Yoshi! This was Yoshi's first appearance on the GameBoy, as well as one of his first appearances ever, only being beat by Yoshi on the NES. Though I wouldn't say this is what made the world fall in love with Yoshi, it certainly didn't hurt.
Yoshi is one of the many obscure puzzle games that tried making it big in the 90's, and although a great attempt at something new from Nintendo, the game is ruined by how easy the concept is, but how difficult it is to use it. In a way, I think Nintendo got blinded by their own success in Mario and Tetris, so they figured a puzzler with this new creature and Mario in it would sell and be fun. It did sell, and it is fun, for a while. Then things get very frustrating and very claustrophobic.
Your task in this game is to eliminate familiar Mario enemies by matching two of the same on top of one another, or by enclosing several inside a Yoshi egg. In order to manipulate this puzzle, you don't control the falling enemies, rather the board itself. Mario will switch the two areas his hands are under. This is how you move items and stack other enemies on top of one another. This is very different compared to our basic interpretation of a puzzle game to manipulate the piece, and it becomes very disorienting. I kept wanting to play it as if it were Puyo-Puyo.
Because this game is older, put the music on mute. The sounds aren't horrible but the music is overly repetitive, short, and down right, not like Nintendo at all. Making up for the sounds is the impressive transition into monochrome for Mario, Yoshi, and the enemies alike. The familiar faces will put a smile on your face even when the game play does not. Every character is finely detailed to look like the real game counterparts.
This game was fun, but had some very unrewarding issues to figure out before it could be considered a solid and stand out game.
I give Yoshi! (the game, not the character) 6 out of 10!
Yeah I know, you probably assumed it would be lower, but the game is fun regardless of its flaws, and if you have enough time to practice, you can actually become good. Give this one a try.
Eliminate familiar Mario enemies by either stacking two of the same on top of one another, or connect several different enemies on top of one another with a bottom half of a shell under them and by placing the top half on top. As the top falls it will eliminate each enemy and form a Yoshi whose size depends on how many points you racked up. Larger Yoshi, bigger points. More Yoshis, High score at the end of levels.
Manipulate the board by watching where Mario's hands are underneath. Mario will switch the two areas his hands are under, causing the entire column to switch place with the other. Use this to your advantage while stacking to increase your multiplier.
This is where frustration and claustrophobia sets in. The board is a mere 4 columns wide and only stack six high. Meaning you can capture a max of 5 enemies if you are lucky. You have to be quick about your decisions, because if you're too late, the area the enemy is already landing on will simply get switched with him still on it. With limited space, you quickly stack multiple enemies. This makes it difficult to clear any without an upcoming shell, since you can only eliminate them by touching vertically, not by matching them horizontally or diagonally.
The larger problem is that Mario is simply not fast enough. The enemies may start slow, but as in any puzzler, they start falling faster. By level three this game feels down right impossible. All the concentrating on the score and Yoshis makes you forget you really need to be clearing your board for some room. Either you'll have a high scoring game end quickly, or a low scoring game that never ends, both can be irritating.
Advance through the levels, with increasing difficulty and less common enemies, to rack up major Yoshis for a huge score!
|This Ain't Tetris|
|Remember, you do not control the piece. Get it out of your head now, or be doomed to lose immediately.|