Review by rapt00r

"Above the Clouds"

You may remember Yoshi Touch & Go as Balloon Trip from last year's E3. It was originally featured as a demo to show how the dual screens and touch screen would work. Over the past year, Balloon Trip evolved into the very fun and addictive Yoshi Touch & Go.

There is no story or level progression in the game. You goal is to simply get a high score, whether it be points or distance traveled, depending on which mode you are playing. The concept can be compared to an old arcade game, such as Donkey Kong.

The game starts out with Baby Mario falling from the sky. Your job is to make sure he safely reaches Yoshi on the ground. While he is falling, you will need to lead him towards coins in order to score points. Linking several coins together will produce a combo and a higher score.

To achieve your goal, you need to draw clouds in the sky for Baby Mario to fall on and travel along. You can also draw circles around enemies to turn them into coins and capture them in bubbles. If you can capture multiple enemies in one bubble, you will receive bonus points. Baby Mario is always on the top screen, so you must anticipate his path. My strategy is to draw a cloud tunnel for him to fall through and pick up coins. Don't worry if you draw a bad path; you can simply blow the clouds away by blowing into the microphone.

Once Baby Mario reaches the ground, Yoshi will catch him, and you will now travel by foot. The concept on the ground is the same, keep Baby Mario safe. You do not directly control Yoshi; he will walk along the ground on his own. Your job is to once again draw cloud paths towards coins, over pits or around enemies. You can also tap the screen to shoot eggs at coins or enemies in the sky on the top screen, and you can tap Yoshi himself to have him jump. You can collect more eggs by eating fruit placed around the level.

I have not played the multiplayer mode yet, so I cannot comment much on it. Basically it is the same as the single player mode, except you are racing your opponent. If you hit three objects with a single egg, spikes will drop onto your opponent's screen. You can track your opponent's progress on the top screen. The game wirelessly connects to your opponent, and you only need one copy to play.

Another feature I like in the game is the “aware” option. I believe this is the first DS game to feature this. Basically you can select an option for the game to let you know if another player enters your range. This is a feature I think all DS games should have.

If the game seems simplistic, it is. Even the graphics and music do not push the limits of the system, but are still easy on the eyes and ears. What makes this game special is the feeling you get when playing. It's one of those games where you say “Just one more time,” and here you are, thirty or forty tries later still playing.

I would recommend this game for all DS owners.

9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/19/05


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