A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Themes of creativity, friendship, the pursuit of peace and happiness run through the story. Multiplayer encourages teamwork, communication, cooperation.
Positive Role Models
The Yoshis are helpful creatures who simply want to make it possible for everyone to chase their dreams and be happy. That said, they aren't opposed to getting into the occasional scrap with cartoon enemies to achieve objectives.
Ease of Play
Default difficulty is pretty easy, and players can switch to an even easier setting if desired. The mild combat and puzzles are straightforward, though finding all of the (optional) flowers in each level can be a little trickier.
Violence & Scariness
Yoshi can jump on and flatten fantastical enemies, such as koopa troopas and shy guys. He can also swallow them and pop them out as eggs. Cartoonish bombs can subtract from Yoshi's supply of hearts when they explode.
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Products & Purchases
This game is part of Nintendo's sprawling Yoshi franchise, which includes not just games but also toys and other paraphernalia.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Yoshi's Crafted World is a run and jump adventure for the Nintendo Switch with an arts and crafts theme and a cartoonish smiling dinosaur serving as hero. Players work through dozens of short levels attempting to find lost gems to restore an artifact that can make people happy by realizing their dreams. Yoshi runs up against standard-issue Nintendo bad guys -- including shy guys, koopa troopas, and Baby Bowser -- along the way. He can jump on and flatten these enemies or suck them up with his long tongue and then pop them out as eggs. A multiplayer mode allows a pair of players to control individual Yoshis and cooperate as they work through the game together. It's designed to be accessible for younger players, with straightforward objectives and puzzles, plus an easy difficulty setting that should let even inexperienced kids play through the campaign without too much trouble or confusion.
Is It Any Good?
It doesn't break through any genre boundaries or wow with new ideas, but this is a thoroughly enjoyable, highly accessible, and absolutely beautiful side-scrolling adventure. Yoshi's Crafted World screams Nintendo quality with its detailed world design, which creates the impression that you're playing with someone's toy box full of hand-crafted creations. And it's not just for show, since you can do fun things with these crafts, such as spinning lightweight rooms around to face a different direction, changing perspective to tackle a course backwards, and knocking down objects made of materials no stronger than cardboard or paper. These actions help foster a sense of depth not normally felt in games with side-scrolling movement, and they force players to think about how to deal with obstacles in fun new ways, such as throwing eggs at suspicious looking things in the foreground or background to see what might happen.
It's also easy without being boring. Fighting enemies and avoiding traps is at times almost laughably easy -- which is great for keeping younger players from growing frustrated -- but combat and skilled traversal aren't the focus. It's more about exploring the world at your own pace and trying to find every little hidden collectible, which ought to appeal to game lovers of any age. Older kids might find the formula growing a little old before they reach the end, but being able to play cooperatively adds another dimension that can make this game a blast. In fact, co-op play makes this game not just for friends and peers, but also brothers and sisters with age gaps, as well as kids and their parents. Yoshi's Crafted World isn't as innovative or challenging as Nintendo's very best side-scrolling adventures, but it's not meant to be. It's simply a lushly detailed, smartly designed, and superbly executed run and jump adventure for players of all ages.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.