Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World Review – More To Unravel

Credit: Nintendo
Credit: Nintendo /

Yoshi’s back for another round of yarny adventures on the Nintendo 3DS, and he’s brought his adorable pal, Poochy, along for the ride.

Developer: Good-Feel

Publisher: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Release Date: February 3rd, 2017

My colleagues will tell you what an absolute sap I am for cute video games, and as a Nintendo fan, I know I’m not alone in this love. Yoshi’s Woolly World for Wii U was released in October of 2015 to the delight of those like me, combining the excellent platforming gameplay we tend to expect from Nintendo-published games of the genre with the cutest stinking visuals we’ve ever seen. While the game generally reviewed well (I loved it), the dearth of Wii U owners in the wild had an impact on the title’s sales. So Good-Feel and Nintendo are back again for another try, this time on the more popular Nintendo 3DS with Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World.

poochy and yoshi's woolly world
Credit: Nintendo /

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World retains the majority of the same content and mechanics from the Wii U original. Kamek invades the land of the yarn Yoshis and turns the Yoshis into skeins of yarn. He then flies off to his fortress, scattering yarn as he goes. Two Yoshis remain untouched by his spell, and it’s up to one of them (they removed co-op, unfortunately, but expectedly) to reform their yarn-ified friends and stop Kamek’s evil plot. This is done by progressing through six themed worlds, with eight levels in each world plus a ninth optional secret level.

Yarn Yoshi does not produce eggs like your normal Yoshi, but instead uses balls of yarn alongside his usual tactics like devouring enemies and flutter jumping about. Progressing through each level is generally a simple enough affair, but the true challenge of Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World lies in finding all the hidden collectibles. Each level contains tons of collectible beads, plus five Flowers and five skeins of Wonder Wool. Collecting all the Flowers in a World unlocks the World’s secret level, and collecting all five Wools in a level gives you a new pattern design for Yoshi.

I’ll be brief here: the main game was and remains excellent. There’s a fair difficulty curve, oodles of hidden secrets with satisfying rewards, and some very creative levels, especially later on. I found that the platforming gameplay especially lent itself to a handheld device. This is definitely the kind of game I’ll take on the go with me.

poochy and yoshi's woolly world
Credit: Nintendo /

So let’s talk new features. It wouldn’t be Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World without Poochy, and the little yarn doggie certainly gets his time in the spotlight. The 3DS version introduces several brand-new levels where you play exclusively as Poochy in an auto-runner challenge.

Poochy must make his way to the goal while collecting as many beads as possible, completing certain listed objectives such as popping balloons or clearing specific obstacles, and collecting three hidden Poochy Pups in the level. Success rewards beads, which can be used to purchase power-ups for levels in the main campaign. An additional Gold Rush mode sends in Lakitu to drop a specific path of beads for Poochy to follow, challenging your auto-running skills to the max.

In Poochy’s levels, playing is mostly its own reward. You can collect copious beads from the regular levels, and the need for power-ups is negligible to anyone who has played a platformer before. Still, while I wish the reward for completing these had been better, I found myself striving to earn gold medals anyway. I found Poochy’s autorun levels and challenge design a refreshing change of pace from Yoshi’s more traditional levels, and thus worth completing.

In addition to new levels, Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World’s Scrapbook Theater includes 30 Poochy & Yoshi stop-motion shorts. These brief (only 30 seconds apiece, or so) cartoons unlock one at a time every 24 hours, though you can’t start the timer on the next short until you’ve watched the previous one. At the end of each short, there’s an insultingly simple quiz question, with the correct answer rewarding…yay, more beads. I could have done without the weird quiz, as (like the Poochy level gameplay) these shorts are their own reward for those who, like me, make squeaky noises over things with beady eyes.

poochy and yoshi's woolly world
Credit: Nintendo /

One of my favorite added features for Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World was the ability to design my own Yoshi patterns. The level of customization here impressed me–you can either make an all-over pattern for simplicity, or customize each facet of Yoshi such as each arm, his nose, his spines, and so on. There are plenty of colors to pick from, and the stylus is easy to draw with (though the grid makes it hard to center certain kinds of patterns).

While I know it was inevitable that a 3DS version of this game on a smaller screen would naturally register fewer details than its console predecessor, I can’t help but be dismayed at the result.

The old Miiverse stamps hidden in the levels have even been replaced with special beads that unlock pre-made patterns you can stamp onto your customized Yoshi if you so choose. There are plenty of save slots, and with the ability to share your patterns, I’m interested to see what creatives come up with for Yoshi designs.

The final major change in Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World is the addition of Poochy Pups to Mellow Mode. If you’ll recall, Mellow Mode gives Yoshi wings, making levels much easier as he can indefinitely float around. Poochy Pups join him now, substituting for yarn balls, so you have infinite yarn, and will perform helpful tasks such as wrapping up Piranha Plants for you or revealing the locations of secrets.

poochy and yoshi's woolly world
Credit: Nintendo /

As a reasonably skilled player, I found Mellow Mode to be unnecessarily easy. Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World contains its share of challenges, but largely retains a casual difficulty throughout. Features like Mellow Mode and the purchasable power-ups tone that difficulty dial down so far as to trivialize the entire game. That said, I don’t resent their inclusion. The soft, gentle nature of this game may appeal to young kids, especially now that it’s on the 3DS, and with those easier offerings, Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World may be a great game for children to play as their first platformer.

Speaking of that soft, gentle nature, it’s worth mentioning my disappointment at the visual changes. While I know it was inevitable that a 3DS version of this game on a smaller screen would naturally register fewer details than its console predecessor, I can’t help but be dismayed at the result. One of the major draws for me of Yoshi’s Woolly World was how incredibly soft everything looked, right down to the way the ground dipped and bounced under Yoshi’s feet. Unfortunately, it’s likely impossible to replicate that on a handheld. That said, the game doesn’t look bad, and unlike several other recent 3DS titles, everything is playable in 3D if that’s your jam.

While advertisement for this title has made much of the Poochy amiibo, I was unable to obtain one for this review and thus cannot speak to this new amiibo’s functionality at this time.

8.5. In every way except the inevitable visuals, Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is an improvement on its already-excellent Wii U predecessor. Though the changes are minor, such as additional help in Mellow Mode, the extra Poochy-only autorun levels, and Yoshi customization, those minor diversions are enjoyable and support the fun platforming that plays out even better on the 3DS than it did on the Wii U. If you beat the Wii U version, this isn’t a brand new game. But if you’re in the ranks of those who missed out the first time, and especially if you have kids, this is one of the best (and cutest) Nintendo platformers right now.. Good-Feel. . Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.