Yoshi is a beloved Nintendo character who has starred in many awesome games, but his first puzzle outing definitely isn't one of them. It's not a very fun game although it's incredibly simple and easy to play.
Yoshi is played by controlling Mario who resides at the bottom of the screen. Players move him left and right and push a button to make him swap columns of blocks. A couple of these blocks fall from the top of the screen at a time and Mario must arrange the columns in order to try to match 2 blocks vertically. Every time 2 blocks are matched, they disappear and you get a few points. Some blocks may be eggshell halves. If the top half of an eggshell meets the bottom half, a baby Yoshi is born and you get points. If there happens to be some blocks on a bottom eggshell piece and you drop a top half of an eggshell on the column, then all of the sandwiched blocks collapse into the egg and you get even more points. It's incredibly simple to play which is also the game's main fault; it's too simple.
The graphics are pretty bad for a late NES game. A lot of early NES games even look better than this game. Yoshi himself looks good and Mario is as handsome as always, but the backgrounds which consist of plain colours and checker patterns are hard on the eyes. Blocks contain sprites from Mario games and they look okay. The sound effects are generic but they serve their purpose well and the music is problematic as songs are bland and get repetitive quickly. Fellow NES puzzlers Tetris and Dr. Mario have some of the catchiest music in gaming history so the bar is set pretty high. It's a shame that Yoshi doesn't live up to his kin in this regard.
There are only two ways to play Yoshi in single player. Players can select the starting level, speed, and music in both game types. Game A is an endless mode where players will keep playing until a column gets high enough to trigger a game over. As the game progresses, falling pieces become faster but it seems like it takes forever to get challenging. Game B consists of stages where players will try to clear all of the blocks from the screen. This can be an incredibly annoying task since luck plays a huge factor. Players will find themselves with a couple of blocks left for minutes at a time. When it gets to this point, it's hard not to let your mind ponder why you're even playing this game in the first place. Once you eventually clear all of the blocks, you are treated to a brief cutscene where Mario rides Yoshi then Yoshi eats a treat. These are kind of cool and are a nice reward for the tedious task that you just completed.
2 Player mode is a nice addition. It plays the same as Game B in that a player wins when they clear all of their blocks. Also, if a player gets a game over then the other player scores a win. When a player reaches three wins, they get declared the overall winner. Players can select their starting level and speed before a match so the playing field can be levelled if their abilities are uneven. To mix up the gameplay in multiplayer, if a player collapses blocks within an egg then blocks get dumped on their opponent. This helps the tedium a bit although matches have the tendency to last a long time. Multiplayer matches remain as boring as playing the game in either of the single player modes. This being said, multiplayer can be fun for gamers looking to wind down and have a relaxing competitive puzzle experience.
Although anyone can pick up and play Yoshi, there isn't much of a game to play. Yoshi disappoints with its very basic modes and lack of bells and whistles. If you want to chill and play a puzzle game then this is acceptable, but there are many better games to choose from.
- + So simple that anyone can play
- + It has a multiplayer mode
- + Cutscenes in B Type games are kind of neat
- - Incredibly simple gameplay and easy difficulty make for a boring time
- - Not many modes
- - Bland graphics and generic music