Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World is a touch more than a port of the Wii U game, titled Yoshi's Woolly World, that released back in the fall of 2015.
I found that original game to be whimsical, easy to play, beautiful and, ultimately, rather boring. It lacked meaningful challenge, only really offering it up in the form of collection.
When Nintendo announced Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World for the Nintendo 3DS, my immediate reaction was one of questioning whether or not it was really needed. For players of the Wii U version, I'd argue it's really not worth your time.
However, there's a much larger install base for the Nintendo 3DS. Lots of players haven't uncovered Yoshi's Woolly World. Even further, this game is perfect for younger 3DS players. I'll touch on that a bit further, but if you're a parent with a young gamer looking for a new title, Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World is perfect.
What's new? A few things. Here we go…
Mellow Mode, Poochy and custom Yoshismake up the additions
I'll defer you to my review of Yoshi's Woolly World from 2015 for the more nuanced pieces of the larger game. This one is exactly the same, for the most part. The stages, the story, the level design and the collection all remain unchanged.
What's new is how you'll tackle all of that, how you can customize Yoshi and the act of collection.
One of the main draws for the original game was the act of collecting bundles of yarn in each stage. They were hidden, sometimes too well, and nabbing all five would earn you a new Yarn Yoshi to play with. That returns completely, though the Mellow Mode makes the process even easier.
In Mellow Mode, Yoshi has wings. He can't fly, but he won't fall into pits as long as you hold the jump button. The game's much, much more approachable for younger players with this addition.
Mellow Mode also features the Poochy Pups. These tiny puppers will serve as infinite balls of yarn and leap about levels in order to reveal secrets. Yep, all of that collection work is made absurdly simple with the Poochy Pups. Finding bundles of yarn for 100 percent completion in stages is a breeze.
It's worth noting that the value of collection is reduced since you can now design, play with and share your own Yoshi creations. It's neat.
I'd argue that these additions make the game way too easy, but then I consider players like my 5-year-old son, Connor. He'll throw down in Mario and take on more challenging games, but sometimes he likes the process of easy exploration and winning. Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World checks that other box perfectly.
There's a ton of collection to do, and this game still provides plenty of value there. It's just made easier through optional additions. You can totally play this game just like you would on the Wii U with its classic mode. It's still not a hard game by any stretch, but it is more traditional.
The Mellow Mode feels like a pure play for younger and less skilled gamers, and it works.
Yoshi looks great in yarn on the Nintendo 3DS.
The new Poochy Dash stages are fun, too
Poochy has his own levels in Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World, too. Poochy Dash offers quick stages where Poochy auto-runs to the finish line. It's up to the player to jump at the right time and over the right distance to avoid obstacles, head down specific paths and collect lots of beads.
These levels also offer specific objectives once you clear them, so maybe you'll need to follow a precise path or collect a certain amount of beads. Those challenges add an extra layer of replayability.
I think this could have been a mobile game for Nintendo. Sure, it's pretty similar to Super Mario Run, but Nintendo's pushing into the mobile space in interesting directions, and I think the mode makes sense as a mobile game.
Is Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World worth your money?
There's some amiibo functionality here, and those obsessed with Yoshi and Poochy (no judgement here, friend) can pick up a yarn amiibo of the dog. You can also unlock a bunch of new shorts to watch digitally that involve the dog-and-dino duo. Consider that more window dressing, though I'm not sure why Nintendo insists on tying the unlocking process to real world days. You can only unlock one short per day, oddly enough.
Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World is a very easy game, though the music, look and Mellow Mode suggest that ease can translate into chilling out. I get that, and if you want this game to either kick back and relax with or to entertain a more novice player, I say go for it.
If you're looking for a challenging Nintendo platformer or you got your fill from the Wii U version, you're better off looking elsewhere. This is a solid game that runs well on the 3DS, but its extras don't really warrant a double dip or a purchase from a player looking for difficulty.
With that in mind, either you can probably wait for a minor price dip here.
Disclaimer: We received a physical copy of Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World for review from Nintendo.