Nintendo recently launched a new demo for the upcoming Yoshi’s Crafted World following the previous Direct stream. Prior to this, not much was known about the game except for a trailer and a few snippets of gameplay. Players were immediately able to jump into the first level of the game and experience everything it has to offer. The question that everyone has in mind, is whether it’s a good, fun Yoshi experience or a shell of its former SNES-self?

Yoshi's Crafted World Preview

Visual Changes

Right off the bat, you’ll notice just how detailed the levels are and how polished it feels. It looks much sharper than the previous Yoshi’s Woolly World did in some respects. The Yarn Yoshi aesthetic is done with and replaced with one that is more similar to a Felt Yoshi. Enemies are created around this look and it feels just right to the overall tone of crafts. It has a Nintendo flare that makes it all the better. This crafted world appears to be a step in a great direction and I can’t stop looking at every level and how nice they are.

The first level is shaped around this crafting concept which provides plenty of new obstacles and challenges. Boxes need to be whacked to create a draw-bridge and uncover hidden areas. It’s a much-needed aesthetic that helps the game stand out and provide new gameplay mechanics. One thing I disliked in the previous game, Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World, was the missing items which needed to be filled with yarn. Fortunately, I did not see this return but there were other gameplay shake ups.

Yoshi's Crafted World Preview

New Additions

Egg shooting mechanics were redefined and stood out as soon as I went to take out an enemy. Instead of tediously waiting for your shot to aim precisely, now you can aim for yourself. It made getting through obstacles much easier and more refined. There were also instances which required you to aim at targets to collect coins and suns, so this helped make that appear much more manageable and not a waiting period. Poochy also returns and mixes up the type of collectibles that can be found. Five of him are hidden throughout the level and have to be taken in order to obtain a full 100%.

Yoshi’s Crafted World’s biggest change in the series is “flipping” levels. In the first area, it was delved into a bit but not a lot, it was just enough to satisfy tastebuds for the time being. This game is not a traditional 2D experience, instead, it plays more akin to 2.5D. Yoshi can transfer from the front view of the level to the back view by taking different paths and exploration. Players can use this to an advantage by seeing previously unseen viewpoints and collectibles. It is a mechanic sure to offer plenty of variety and difficulty in later portions of the game.

Yoshi's Crafted World Preview

Return to Form

On the topic of difficulty, returning from its predecessor is a choice between Classic Mode and Mellow Mode. Classic mode offers the traditional style of gameplay without any buffers to platforming. Mellow Mode gives Yoshi an infinite amount of flying time for jumps and doesn’t make it as easy to die. This is a great feature that’s being brought back and is sure to help make this more approachable for newcomers, longtime fans, and families.

I didn’t encounter any new enemies or major mixups to gameplay, so much it felt normal. The main hook of gameplay is finding a variety of collectibles and completing each section. There were much more suns to find and plenty of coins to obtain in the singular level. What I did enjoy came after the level’s completion. Once back at the home screen, Yoshi is asked to find five cows hidden in the previous level. This allows the player to go back and have a new objective, but I do fear it might become cumbersome if it appears after every level in the main game.

Yoshi's Crafted World Preview

After playing the demo, I was desperately craving more content. It wasn’t like Yoshi’s Woolly World where everything felt too hand-holdy and easy. This is definitely a much better experience than its Wii U predecessor and subsequent 3DS port. It’s also made more enjoyable thanks to the two-player co-op option available. I initially was hesitant on whether or not to pick up this title, but this demo has helped reassure me and looks to be a great exclusive for the Switch. There looks to be a decent chance that this could be the best Yoshi game released in quite a while.

Yoshi’s Crafted World launches on March 29 for $59.99.

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