While Yoshi may be popularly associated with tax fraud, the green dinosaur is actually an accomplished video game mascot. Since its debut as a sidekick in Super Mario World nearly three decades ago until its recent appearance in Super Mario Odyssey, it’s been hard to imagine another companion join Mario and Luigi on their numerous quests to save Princess Peach. Its solo outings are just as noteworthy in that gameplay usually revolves around the reptile’s unique prehensile tongue and flutter jump abilities, which will soon make their comeback in Yoshi’s Crafted World.
The following are some of T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas‘ best titles so far. Each entry astutely evidences what makes the egg-hatching dynamo such an icon today.
Yoshi’s Best Games | Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
As its name suggests, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island is the Super Nintendo Entertainment System game that transformed the dinosaur into a bonafide Nintendo mascot. Players are tasked with reuniting Mario and Luigi after a Magikoopa attacks a baby stork delivering the two baby brothers. They have access to a variety of different colored reptiles on their journey, each of which possesses its own unique abilities. This is the game that properly introduces fans to the species, allowing them to realize why Mario is so reliant on it in the series’ prior entry.
Though platforming is an integral part of the game (as it is the Super Mario franchise), Yoshi’s Island places more emphasis on puzzle solving elements. Fans will run into instances where they must use each dinosaurs’ long tongue to quickly capture an enemy or object and take advantage of its attributes to progress to the next level. Watermelons, for example, can be eaten to give Yoshisaur the ability to shoot out seeds from its mouth and hit obstacles from afar. The title is an embodiment of imagination, as it encourages players to experiment with each creature’s skills to navigate its six worlds.
Yoshi’s Best Games | Yoshi’s New Island
Yoshi’s New Island takes place in between Super Mario World 2 and Yoshi’s Island DS. Though Mario and Luigi were safely delivered to a couple in the Mushroom Kingdom following the events of the former game, it turns out that these folks were not the brothers’ real parents. The stork attempts to amend its mistake in this 3DS entry, but is once again ambushed by the Magikoopa Kamek.
Gameplay remains largely unchanged from the original Yoshi’s Island, which isn’t a bad thing. New additions include Mega and Metal Eggdozers, which are large eggs that can knock down sturdy barriers. Players also have access to Flutter Wings, which help them fly above hazards whenever they’re having trouble completing a level. The game is perfect for people who aren’t too experienced with video games, as it doesn’t punish them for trying out new mechanics. Rather, it encourages them to play around with each one of the dinosaur’s abilities.
Yoshi’s Best Games | Yoshi’s Woolly World
Yoshi’s Woolly World is the Yoshi equivalent of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, as both games were developed by Good Feel and possess a charming yarn aesthetic. Baby Mario doesn’t make an appearance this time around. Instead, it’s the Yoshisaur species itself that’s in danger, as Baby Bowser seeks to transform all the dinosaurs into bundles of yarn so he can use them as his playthings.
The feature that sets Woolly World apart from other titles in the franchise is its replacement of eggs with balls of yarn. Similarly to the dinosaur’s transformations in Super Mario World 2, yarn can be used to circumvent obstacles. For instance, players can absorb enemies and use them to create platforms. A second player can join in on the fun and eat their partner to shoot them to hard to reach places, too. Woolly World is a simple-to-play, accessible entry on Wii U and 3DS that’s fun to experience no matter one’s platforming or puzzle skill.
Yoshi’s Best Games | Yoshi’s Island DS
Mario and Luigi aren’t the only babies that need a savior in Yoshi’s Island DS. As the image above suggests, Baby Peach, Baby Wario, Baby Donkey Kong, and Baby Bowser need some help too. Thankfully, each infant isn’t as feeble as one may think at first glance, as each one grants their respective Yoshisaur companion a unique ability. Baby Peach may be useful in helping players flutter above obstacles, for instance, while Baby Donkey Kong can swing on ropes and transform eggs into explosives. These characters need to switched around constantly towards later levels when puzzles become more challenging.
Yoshi’s Island DS preserves the charm of the original Yoshi’s Island while incorporating the franchise’s characters in fun ways. It’s a love letter to Nintendo’s overarching property, with the green dinosaur acting as the glue that holds it all together.
Yoshi’s Best Games | Yoshi Touch and Go
Yoshi Touch and Go is one of the first games to take advantage of the DS’s features, as its gameplay heavily revolves around the system’s touch screen and microphone components. Clearly inspired by Super Mario World 2 in terms of presentation, the titles has players navigate with both Baby Mario and Yoshi, though they don’t have direct control of either character. In the former case, fans have to lead Mario safely to the ground before the three balloons lifting him pop. In the latter case, users must launch eggs toward enemies before Yoshisaur runs into them. While there’s no story to be found in Touch and Go, the incentive to improve one’s high score is constantly in the back of one’s mind.
Yoshi’s Best Games | Yoshi’s Story
The Yoshi franchise is well-known for its history of diverse visual styles. Yoshi’s Story is a prime example of how willing Nintendo is to experiment with the property, as its presentation is similar to that of Donkey Kong Country, yet incorporates elements that make it out to be a precursor to Woolly World.
This game retains the platforming mechanics found in Super Mario World 2, but emphasizes exploration above all else. Favorite Fruit, Lucky Fruit, Heart Fruit, and Special Hearts must be collected in order to achieve high scores and progress through the title’s narrative, which is spread across six pages in a pop-up storybook. It’s a surprise that Nintendo hasn’t explored this style often after Yoshi’s Story released for Nintendo 64 in 1997, as it’s unlike many other platformers on the market.
Fans may find that Yoshi’s Crafted World follows in the footsteps of the titles mentioned above when it launches on March 29 for Nintendo Switch. The game’s paper craft world seems accessible to franchise veterans and newcomers alike, and the ability to play with companions at home and on the go adds value. Parents could introduce their children to the green dinosaur’s egg-throwing antics wherever they may be, simultaneously reliving their days playing Super Mario World 2 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The reptile may suffer the wrath of the judicial system soon, but if one thing’s for certain, its legacy will live on so long as the video game industry continues to exist.