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Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World 3DS review

Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World 3DS review: We’ve romped our way through Woolly World on the Nintendo 3DS and fallen in love with a bunch of yarn Yoshis, who have just as much personality as the fleshy version. Here’s our full Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World for 3DS review.

Everyone loves Yoshi, cute dogs and yarn, so Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World is bound to delight gamers of all ages. This side-scrolling platformer for Nintendo’s 3DS offers a unique graphical styling, to help freshen up one of the oldest game genres – not to mention bags of content and secrets to unlock. Here’s our full Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World review for 3DS.

Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World 3DS review: What’s this all about then?

Woolly World’s story makes about as much sense as Donald Trump’s political strategies, but with a lot less menace. Essentially there’s a wizard who’s turned a bunch of woolly Yoshis into balls of yarn, for whatever nefarious purposes, and now it’s up to our hero to retrieve all of the yarn and knit his mates back together.

Frankly, it’s the kind of plot that requires liberal use of certain class A drugs to comprehend, and in the end who cares. You play these games because they’re fun, not for the captivating storyline or the inspirational character arcs.

Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World 3DS review: Gameplay and difficulty levels

Gameplay is as solid as you’d expect from Nintendo. Woolly World is a simple side-scroller at heart, although Yoshi differs from Mario in that he can hover indefinitely if you hold down the jump button. And as well as jumping on enemies’ heads, you can hurl balls of wool at them to despatch them.

At set points you’ll even automatically transform into a special powered-up Yoshi, similar to Kirby’s souped-up forms in Planet Robobot. From a super-speedy biker Yoshi to a Godzilla-sized Mega Yoshi, these short but thrilling segments add another dose of welcome variety.

Woolly World’s difficulty level is quite low, provided you don’t rush things. Finding all of the hidden treasures is where the true difficulty lies, although taking on the boss creatures is also fun. They pop up every four levels and each boasts his or her own attack sequences and weak points, as you’d expect.

If you’re struggling to complete a level or find all of its secrets, don’t get too depressed. You can stick Woolly World on casual mode at any time, which gives you constant access to some of Poochy’s helpful pups. These little balls of delight can sniff out hidden items for you, whenever you can’t be bothered to do it yourself.

And even if you find yourself seriously struggling, even on casual mode (highly unlikely), you can employ the help of one of your power badges. These are basically cheat codes which are unlocked by completing levels, and they offer a helping hand in many ways; be it making you immune to certain damage, or giving you big balls (don’t ask). Of course, you can’t constantly rely on these, as they cost virtual cash to use.

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Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World 3DS review: Game length

The game is split into six worlds, each with its own distinctive look and feel. Fans of Nintendo platform era know what to expect: desert world, lava world and so on. Each world offers eight levels of platforming shenanigans, giving 48 levels in total (not including bonus stages). Thank god we paid attention in maths class.

These levels are a good size too. If you spend some time hunting down the secret collectibles, you can expect each one to take roughly ten minutes to complete.

Completists be warned: you’ll have your work cut out to hit 100 percent on Woolly World. In each stage, Yoshi can collect up to five smiley flower heads, five balls of yarn and 20 special coins. You’ll have to explore carefully and use your wits to max out every level, but the rewards are solid.

For instance, collect all of the flower heads in a world and Yoshi gets a bonus stage to play. Find all five balls of yarn in a level and one of the kidnapped Yoshis will be resurrected, unlocking them as a playable character (the only difference being appearance sadly).

Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World 3DS review: Presentation and 3D effects

Yoshi and Poochy’s Woolly World offers some truly unique presentation, thanks to the yarn-based theme of the game. Every character and indeed the world itself is stitched together, giving them fantastic texture. Every World is a colourful delight and individual levels are pleasingly distinctive.

As for the 3D element, Woolly World does a great job of popping out the visuals to make the world feel even more immersive. Thankfully it’s still perfectly possible to play in 2D if the 3D makes you feel a bit iffy, or you own a 2DS. You only miss out on the striking depth.

Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World 3DS review: Bonus content and comparison to the Wii U version

In addition to the main game, Woolly World also offers plenty of engrossing bonus content, which wasn’t found on the Wii U version of the game.

For instance, head to the Poochy Hut and you can race through courses as Yoshi’s pet dog, who is otherwise criminally underused. These stages are great fun, with set objectives to complete in each one for maximum financial rewards. And although the controls are simple – just tap to jump – you’ll want to replay them over and over to grab every last gem.

You can also watch a series of stomach-achingly cute stop-motion videos starring Yoshi and Poochy, and then answer basic observation questions to unlock more virtual cash (used to enable the power badges in the standard single-player levels).

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Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World 3DS review: Verdict

Basically, you get a lot for your money in Woolly World and none of it is filler. Every single level is a delight, offering dozens of secrets to hunt down, while difficulty levels are perfect for a younger audience. And with extras like the Poochy Hut races to master, you’ll be gaming for many, many hours before you find and see everything on offer.

You can grab Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World from Friday February 3, for £35.

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