When I was a kid, my sister had a GameBoy Advance. She also had a copy of the GBA version of Yoshi’s Island.
Although I wasn’t a super-keen gamer when I was a kid, sometimes, when she wasn’t using it, my sister would let me play. I fell in love immediately.
I loved the tiny green dinosaur and his adorable noises, running around gobbling up baddies, turning them into eggs, and throwing them at other baddies. I played that game until I could speed-run the levels, and had found every last secret.
After I got my DS Lite, I spent a few years trying to find my own copy of that Yoshi’s Island game. Unfortunately, because Amazon wasn’t a thing yet, I was limited to searching the local used game stores, and I had no luck.
I ended up getting Yoshi’s Island DS because I thought it would essentially be the same thing, but the two-screen scrolling feature was a little too much for me.
I never finished that game.
When Yoshi’s Woolly World came out a couple of years ago, it rekindled my love for the little dino, but it wasn’t meant to be. I had a pretty hectic work life at the time, with a two- to three-hour commute one way to an 8-5 job that didn’t leave a whole lot of time for games.
Still, I got myself a little yarn Yoshi amiibo because I thought it was adorable.
Little did I know it would turn into a Christmas miracle.
Knitting up the Yoshis
I was so excited when I woke up Christmas morning and opened up a gift from the boyfriend to see a delightfully colourful Yoshi game.
I hadn’t known there was a sequel, but Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World is a follow-up to the first Yoshi’s Woolly World, which came out in 2015.
Like most Yoshi games, in this one, our little knitted friend is pitted against an evil Magikoopa named Kamek. Unlike most Yoshi games, however, you’re not on a mission to save poor Baby Mario from the clutches of Bowser.
Instead, Kamek has unravelled all of Yoshi’s friends, which is just about the saddest thing I have ever seen. Yoshi’s task is to travel across all kinds of creative, sequin-bedecked worlds to find the yarn balls needed to knit his friends back together.
It’s actually a very rewarding mission, both because you get to save some poor deconstructed Yoshis, and because every Yoshi you knit together is a different pattern.
You can then pick whichever patterned Yoshi you want to do the levels with.
My favourite so far? Moo Moo Yoshi.
My least favourite so far? Shy Guy Yoshi. He’s kind of terrifying.
Everything’s just Poochy
In general, Poochy doesn’t play a big role in Yoshi games. He makes cameos in certain levels as a safe platform for Yoshi, and can move over dangerous terrain like spikes and lava. He can also barrel through all kinds of blocks and baddies.
Although he’s on the cover, Poochy doesn’t play much more of a role in the main levels of this game than any other Yoshi game. He makes a few cameos, but he’s mostly reserved for bonus levels and challenges like Poochy’s Gold Rush and Poochy Dash.
You can unlock a bonus badge later on in the game so you can always bring him along in main levels (which I may or may not have done…), but it will cost you some of your gems!
The Poochy Pups are the ones who steal the show.
In one of the game modes you can pick, these pom-pom-tailed puppers take the place of Yoshi’s string of eggs, acting as returning projectiles and sniffing out unexpected secrets.
They’ll also run ahead of you to tangle up enemies like piranha plants and Shy Guys on knitting-needle stilts, so you don’t get chomped or stomped.
A well-woven path
The graphics are easily one of the best features about the game.
As you might deduce from the cover art, literally everything in this game is craft-related.
Instead of eggs, you throw yarn balls. Shy Guys carry crochet hooks instead of spears. Instead of coins, you collect gems and buttons.
Even the worlds themselves are fully made of yarn and assorted crafty goodies, which allows for its own kind of creativity with the gameplay.
For example, there are certain parts of the game where you’ll need to eat a block of yarn á la Lady and the Tramp to unblock your path, and other parts where you’ll need to compress folded fabric to find secrets.
My favourite part of the knitted world, though? I can’t help but love the trees that are just yarn balls with knitting needles through them, with colourful buttons for fruit.
So there are my thoughts so far on Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World. I’m nowhere close to finishing the game, but so far, I absolutely love it, and I can’t wait to see what other delightful crafty surprises this lovely little yarn has in store for me.