Knot, knit, slide, flutter and throw yourself back into Poochy and Yoshi’s handheld adventure. Featuring the same charming appeal as the Wii U version, the 3DS port weaves in some attractive new modes with Poochy Dash and Craft Yoshi, but sadly removes the ability to play together and pulls the rug from underneath.
Developed by Good-Feel, Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is a direct port of the Wii U version released back in 2015. Featuring eight levels in each of the six worlds, the game is almost identical to the home console version, albeit with a few new elements to quench our thirst for cutesy-pie cinematic appeal. While it’s not the graphically superior version, its uniquely woven side-scrolling levels complete with curtain rails, yarn balls and mischievous woollen monkeys becomes a beautifully stitched 3D tapestry; drawing us deliciously close into the action with its attention to the finer details.
Following the exact same storyline as its counterpart, Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World has been overtaken by the dastardly Kamek. Maniacally giggling, he turns each of the Yoshis inhabiting Craft Island into a pile of wool – and it’s only by mere chance that two of the Yoshis manage to safely hide from the wand-waving wizard. As Kamek flies into the distance, he drops five pieces of wool in each of the six world’s levels, and it’s up to red and green Yoshi to collect and stitch each one back together again.
Between hidden clouds, secret areas for collectable smiley flowers and fluffy green pipes, the 3DS port could still be classed as a piece of platforming heaven. The same challenges are there in Classic Mode for experienced players, but the alterations in Mellow Mode – although terribly adorable – delivers a very easy ride. Yoshi’s flutter wing ability is still automatically enabled, keeping him elevated for an infinite amount of time, but players now also have access to Poochy Pups. Mimicking yarn balls, these cute-as-a-button pups can be thrown into the tapestry to uncover question mark clouds and then quickly boomerang their way back to you, with tiny yaps in tow. Not satisfied with just their fetch-like abilities, they also make for excellent sniffer guide pups, effectively discovering every secret in the level. Though arguably a boon for younger players, it’s also a hindrance too, deflating the satisfaction received after uncovering a suspicious area for the first time.
Though the controls remain the same for Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World as they were for the Wii U version, there is extra sensitivity on the 3DS circular pad which can cause frustration. Ground-pounding by accident has been the main cause of Yoshi suicide. Particularly found in levels where there are continuous pitfalls or no ground such as Spooky Scraps!, Sunset at Curtain Falls, and Monkeying Round and Round, there’s not much scope for error. A mistaken thumb action could land Yoshi in more than just hot water – even in Mellow Mode. But hey, at least your Poochy pups remain by your side.
While the Wii U version had an absolutely superb co-operative mode, the 3DS port scraps that in favour of the Poochy Dash mode. Though it’s a huge shortfall that co-op mode has been removed, Poochy Dash and its Gold Rush mode offers up a fun and addictive way to pass the time. Sprint to the finish line by popping balloons, jumping to collect beads, and finding your hidden pups in order to receive a bronze, silver, gold or Poochy platinum medal at the end. But with only six dash levels and three additional missions in each, there’s just simply not enough of that cute, googly-eyed dog to keep it entertaining for long periods of time. And although it gives players the ability to collect an endless amount of beads to spend on power-up badges, there’s little practical use given the plethora of beads available in the game. Poochy undeniably deserves more.
Quite possibly the best new feature in Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is the ability for players to create their own Yoshi design in Craft Yoshi. Taking its inspiration from Animal Crossing’s Pro Designs, Yoshi can be coloured into any character, object or thing you want him to be. Collect pencil patches throughout the course levels – instead of Wii U stamps – and use these as a base for your Yoshi designs, or choose to do-it-yourself and recreate interesting new Yoshis to use within the game.
By spending half an hour in Craft Yoshi, I managed to create Superman Yoshi. Complete with red boots, a red cape designed on his back ridges, and a yellow and red “S” symbol on his chest, Yoshi really looked the part. Proud as punch with my design, there was no reason I couldn’t replicate the rest of the DC characters – and how endearing would he look as Hawkman with his Flutter Wings? StreetPass cooing would be unanimous.
If you’re familiar with Yoshi’s Woolly World, you’ll remember that inside the Scrapbook Theatre was the ability to listen to the game’s music and view enemy information. In the 3DS port, Yoshi Theatre takes up centre stage here and delivers 31 beautifully made stop-motion animation clips. Players will be able to unlock one new clip each day and can even score 500 beads if they correctly answer the question at the end of each animation. Though it’s mainly been used as a marketing tool to promote the game, Poochy & Yoshi could find fame as the new Wallace and Gromit – just without the hideous green vest.
Without a doubt, Yoshi’s Woolly World on the Wii U utilised amiibo functionality perfectly. From bringing in pink, blue and green Yarn Yoshis to the Mega Yarn Yoshi, it delivered first-class use of the characters by saving your favourite woolly pattern to the NFC chip and powering up play by bringing a second Yoshi into the game. Not only does double Yoshi still exist within the 3DS port, but new amiibo characters also work with the game too. By tapping Wolf Link and any of the Zelda 30th anniversary amiibo, as well as Celeste and Isabelle from Animal Crossing, players can turn Yoshi into a woollen replica of their design. Each one of the 14 amiibo designs I own work with the game, making it one of the best 3DS titles for amiibo functionality.
Additionally, a Yarn Poochy amiibo can be used in any level of your choosing, though it might not always be wise to do so. Using him in Poochy Dash mode, though, gives players access to the special time attack mode. Clearing these levels will get you access to great Poochy designs which can be saved to the amiibo and used later.
Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is, at times, more than just a 3DS port and actively tries to become its own identity. But just like its logo, Poochy is the bit on the side, tacked on as the sidekick, and never given the limelight. We’ve all been there Poochy, just ask poor Luigi. As a port, it just doesn’t quite stitch the entire tapestry for a polished finish.
Need more of the green dinosaur in your life? Check out our review of Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Wii U, right here.