Pros: Unique gameplay has players use the stylus to draw paths for Yoshi
and Baby Mario.
Cons: The title won't engage gamers for very long.
Back when the DS was first announced Nintendo showed off a new Yoshi game.
This creative demo had gamers draw a path for Yoshi using the stylus.
After a couple of months of waiting the new Yoshi game gets a new name,
Catch! Touch! Yoshi! and is released to the masses.
Yoshi! has gameplay broken into two different parts. When you start a
level you'll see Baby Mario falling from the sky with three tiny red
balloons holding him up. Below the tiny hero lies shy guys, spiky
togetchis and a sea of coins. To guide Mario away from the perils and
towards coins you need to create a path of clouds using the stylus. You
can draw as much or as little as you want, but there are a couple of
rules. First, Mario obeys the law of gravity and will always fall down.
Second, you can't actually trap Mario with a cushion of clouds. If you
do they'll disappear over time. Third, three hits and the pint sized
hero is captured by a Magikoopa. Drawing a good path takes patience and
some forethought. By the time Mario is on the path you've drawn you
can't alter it because he's on the top (non touch screen). Pretty clever
gameplay. If you end up not liking what you've drawn just create some
wind by blowing into the microphone and the clouds will vanish.
Carefully guiding Mario towards the coins is another important part of
this stage. In the upper left hand corner there is a picture of Yoshi
with a number underneath it. The number is how many points you have,
which is based on how many coins you get and how many enemies are
knocked out of the sky. Your score will dictate what color Yoshi will
assist Mario in the next area. The higher the score, the more eggs your
Yoshi can carry.
After Baby Mario reaches the end of the level a Yoshi will catch him
from falling. The gameplay switches from playing with Mario to assisting
Yoshi. Similar to how you can't move Baby Mario you can't directly move
Yoshi. The screen will automatically scroll from left to right dragging
Yoshi along with it. Besides drawing the necessary path for Yoshi
players can also make Yoshi jump by tapping him with the stylus. Getting
used to positing the stylus to tap Yoshi for a jump is a little
inconvenient. In many cases it's better to just position a path of
clouds to avoid jumping all together. While you're playing Yoshi King
Koopa's minions won't let you off easy. Flying shy guys will dive towards
Yoshi and tiny monkeys will throw things at you. Of course Yoshi has a
ready supply of eggs to throw at an approaching bat or shy guy. Eggs can
also be thrown upwards to the top screen to collect coins. Players can
find helpful fruit to resupply Yoshi with more eggs. If you're out of
eggs or are the conservative type you can draw a cloud circle around an
enemy. This is an alternative way to rid the screen of a nuisance, but
it takes more time than just throwing an egg.
Both of the games have a set number of permutations that are randomly
dished out to players. On the plus side this gives the game pick up and
playability with some variation in between. I mean you wouldn't want to
keep playing through stage 1-1 every time you start the title up. Still,
there just aren't that many different level sets. After playing through
the Baby Mario portion a couple of times you'll be able to memorize the
position of coins and where the spiky green balls of death are.
Fortunately the Yoshi stages have a couple more variations. Although,
even with these small changes gamers will see all Catch! Touch! Yoshi!
has to offer in a single day.
Catch! Touch! Yoshi! doesn't have different levels or offer a world
to explore. All you have to play with are four different modes: score
attack, time attack, endless and challenge. No matter which mode you
pick you'll be doing the same thing. Because of this he game can hardly
be considered a platformer. It has more in kin to a simple handheld game
with a touch screen, than any other Nintendo DS title. If you know
someone else with a DS you can play a wireless multiplayer game. There
is only one game to play and it's set in Yoshi's world. Its a race to
see who can run further with their Yoshi. The game is an interesting
diversion, but this doesn't extend replay value much either.
Initially I was really excited for Catch! Touch! Yoshi!. After
spending some time with it, I realize that it isn't a game you're going
to spend hours playing in a row. It's a good game to play when you need
a quick gaming break or for a short car ride. It's a little
disheartening, because Nintendo could have done so much more with this
title. Maybe Yoshi's Touch & Go suffered from an onset of launch title
syndrome like Pokemon Dash did. In any case there are other better,
longer and flat out more entertaining titles out there for the DS.
The menus are in friendly katakana and there isn't any story to worry
about. Another thing is the in game tutorial is easy to understand in
This game will be released in North America under the moniker Yoshi's
Touch & Go on March 14, 2005.
I have to hand it to Nintendo for making another creative product, but
it's more like a mini game than a complete DS title.