Yoshi Touch & Go Nintendo DS Review

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Finally, a game that takes advantage of all the DS’s capabilities synchronously. A game that utilizes the dual screens and the touchscreen, the microphone and even the wireless two-player mode. A game designed for the DS and only for the DS. Yoshi Touch and Go is a simplistic, 2-d arcade like game. This one is a bit different though. You will not be using a directional pad or even buttons but you will be using a touch screen, a stylus, a microphone and that in itself makes the game interesting. The only goal, collect coins and beat the high score. It may not sound like fun, but it is, thanks to the execution of the game. Yoshi Touch and Go are innovative, fresh and another example of why Nintendo is still the top developer in the industry.

One of the first things you’ll notice is that Yoshi Touch and Go doesn’t have a story. There’s no plot, no princess to save, no nothing. I don’t why Mario is falling, I don’t know where Yoshi is taking him and I don’t care. I hope you don’t either, the manual is very vague. You’ll quickly learn that the only goal you have is to collect coins and increase your score. To do this, you’ll have to keep baby Mario alive.

Gameplay includes two modes, one dependent on the other. In one mode you’ll be helping baby Mario safely navigate the skies as he plummets quickly to the ground (he’s been dropped by a stork, that’s all the manual says). He has three balloons slowing his descent and your goal is to keep him from crashing into enemies and spiked obstacles. To do this you must draw a path of clouds beneath him, steering him clear of danger, collecting coins along the way. (even at this age, the greed is present). You can also collect points by drawing a circle around enemies and bringing them towards Mario with your stylus. At the end of the level (if you make it), Yoshi appears just in time to catch baby Mario. Different colored Yoshi’s appear depending on the number of coins collected, each with varying abilities.

The second mode of play occurs after Mario is caught by Yoshi. Now it’s time to help Yoshi out. This time in a 2-d side-scrolling level. As Yoshi moves along, you’ll again be drawing a path of clouds helping him to avoid enemies and obstacles. Tap on a target with your stylus and Yoshi will hurl an egg at the enemy. Tap on Yoshi and he’ll jump. Again you want to collect as many coins as possible along your way. New levels aren’t opened up until you collect a certain number of coins and points. The modes continue in this cycle throughout the game. In both modes, if you make a blowing sound into the mic, the cloud path you’ve just drawn will be deleted.

Graphically the game looks like all the other 2-d Mario games. The graphics are clean and colorful 2-d sprites. Nothing shocking here. Same goes for the audio, standard Mario music ,  sound. The touchscreen is amazingly responsive and accurate. The beauty of the game is that you can play it without using the buttons and directional pad. It’s a nice change of pace.

If you’re looking for a simple, fun, and arcade-like experience, pick this game up. There’s simply no other game that uses the DS’s capabilities like Yoshi Touch and Goes does, it truly shows the potential the system has. There’s no gameplay experience like this available anywhere. Its simple focus on score and collecting coins gives the game an addicting, “one more game” quality and emphasizes the gameplay. The game relies on quick thinking just as much as it does on fast reflexes. Figuring out just the right way to draw a cloud path or trying to anticipate the most beneficial path for Mario or Yoshi to take is often difficult and requires some fast thinking. If you’re not artistic, don’t worry, the game is played with simple, broad strokes and circles. If you have a DS, pick this one up. It’s one of the only games for the DS that is a must buy. Nintendo has some more games just like this on the way.