Nintendo premiered its February Direct yesterday, and with it, a number of new announcements. There was also some new information on already scheduled titles. One such title is Yoshi's Crafted World. The game is releasing next month, but you can download a demo on the Nintendo Switch eShop now.
The Direct trailer featured some new levels and a couple of boss battles. Although previous footage highlighted the game's unique palette, not too much was shown in the way of unique level design. Yes, you can interact with the foreground and background, but Nintendo didn't show what would truly make this game stand out from previous Yoshi titles. In the new trailer, we get to see rafting, a 3D race sequence, shooting down Shy Guy airplanes, and even a Yoshi robot. Another new feature is using collected coins to buy costumes for Yoshi. According to Nintendo, these costumes (ranging from an apple juice box to a Nintendo Labo kit) give Yoshi some protection from enemies.
As stated earlier, Nintendo has put up a demo for Crafted World on the eShop. It is a substantial demo, allowing the player to try out the first full course. You can then play the course backwards to find the runaway poochys. In terms of first impressions based on the demo, Crafted World appears to be a charming platformer. The first level perfectly introduces you to the gameplay. You'll walk, flutter jump, eat enemies, and solve a simple puzzle where you walk around an area looking for missing train pieces. It's a nice, simple introduction to what will hopefully be many great experiences later in the game.
Longtime Yoshi players will feel right at home. The question then, is if the game can engross fans the whole way through. Yoshi has had one game frequently cited as one of the best: the original Yoshi's Island on SNES. Since then, no Yoshi title has captured what made Yoshi's Island so memorable. Woolly World was released on Wii U in 2015 to favorable reception. While good, Woolly World is known more for its yarn aesthetic rather than unique platforming. If Crafted World combines the great level design of Yoshi's Island with the colorful presentation of Woolly World, we could have something special. If the first level is any indication, the game is on the right track.
Yoshi's Crafted World will be released on March 29th. Our review of the game will be up after launch weekend.