It’s nothing particularly new, but Nintendo has taken a liking to porting games that were once Wii U exclusives to its other consoles as of late. The Nintendo Switch will be receiving both The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe after the new system arrives this March, while the 3DS has been on the receiving end of Super Mario Maker and Hyrule Warriors ports to-date. Not quite done with this strategy yet, the company also announced plans last year to rerelease another under-sold gem (in the form of a Yoshi’s Woolly World) for its current line of handheld gaming consoles – albeit with a slight twist.
Featuring Yoshi’s often under-utilized companion Poochy, the game has released under the monicker of Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World. However, while this naming implies that quite a bit has been added to the title, it doesn’t build much on the existing experience aside from a handful of auto-runner sections in a new mode known as Poochy Dash. Admittedly, these portions are quite enjoyable – offering their own unique challenges – but they are short-lived, and are sure to leave gamers wishing that the loveable companion had a bigger role to play.
Setting the disappointing lack of additional and playable Poochy portions aside, the game utilizes the same cutesy, arts-and-crafts aesthetic as its home console counterpart. Nintendo has successfully brought one of its better platforming titles to the 3DS with all of the original levels intact, and while some of the sheen has been lost in the transition to lower-powered hardware, the developer behind the game has done a remarkable job at keeping the title as is. Each level is brilliantly designed with well-placed collectibles hidden in every area, both of which encourage repeated playthroughs in order to secure all of the unlockable Yoshi patterns found throughout.
The platforming mechanics themselves are some of the best that a Yoshi-centric platformer has put together, and that’s due to the brilliant design of the worlds Nintendo has managed to create. When the allure of flutter jumping and egg lobbing begins to subside, the game manages to change it up by transforming the plucky protagonist into a medley of different vehicles and items – and in some instances even inflate Yoshi to Godzilla-esque proportions. Changing into a motorcycle, an umbrella, or even a Monty Mole-inspired tunnelling machine, there’s no denying that the transformations themselves are bizarre, but they are implemented well enough that they make for a nice reprieve from the core game.
While that’s all well and good, two of the bigger changeups in the shift to the Nintendo 3DS were the loss of the three-dimensional hub world that Yoshi previously waddled through and co-op multiplayer. Understandably, the absence of the premiere hub world is less of a concern for gamers, as the lack of co-op can be a tough pill to swallow in most instances. This time around, though, it’s not all that devastating. While it’s true that multiplayer could have made for a wonderful addition to Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World, the fact that it’s missing in action is far from a deal breaker. Truth be told, the game is at its best as a solo experience, and that’s just fine for a portable gaming system.
Despite the removal of these modes, Nintendo does offer a handful of new features in their stead. Namely a retooled ‘Mellow Mode’ that allows players that struggle with titles like this to lessen the difficulty. It’s ideal for newer gamers, providing Yoshi with wings (so that he may fly through a level) and an endless supply of throwables in the form of the Poochy Pups. This adorable trio of infant Poochys make for wonderful allies, and their apparent durability makes strolling through Woolly World a breeze. It’s not a necessary addition for everyone, but it’s a welcomed one for those that are hoping to share the yarn-filled experience with someone that traditionally doesn’t or can’t engage with such a means of entertainment.
Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is a worthy port for anyone that may have missed the Wii U installment. The level layouts are excellent, the sugary aesthetic is unique, and the protagonists are easily liked. While the lack of co-op and additional Poochy Dash levels are noticeable, Nintendo has still put together a wonderful handheld edition of one of its best side-scrollers in recent years. It’s accessible, expertly crafted, and simply enjoyable – all of which is an incredibly hard line to tow.
Without spinning too much yarn, any Nintendo 3DS owners that missed out on the original won’t want to miss this Poochy-filled take on Yoshi’s Woolly World.
Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is available now on Nintendo 3DS.
Game Rant was provided with a physical copy of Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Nintendo 3DS by Nintendo.