One of the most adorable and cherished 2D platformers on the Wii U was Yoshi's Woolly World, a game coming off developer Good Feel's Wario Land: Shake It! and Kirby's Epic Yarn, which the latter Yoshi's Woolly World was very much inspired by aesthetically. The Wii U release of Woolly World did rather well, but there's no doubt that sales were undercut by the fact that so few owned a Wii U. Now, Yoshi's Woolly World receives a second chance with a Nintendo 3DS port and Yoshi's Island's Poochy in a co-starring role! The game is Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World, and it remains as stupendous and creative a 2D platformer as the original Woolly World was on the Wii U.
If you've played Yoshi's Woolly World on the Wii U, then you might wonder what is new here in the Nintendo 3DS version to warrant a second play-through or even purchase. Well, there really isn't too much to mention that is highly desirable, and something that was worthwhile on the Wii U version, co-op play, is completely absent in this Nintendo 3DS version. Also, the world map that was a 3D affair and able to be freely traversed in the Wii U game is now devised up of a 2D linear one due to the lesser power of the Nintendo 3DS.
Regardless, new additions include unlockable Poochy levels where the adorable dog automatically runs through all-new levels, requiring you to jump, bounce off the heads of enemies, collect beads, bust balloons, collect Poochy pups, and a myriad of other tasks. Levels are unlocked by beating the fourth level of a given world. Once you successfully reach the goal in a Poochy auto-runner level, you unlock three objectives to try to complete, such as busting three balloons, collecting 1500 beads (usually requiring a near-perfect run to do so), and a level-specific task. The Poochy amiibo that comes with some version of the game unlocks a little more in the way of content as well.
Additionally, Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World features the ability to use amiibo to unlock special paint jobs for Yoshi much like the original Wii U game. The Nintendo 3DS version supports new amiibo such as seen with the Kirby series of amiibo as well as Wolf Link, Ryu, and other amiibo that released after Yoshi's Woolly World's initial launch. The Nintendo 3DS version sports the ability to create your own custom designs to be used in the game, but unfortunately, these designs can only be shared through StreetPass.
That isn't all of the new content available in the game either. Mellow Mode sees Yoshi wearing a pair of wings, allowing beginning players to enjoy the game. Joining Yoshi in Mellow Mode is a series of Poochy pups that not only take care of enemies, but also help in finding collectibles. An issue many had with Yoshi's Woolly World was how difficult some collectibles could be to discover, as many were found in hidden cloud bubbles that would only appear if Yoshi jumped into the space where they occupied. The Poochy pups assist with telling the player where these are. If you don't prefer to play Mellow Mode, then the Classic Mode as seen in the original is in the 3DS game. You just won't have the luxury of the Poochy pups finding hidden collectibles, though there is an item you can spend beads on to make these aforementioned cloud bubbles appear.
Finally, the last addition to Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World is a collection of short clips featuring Yarn Yoshi and Poochy getting involved with all sorts of adorable hijinks. Some of these are quite humorous while others do fall flat. It does stink that you can only unlock one of these short clips a day, which for a game like Yoshi's Woolly World, you don't really have a need to go back to it daily, especially after you've long beaten the adventure portion of the game.
For those who have never played Yoshi's Woolly World, you're in for a mighty neat surprise. Not since the original Yoshi's Island back in 1995 has there been an adventure starring Yoshi that is anywhere near as good. In many respects, I'd say Yoshi's Woolly World is a more favorable game. For instance, Yoshi's Island was a stressful platformer at times if you wanted to 100% every level because you needed to collect everything and have full health for each level. In Yoshi's Woolly World, you don't have to do everything at once to fully complete a level. Instead, everything you collect is saved, meaning that if you collect the first and fourth of five flowers in a given level and then redo that level, you'll have those flowers already collected the next time you play that level. It makes for more relaxing and fun experience, at least for me.
In addition to flowers, there are five spools of yarn in each level, 20 special beads that serve a similar role to Yoshi's Island's red coins, as well as an optional goal of having full health at the end of each level. Thus, there are four requirements to fully completing a level. Sure, you can just run through levels rather easily, but you'll only be spoiling the Yoshi's Woolly World experience for yourself. The real admiration to be found in the game's level design comes from fully exploring each level for hidden collectibles and goodies.
There are six worlds to be found in Yoshi's Woolly World, and each features eight normal levels and an aforementioned secret level for that world, unlocked by collecting every flower in each of a world's levels. The fourth and eighth levels are fortress and castle levels, each concluding with a boss battle of some type. The fourth levels switch between facing off against a giant Monty Mole or a giant Red Parakoopa creature each world, but thankfully the battles aren't the exact same each time. Meanwhile, the eighth level of each world is a wholly unique encounter. Yoshi will face off against a fire-breathing dog, a giant ice block-spewing Snifit, and even a colossal-sized Piranha Plant that many fans of past Yoshi's Island games will readily recognize.
Yoshi sports a great deal of his familiar moves from Yoshi's Island. In Yoshi's Woolly World, many of these are given a woolly twist. For instance, instead of launching eggs at enemies, Yoshi launches yarn balls, which can ensnare and entangle enemies temporarily in a prison of string. Yarn balls cannot only be used on enemies, but special platforms can be created by using some yarn on them. The familiar ground pound is present in Woolly World, but this time Yoshi restitches himself into a hammer as he slams into the ground. Small touches like this and Yoshi developing wheels when he dashes for a long time make for an even more appealing game.
The lovely craft aesthetic of Yoshi's Woolly World is maintained throughout the game. From Yoshi using his tongue on a loose string attached to a wall to unwind it, revealing a secret alcove, to having a volcano in the distance have a winding red and orange scarf serving as its lava, the attention to detail and the amount of creativity in pushing the craft aesthetic are truly amazing things.
While the Wii U version of Yoshi's Woolly World sported a steady 60 FPS, you'll get a different experience depending on what type of Nintendo 3DS you're playing Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World on. Non-New Nintendo 3DS systems play the game in 30 FPS while the New models play it in a full, impressive 60 FPS. Sure, Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World's visuals are obviously downgraded compared to the Wii U game, but the game truly looks astonishing running on New 3DS hardware. It just goes to show that a pleasant art style trumps all. Meanwhile, the music is as catchy and wonderful as ever, even sporting some new tunes in this 3DS version. All in all, it's amazing what the developers were able to do with the 3DS version of Yoshi's Woolly World.
If you've already played Yoshi's Woolly World on the Wii U, then having a version of the game on-the-go might not be worth picking up the 3DS version of the game. Yes, there are some nice additions that make Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World worthwhile, but for many, they won't be enough to buy or play the game again, especially with the omission of co-op play. If you're like me and just wanted an excuse to play Yoshi's Woolly World again but this time in portable form so you can play anywhere you want, then that alone might make Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World worth it just like it was for me. Either way, if you have yet to play any version of Yoshi's Woolly World, definitely do so. A platformer this charming, this clever, and this adorable doesn't happen every day.