Yoshi’s Crafted World preview: Creative and beautiful–with caveats

Yoshi's Crafted World review preview at Nintendo Enthusiast

Our review for Yoshi’s Crafted World will be out toward the end of the month, but today I want to highlight a few specific things about the game that you might want to know before you read our full review.

The art style

If you already have had a chance to play Yoshi’s Crafted World via the eShop’s free demo, you have seen Crafted World’s unique art style. The game looks like something out of a child’s craft set, featuring string, tape, newspaper clippings, and paint among its toolkit. On one hand, the game’s art style is super unique. I love the creativity Nintendo imbued throughout the game’s levels. Even when the game went to an underwater aesthetic, for example, the level felt thematically different, but still very consistent with the entire package. In a way, it’s impressive. Each unique level has the craft elements consistently intertwined but still keeps gameplay fresh.

However, with its art style comes a drawback. Nintendo clearly wanted this art design to look more on the realistic side. Given the Switch’s limitations, the game doesn’t fulfill its full potential. The game looks “almost fully realistic,” which  draws attention to the fact that it doesn’t look real. When you see certain craft elements on the Switch, you can’t help but wonder how realistic the game could look on more powerful hardware.

The “B side” levels

Each level of Yoshi’s Crafted World has a Poochy version. In this variant, players can play through a level backward to find all three Poochy pups. To be honest, going through a level backward is awesome. I honestly can’t understand why more publishers haven’t experimented with this idea since it seems far easier than creating a whole new level. Nevertheless, playing through a level flipped genuinely feels fresh, not repetitive. Seeing these 2.5D environments in reverse opens up a whole new perspective worth seeing through.

Unfortunately, the Poochy levels themselves aren’t nearly as deep as the original levels. There are fewer collectibles and a time limit, which makes exploration far less encouraged. It seems like Nintendo missed an opportunity to make this reverse level mechanic something truly special.

The costumes

Okay… This seems like one of the things that could have been one of the easiest missed opportunities to fix. Throughout Yoshi’s Crafted World, you can unlock costumes to use. These costumes have practical benefits — they give you extra damage protection. The costumes also have an aesthetic benefit as well. Unfortunately, the costumes seemed like an afterthought. One of the costumes, for example, is a “Bottle Cap,” while another is a “Milk Bottle.” Although some of the costumes are more elaborate, it seems a shame that there aren’t more creative costume designs in a game where the main draw is creativity. Overall, I’d prefer to see a cute Yoshi on the screen itself rather than a Yoshi obscured by the “Bottle Cap” costume.

To experience a demo of the game yourself, head to the eShop to download it for free. Keep your eyes on Nintendo Enthusiast later this month when we publish our full review for Yoshi’s Crafted World. The game will launch on March 29, 2019, exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

Eli Pales
Eli buys virtually every Nintendo title that comes out but has expanded his collection to include amiibo. He hasn't taken them out of their boxes, though, so he might be a bit insane. When not playing video games, Eli likes writing about politics and games. He also runs a decent amount. Outside.