Review by hanafuda

"An Essential Purchase for DS Owners"

Yoshi's Touch & Go

Introduction

If you own a Nintendo DS, you have to buy this game. It is as simple as that.

Anyone expecting a sequel to Yoshi's island should look elsewhere, as the resemblance is in name only.

Yoshi's Touch and Go is an original title designed specifically for the Nintendo DS. It is a game that can only be done on the DS, as it fully utilises the unique DS hardware. The dual screen system is essential in this game, as is the touch screen.

The Game

Yoshi's Touch & Go is a puzzle game. No more, no less. The objective is simply to beat any previous records: be it a fastest time or a highest score.

Visually the game is very attractive, with plenty of detail and great use of colour. It isn't going to impress anyone expecting PSP style visuals, but with game play as addictive as this it doesn't matter.

Sounds are perfect, and in particular the music is very well done. There is a good chance you will find yourself humming these tunes without even realising it.

Essentially there are four modes of play, and each mode focuses on a different aspect of play. At first only two of the four modes are available to play: Score Attack and Endless. Once you break the record on both of those modes, you will unlock the remaining two modes: Challenge and Time Attack.

In all of the four modes the game is split into two sections. The first section involves baby Mario falling through the sky in a vertically scrolling game, and the second section involves baby Mario on Yoshi's back in a horizontally scrolling game.

In the sky section you use the touch screen to draw clouds that can be used to both guide baby Mario and encircle enemies. Guide baby Mario away from harm and do your best to ensure he collects as many coins as possible. Encircle enemies in clouds to turn them into bubbles. Once in bubble form the enemy is converted into a coin and becomes harmless: these coins can then be collected by baby Mario to increase your score.

Baby Mario floats to safety with the assistance of three balloons. Make contact with an enemy, and a balloon will burst. Once all three balloons are gone it is game over.

If baby Mario makes it down to earth in safety, he will be greeted by Yoshi. Yoshi's colour will depend on your score. The higher your score, the more eggs Yoshi can carry, which brings me to the land section of the game.

In the land section you once again use the touch pen to draw clouds that Yoshi can walk on. You can also turn enemies into bubbles using the same method as the sky section. However, this time you can also make Yoshi throw eggs by tapping the screen with the touch pen. Eggs destroy enemies and also collect coins. In addition you can touch Yoshi himself to make him jump, which is mainly used to help navigate the landscape, but can also be used as an attack.

During both the air and land sections you can blow into the microphone to clear away any clouds that are on screen. This is really only used when things haven't gone as well as you intended and you need to clear the area of any obstructions.

Score Attack

Complete a fixed distance of both air and land sections. Aim for the highest score possible, as the name suggests.

Endless

Complete a fixed distance of air section, followed by an endless land section. There are checkpoints at which your current Yoshi will hand over to a Yoshi of the next rank. In other words, colour will change and the maximum number of eggs that you can carry at any one time is increased by five. Performance is judged by the distance traveled.

Time Attack

Complete a fixed distance of air section, followed by a land section where you have to rescue baby Luigi from a group of flying enemies. Performance is judged by the amount of time taken to rescue baby Luigi: the faster the better.

Challenge

Complete a fixed distance of air section, followed by an endless land section. A time limit is in place, and scoring points increases the amount of time remaining. When time runs out it is game over. Play involves balancing the number of eggs you have remaining with the amount of time left on the clock. Performance is judged by the distance traveled.

That pretty much covers everything.

Conclusion

Like most of the best games, this is a simple concept executed with perfection. Playing Yoshi's Touch & Go is great fun, and highly addictive.

Some people may be put off by the lack of content, but if they are then they are missing out on a unique game that has a great deal of depth. Achieving new records is not easy, and some of the modes are very challenging.

It is difficult to going into more detail about the finer points of the game without giving too much away, but rest assured that Nintendo have coded a very clever system behind a very simple user interface.

Completely original, and highly recommended. Nintendo DS owners should rejoice in a game that will never be ported to any other system.

Score

9 out of 10.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/10/05


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