy, bright and even interesting to look at. Just what you want in such a game…

Screenshot for Yoshi Touch & Go on Nintendo DS

Thankfully, unlike Universal Gravitation, Touch & Go brings the familiar themes from the dinosaurs past outings. There are the usual pleasant little ditties dotted around the game, with softer takes of the Yoshi’s Island theme, mixed in with a lovely underwater Super Mario 64 tune, pan-pipes and soothing whistling. Sometimes there are funkier versions of the Island soundtrack, with marimba-style beats that make you want to wiggle around whilst playing! Then there are the sound effects of Yoshi jumping, fire his eggs, straining to jump higher, his little footsteps and others such as the noise made by drawing and blowing away clouds. Nintendo’s attention to detail on presentation is as impressive as ever – and headphones are called for to get the most out of Touch & Go! Even it is just to hear the cure little voice snippets…

Screenshot for Yoshi Touch & Go on Nintendo DS

One of the favourite Nintendo DS demos from last year’s E3 was what is now Yoshi’s Touch & Go and just like Pac-Pix it has now been developed from a simple demo into a full-blown game that follows on from Yoshi’s Island and Story more than the recent Universal Gravitation. Many questioned the decision to do such a thing with Namco’s game, with many believing that the final product would not be worthy of the 29.99 price-tag and despite reviews that state otherwise, sales have reflected this general feeling of unrest and diffidence. For the main part Touch & Go has suffered a little from this, however, unlike Pac-Pix this is slightly more justified.

You see Nintendo has managed to extend the game more than its simple demo, but the amount of variety thrown into the melting pot is not quite as vast or extensive as you would imagine from Nintendo. Thankfully, what is there works very well and shows off the DS for the innovative little device that it really is. Each time you start one of the two initial modes available, the first task is to guide Baby Mario down to the ground winding through a plentiful supply of obstacles. The way that this is done is by drawing cloud paths on the touch-screen to ensure that he floats in the correct direction without popping his three balloons.

There are spiky enemies that remain stationary, flexing their spikes in and out repeatedly, thus proving to be lethal to Baby Mario. So the logical thing to do is draw a line of cloud around it so Mario floats onto the cloud and is steered to safety…for the moment. You see, there are many enemies to be found on the way down, such as the little wizard from Yoshi’s Island and flying Shy Guys. Now, whilst it is possible to draw a path to avoid them all, sometimes it is quicker and much safer to draw a quick circle around the enemy and make it pop, thus transforming it into a coin that can then be dragged in your direction for collection. Coin collection is more important in the ‘Points Collection’ mode, rather than the survival distance one, but it is still fun to draw a route that includes Baby Mario picking up the blue and gold coins around you.

Screenshot for Yoshi Touch & Go on Nintendo DS

Upon landing safely and being picked up by a green Yoshi, the platform section commences. These can be on-rails going across the screen left or right. The premise is basically the same as before, except in a horizontal fashion now. Circling enemies has the same effect, as does drawing cloud lines. Now, though, you can repeatedly tap on Yoshi to make him jump higher, or double-tap enemies to fire and egg at them. Care must be taken at times, just like in the vertical drop area, as gusts of wind can blow away your clouds randomly. You can also manually blow you clouds away if necessary, by using the DS mic. And that is the whole game summed up…showing just how basic it has remained since being a demo. Sure you can shoot into the sky to collect coins or knock enemies down to collect fruit from them, thus replenishing your egg supply, but it is a little too ‘rinse and repeat’ to be classed as ‘AAA’. Thankfully the old adage of ‘just one more try’ comes into effect because of just how charming the game is; otherwise nothing could have saved it.

The main problem with Touch & Go lies in its length and the fact that despite the various different modes, there are no actual aims in the game, other than surviving as long as possible or obtaining the largest score in one go. This really does limit the potential for repeated sessions and reduces the amount of fun that can be had on the whole. The same problem can be aimed at this as was levelled at Yoshi’s Nintendo 64 outing, which itself also relied on multiple play throughs to keep the dust from building up on the cartridge. Unfortunately, the repetitive floating down and then on-rails platform action prevent the same level of interest as Yoshi’s Story, where at least you could sniff the ground for hidden items! On the plus side, the randomised nature of the levels adds a nice little bit of variety, so all is not lost…And the two-player race via one DS media card is great fun.

Screenshot for Yoshi Touch & Go on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

It is hard to fault Yoshi's Touch & Go too much as it is a devine concept. However, it seems that in Nintendo's rush to get 'AAA' content out onto the DS market, two of the 'A's have been missed off. So if you find this cheap, then snap it up...Otherwise, approach with a little hesitation.






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (10 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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