Review Price to be confirmed
What is Yoshi's Woolly World?Coming exclusively to Wii U
Yoshi's Woolly World release date first half of 2015
As soon as I saw Yoshi's Woolly World announced during the special E3 2014 Nintendo Direct event, I was desperate to get some hands-on time with the game.
Basically, it's your classic Yoshi platformer but the entire world and all its inhabitants are made out of wool. What could be more adorable?
With Mario Maker, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and Yoshi's Woolly World, Nintendo has a definite craft theme with the games it announced at E3 this year. But I'm worried that Yoshi's cuddly new title doesn't have enough new features aside from the knitted world to warrant a whole new title.
In the title you take control of a little knitted Yoshi, who is equipped with a new yarn tongue. The actual gameplay is very similar to previous titles despite the woollen theme. You can use your tongue to suck in enemies and swallow them down or jump on their heads to take them out.
Instead of popping out enemies in the form of eggs though, in Woolly World any swallowed enemies become yarn balls that are used as your ammunition. You'll need these to hit floating question mark clouds, which open up new platforms, bonus content or other useful items throughout the game.
The wool balls can also be used to take out enemies from afar, but you'll only have a finite amount of these balls at any one time. More can be collected by head-butting knitted baskets that float in the air at certain points in each level, or just by swallowing some more minions.
One of the main new features of Yoshi's Woolly World is the fact that not all of the map will be visible to you at first. You'll need to look out for bows tied with yarn poking out the side of scenery. Grabbing these bows with Yoshi's tongue causes the visible yarn to unravel, revealing a brand new section of the world.
These might be the main way to access the rest of the map, but the more hidden bows will unravel to uncover secret locations hiding collectibles. In each level there are several coloured wool bundles to collect if you're looking to add some replayability, and some of these will be discovered within the hidden areas of the map.
What's great is that you can play Yoshi's Woolly World in co-operative mode. I took on a friend at E3 and found the fun to be had with Yoshi's Woolly World was greatly increased. You both need to work together to reach the end goal, but there's a definite sense of competition.
You'll each get a individual score at the end of each level as well as a combined one, based on the number of gems and coins you've collected. If you're feeling a bit cheeky, you can eat up your pal and turn them into one of the yarn balls that trails behind Yoshi. This stops them from collecting any collectibles and other items, boosting your own score.
But, more importantly, it just seems more fun with a friend. Although Yoshi games are fun on your own, the exploration in co-operative just seems more rewarding.
Whether you're playing solo or co-op, it's obvious that Yoshi's Woolly World will be a game that is charmingly animated and loads of fun to play. All the old enemies have been given the woollen makeover to great affect and the giant growing sunflowers are beautiful as their yarn petals move in the breeze. But it all feels a little too familiar. The yarn adds a few unique touches, but strip that away and as far as we can see so far, it's the same old Yoshi game with a fresh lick of woollen paint.
First ImpressionsYoshi's Woolly World oozes charm and will appeal to Wii U gamers both young and old. We had a blast playing with the woollen balls and unravelling new areas of the map with our tongue. Whether there's enough here to make it a stand out Wii U game or a break away from other Yoshi titles is yet to be seen, but it's certainly a great experience.
Read more: Best games of E3 2014