I’m terrible at platformer games. I can play Super Mario Bros. 3 for hours and the only levels I complete are the Mushroom houses. When playing platformers I am easily flustered and impatient. If I am expected to jump on a moving platform and then dodge projectiles I fail every time or I will succeed only to run into the spike pit to my immediate right. But I love Yoshi, so I was brave and risked my sanity on Yoshi’s Woolly World. It’s a beautiful world with enjoyable music and adorable Yoshi’s waiting to be made whole. It’s also a platformer, with scrolling levels and timed movements but the variety of assists and options make even the most flustered of platformer failures, like myself, feel successful.
It's a platformer which means you should expect some scrolling levels, timing of movements or button pressing as well as precision in aiming. However, there are two modes of play: Classic and Mellow. Mellow provides your Yoshi a set of wings that allows you to hover and float so if you miss your jump you can try again or just float above enemies as well as avoid spikes and lava. You also have a variety of controller options. Game pad, pro controller, wii remote and wii remote with classic controller attachment are all available. You can only make controller selections in the world map and not while playing levels. I felt successful with all, but as a person who tends to prefer smaller controllers I liked having the choice. You also have two button configuration choices and 3 yarn aiming options. Yarn throwing is essential to the game, but using the patient setting allows you to take your time, press the button once to active the crosshairs and press it again to throw. You can also lock your aim with one button and then throw with another. Hasty setting moves the crosshairs faster across the screen, but you hold the button down while aiming and then release it to throw. You can also use a tilt option.
In addition to various controller settings and modes of play Yoshi’s Woolly World also provides you the option to buy Power Badges to assist you in completing levels. These include but are not limited to immunity to fire and lava, finding secrets, and preventing you from death from falling into pits. Not only could you purchase before the level started but also while in mid level. About to fall to your death? Hit pause and buy a Power Badge so you bounce right back up. Also, if you die 5 times in a level you are presented with an egg that will give you wings and make you immune to most enemies and elements. And lastly, if you really don't want to be bothered with a level, you can buy a Power Badge to skip it completely.
Do not misunderstand me, I do find this game to be a challenge and the levels increase in difficulty as you progress, but I was never became frustrated to the point of it not being fun anymore or wanting to give up. There are plenty of checkpoints in levels so you don't start from the beginning every time you die and plenty of opportunities to regain hearts/health. Lastly, with the exception of the scrolling levels, there is no time limit to complete levels.
There's very little dialogue, only two characters and a couple of tutorial boxes will talk to you. All speakers are identified by their speech bubbles. And audio cues are not present in this game. But let's talk about the music. I love it! I find myself sticking with difficult levels just because the music is just calming or motivating enough to keep trying. And while it helps set atmosphere, it isn't distracting or putting me in panic mode. I get very irritated when music gets faster or more intense in games. Sometimes I need to focus on the task at hand and hearing “hurry up, you're gonna die if you don't get this right now” music can really affect my ability to be successful.
It's a beautiful Wooly World. All the elements and enemies are easy to see and distinguish. There isn't a color blind setting, but I never saw any situation where it was needed. Yarn balls come in different colors but all act the same and stamps are found in any size gem. I only found one instance that required specific colored yarn to be used, but the colors required shouldn;t be an issue for colorblind players. If you use the Find Secrets Power Badge, areas or items have a shine or glow to them but don't not change colors. You have a variety of Yoshis you can create so if you do want to play the level as a co-op, you aren't stuck with only the red and green Yoshi to choose from. All menus are easy to read. I played about 5 feet away from my 42 inch TV or on the Game Pad and had no difficulty reading menus, text boxes or distinguishing visual elements.
lots of controller options, game assists, and Mellow Mode.
there are some collectibles you might not get, no matter how many repeated tries or game assists.