Yoshi’s Touch & Go review

July 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Posted in DS Review, Game Review | Leave a comment
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I found a few more old reviews snuck away on an old PC. Will try and get them posted as soon as possible. Here’s the first one – Yoshi’s Touch & Go, a charming early DS game where you control Baby Mario and Yoshi by tapping and drawing platforms on the screen.

Title: Yoshi’s Touch & Go

Format: Nintendo DS

Developed by: Nintendo

Published by: Nintendo

Genre: Platform

Out of the first set of possible games demonstrated by Nintendo upon the DS’s unveiling there was one that really caught my eye: Balloon Trip. A simple yet enthralling example of just how the DS could revolutionise handheld gaming as we know it. Drawing clouds on the touch screen guided a slowly falling Baby Mario away from enemies and into the path of coins on the way down. This demo became the game known as Yoshi’s Touch & Go.

The game has retained it’s simplicity, once you have gently aided Baby Mario past the flying meanies it’s time for Yoshi to get in on the action. Depending on how well you’ve done on the ascending part of the level you get a different coloured Yoshi each with slightly different abilities. Green Yoshi has a small egg holding capacity and is pretty slow, which can make it slightly easier in the ground section; Red Yoshi is on the other end of this dinosaur spectrum.

Once you’re safely on the back of Yoshi the game starts to scroll left to right and this time you have to guide Yoshi and Baby Mario to the stork at the end of the level. Again, you draw clouds to act as platforms and to trap enemies (by drawing a circle around them), and shooting eggs (by tapping the screen) to knock out air-bourne enemies or collect unreachable coins. You can also tap Yoshi to make him jump up to grab the fruit dotted about the level to replenish your egg supply.

This, unfortunately is all there is to Yoshi’s Touch & Go. There are a couple of different modes: Score Attack, Marathon, Time Attack and Challenge. These do provide a bit of longevity, especially if you enjoy trying to beat your scores and times but it never really feels much more than a beautifully presented mini-game. And it certainly is gorgeous, one of the nicest looking 2D titles I’ve yet seen in fact. It keeps the unique sketchy look of previous Yoshi games but uses the power of the DS to improve upon it, particularly as the sky backdrop slowly brightens up on the falling sections then blends between day and night (with a reddish sunset in between) as you continue through the ground level. The music too is an instantly recognisable mix from Yoshi’s Island and Story adventures and old enemies reappear once again.

Those of you hoping for a structured level based game a la Island will be disappointed here; the randomly generated levels do still add a nice twist though. And while the first two modes will soon be conquered (Challenge and Time Attack are unlocked later) the pick-up-and-play gameplay is great to come back to if only for a few short bursts; this is indeed perfect portable fodder. Show it to your friends and I can guarantee any reservations they had about the DS will soon disappear, even if it doesn’t hold their interest past the first few goes.

A pleasing early demonstration of the DS’ capabilities, and in equal measure a perfect example of what’s good and bad about the format so far.

7/10

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