Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U) Review

By Shanker Varma 13.07.2015

Review for Yoshi

It has been nearly 20 years since Yoshi last graced a home console with his own game, but he has finally returned, and with a lot of style. The striking yarn that makes up the game world and its inhabitants in Yoshi's Woolly World creates a beautifully endearing experience that is sure to capture the hearts of many. Completing each stage may seem like a trivial affair, but the real challenge is hidden inside the array of collectibles that litter every world. The result is a fantastic adventure that can be enjoyed by anyone looking for a new 2D platformer on Wii U.

Whereas the Super Mario series has its roots in precarious platforming, Yoshi games have focused on filling worlds with well-hidden collectibles. The bulk of the challenge here comes from finding all the hidden secrets in each stage, but the platforming elements are no walk in the park, as, at times, they require careful dexterity. Arguably, this is a preferable approach, as it ensures that far more people will get to experience the wonders of every stage, while there is still enough content to test the skills of even the best gamers.

Playing as Yoshi is nothing short of a delight, as the controls are wonderfully responsive. It's easy to go from running to jumping, and then kicking Yoshi's feet so that he can flutter to otherwise unreachable areas. At any point, a ball of yarn can be sent hurtling along a trajectory that can be determined in the way that feels the most comfortable, including the press of a button on the GamePad or the accelerometer of the Wii remote. Additional support for the Pro Controller means controller choice is unlikely to be a limiting factor when playing.

One of the best things is how carefully and subtly advanced techniques are taught - for example, learning how to rebound balls of yarn. This is shown by angling gems in hard-to-reach positions so that the player naturally shoots a ball of yarn to collect the first few gems, before it bounces off a wall to snag the rest. Without realising it, a new skill has been learned and yarn balls can be manipulated to reach seemingly unattainable locations without an express tutorial.

Screenshot for Yoshi's Woolly World on Wii U

Taking a page out of Kirby's book, Yoshi is also able to morph into various items, which create exciting, and sometimes intense, new experiences within certain levels. One early example is Umbrella Yoshi, who can slide around obstacles to avoid danger and pick up items. These mini segments are an extension of the great level design, as they show how creative the developers have been when designing the game.

Each world also plays host to a pair of bosses, spurred on by Kamek, who started the game by turning nearly all the Yoshis in the land into bundles of yarn. These encounters vary in difficulty, as some are more visually impressive than mentally stimulating, but others provide an extra challenge. Overall, they are an enjoyable addition to the game, even though some bosses do make multiple appearances.

Everything that has been turned to wool hasn't been done so without thinking about how the knitted theme can be used to expand on each element. Some enemies may be rolled into a ball of yarn after being eaten by Yoshi, while others can be bound in string and manipulated to open up new areas. Little things like how the classic Chain Chomp behaves, or the way Yoshi's feet turn to wheels when he runs, or ice skates as he glides over ice, really show how well the Good-Feel team has embraced the idea of playing with wool.

Screenshot for Yoshi's Woolly World on Wii U

It doesn't take long to realise that Woolly World goes much deeper than its cute appearance, as even the first level hides secrets that can't be found without meticulous detective work. Trying to gather every collectible is a great way of adding challenge for those looking for it, without alienating less skilled players by making the core level impossible for them to complete. Hunting down every last item is tricky, to say the least, but it does show some inventive sections that may otherwise be missed.

Picking up gems has two main purposes in the game. Firstly, some may reveal one of the twenty stamp patches that are tucked away in each stage, which unlock stamps that can be used to make Miiverse posts. The gems are also a form of currency for purchasing badges that give Yoshi certain abilities, such as making all of his yarn balls larger, or having Poochy accompany him. These badges can offer a saving grace for those who have trouble completing certain stages, while also offering help to advanced players who find that some collectibles require some extra assistance.

Amiibo support is well done, as scanning each figure gives Yoshi a unique woolly costume. These accurately reflect the source's appearance, and there's no shortage of functionality with over 40 unlockable costumes. Those who haven't jumped onto the amiibo train don't need to feel left out, as collecting all five bundles of yard in a level will reveal a new pattern. In addition to the yarn bundles, each stage plays host to five flowers. Upon collecting all 40 flowers in a world, a special stage will be revealed, which is among the most creative parts of the game.

Screenshot for Yoshi's Woolly World on Wii U

A co-op mode is also available so that two players can team up to tackle obstacles together. When two Yoshis are in play, one can eat the other and spit him out as a weapon or to elevate him to new heights. This is a great way of working through the game with some assistance, but help is on hand for solo players, as well. Mellow mode gives Yoshi wings so that he can fly freely, and can be toggled at will from the pause menu at any time. It is also possible to scan a Yoshi amiibo to control two Yoshis with one controller, much like the double cherry item from Super Mario 3D World.

It's easy to become engrossed in the gameplay and lost in the enchanting visuals, but the soundtrack is of equally high quality. The score is excellently composed and complements each level well with a range of melodies, including cheerful tunes and even a Christmassy jingle for one of the later snow levels. A helpful sound test mode lets players listen to their favourite tracks to their hearts' content.

Beauty may only be skin deep, but Good-Feel obviously knew this when it crafted such an engaging adventure whose gameplay is as captivating as its charming graphics. Throughout the game, it's hard to find much that lets it down. At worst, there are a few instances of slowdown, but such occurrences don't make the game frustratingly difficult and are very few and far between. Yoshi's Woolly World is a wonderful adventure that will appeal to anyone captivated by the concept, regardless of skill level.

Screenshot for Yoshi's Woolly World on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

A delightful knitted theme makes Yoshi's Woolly World a true joy to play, as everything from Yoshi and his various abilities, to the landscapes and elemental hazards, is beautifully rendered. The accessible gameplay ensures that such a visually delightful title can be experienced by as many people as possible, while the hidden collectibles and special stages more than make up for it and will test the reflexes of many gamers. It's easy to recommend this game to anyone who is endeared by its presentation and enjoys 2D platformers, as everyone has the autonomy to tailor the experience to his or her own skill set.


Good Feel




2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (3 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop


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