Yoshi's Crafted World Switch

Every so often, you might come across a video game that can be described as virtual comfort food. These games welcome you in with open arms and provide calming, warm, inviting audiovisual experiences. Yoshi’s Crafted World is that exact type of game. Though there are quite a few top-notch chill games on Nintendo Switch — and probably because of that fact — this title seems to have been overlooked and underrated, but you should totally play it if you ever find yourself in a funk.

Released in 2019, Yoshi’s Crafted World was developed by Feel-Good. That’s the same studio that brought us the awesome Wario Land: Shake It and Kirby’s Epic Yarn on the Wii. Yoshi’s Crafted World is less like Wario’s fast-paced action-platforming romp and more like Kirby’s texture-heavy adventure in that it’s all about providing a serene ride for the player. This game encourages you to take in its charming sights and sounds as you explore, rather than just getting to the end and pummeling some baddies.

Yoshi's Crafted World Nintendo Switch

I first played Yoshi’s Crafted World last year, and I had a great time with it. I mostly stuck to the main road and played from beginning to end, only taking on some of the side quests. It was a neat little adventure, and I was glad to experience it that way.

I recently picked the game back up, though. It was one of those days where I just wanted to sit back and relax with a nice game — “nice” being the key word here. I loaded up Yoshi’s Crafted World and decided to hunt down all the hidden items and tackle the reverse Poochy stages. Straight-up, it was one of the most comforting experiences I’ve had with a game since, well, since I first played Yoshi’s Crafted World last year!

No, this isn’t exactly a difficult game, but it’s not completely devoid of challenge, either. In fact, it’s deceptively deep. It gives you a few reasons to revisit stages, tucking away collectible items in the backgrounds and foregrounds and requiring you to keep a sharp eye on your surroundings.

Yoshi's Crafted World Yoshis

Admittedly, if you’re not into collect-a-thons, or if you’re looking for something that’ll really test your mettle, you might not be sold on what Yoshi’s Crafted World has to offer. But if you want something that lets you explore at a leisurely pace, this Yoshi adventure makes each visit to every level feel meaningful.

A big reason for that is because of just how great the game looks. Every part of every single stage looks like something hand-crafted using everyday household items. From the bits of cardboard and yarn that make up the platforms to the boxes labeled “corn flakes” that you can see in the reverse stages — which are literally stages you’ve already visited that you can play in reverse for some extra fun — the game world is just enjoyable to look at.

It’s really cool seeing how creative the developers got when designing the levels in the game. This is one of those “stop and smell the roses” type of games, and the addition of hidden collectibles in each stage just gives meaning to all of the visual splendor there is to behold. That’s to say, it’s one thing to just enjoy the visuals, but it’s another to really observe the backgrounds, foregrounds, and areas you can walk on as you search for every cleverly tucked away item. It lets you appreciate the game’s design in a completely different way.

Yoshi's Crafted World Gameplay

Aside from the Where’s Waldo-esque fun to be had with finding collectibles in Yoshi’s Crafted World, there’s something really relaxing about being able to get lost in its hidden object challenges. Meticulously searching for each construction paper dinosaur or tinfoil crown-covered donut is calming in a way very similar to doing a word search — it’s just you and this game world you’re interacting with, and it’s super rewarding.

I love a well-made difficult game like Eldest Souls. I also enjoy playing games on higher difficulty settings. But Yoshi’s Crafted World is there when I want something engaging and comforting. Sadly, it feels like the game didn’t get much love. Even shortly after its launch, there wasn’t much buzz, and it’s not for lack of quality. Perhaps the game just didn’t hit its stride with the average Switch player. Truthfully, it shares more with chill indie games than it does with most Mario titles and spinoffs, so maybe that’s why it’s not often talked about by Nintendo fans.

That said, Yoshi’s Crafted World is 100 percent a solid game — both from a platforming perspective and a chill game standpoint. It’s enjoyable, entertaining, and relaxing, and it hits just right if you’re looking to do some comfort gaming.

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