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Yoshi Touch & Go Package Art

Yoshi Touch & Go

The foundation of video games is set on the old school arcade days of Pong, Space Invaders, and Pacman. Nintendo joined the foray with what many consider to be the definitive "old school” title Donkey Kong. After 20 years of keeping gaming fresh with their various titles on home consoles, Nintendo returns to its roots with a game in the classic, high-score-driven style of gameplay given an added twist of DS touch functionality. Yoshi Touch & Go will tickle the fancy of old school gamers to no end, and is enough to satisfy the casual and hardcore crowd if given a chance.


Yoshi Touch & Go isn’t by any means attempting to max out the 3D capabilities of the Nintendo DS. The game echoes the style of Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story and adds a lot to the art by exercising the DS’s ability to produce sprites. Nintendo has designed the environment brilliantly with a lot of use color, whimsical characters, and many nuances that can often be toyed with using the stylus. Yoshi Touch & Go is a beautiful game, despite using little of the DS's graphical potential.


Yoshi’s world is full of fruit, rainbows, “happy trees,” and crying children. And this certainly isn’t a bad thing. Nintendo has very admirably captured Yoshi’s universe with all the sounds you might expect from villains, Baby Mario, Yoshi, and all the response noises from the stylus and its effect on the environment. The music is surprisingly well done given the stylized nature of the game—it suits perfectly. The tunes are memorable, sometimes soothing, and always appropriate. Your ears won’t be disappointed by this game.


The premise of Yoshi Touch & Go is simple: get as many points as you can while avoiding the attacks of enemies. However, you will find that the game is full of detail, depth, and is very addictive once you master the learning curve. You will be given slightly different parameters depending on which mode you choose, but you will have to play through the same basic scenario in each mode.

The main game requires the player to guide a falling Baby Mario through a sky full of villainous creatures straight from Bowser’s castle. By using the stylus to draw clouds, players can guide Baby Mario to coins for points and can create shields for Baby Mario against the surrounding miscreants. The player must reach the bottom without having all three of Baby Mario’s balloons popped by enemies in order to land on Yoshi’s back and continue the level.

The key element of the falling Baby Mario portion is the use of the DS’s unique features. Players can employ the stylus for various things beyond drawing clouds and shields. By drawing circles around the enemies in the environment, the player can encase the enemy and turn it into a large coin, which is worth double points. If you can’t reach the bubble to collect your prize in time, you can use the stylus to toss the bubble at Baby Mario. This same feature can also be used to push Baby Mario away from a hazard or into a missed coin if you hit him hard enough with the bubble. What happens if you make a mistake while drawing clouds? Try blowing the mic and see what happens.

After the player completes the falling Baby Mario section of the game, Yoshi will catch Baby Mario and continue on through an “on-rails” ground level. In this mode, the player fights similar enemies, but is controlling Yoshi. You will receive a different color Yoshi and varying stages of difficulty in this level depending on your performance in the Baby Mario level.

The controls work nicely for the Yoshi ground level. The player must touch Yoshi to make him jump and touch him again to make him hover. Yoshi can eat fruit in order to produce eggs, but the player must sometimes draw a path of clouds for Yoshi to walk on in order to reach the fruit. Eggs can be tossed at enemies by aiming and touching a spot on the screen in a straight line to the enemy. Jumping on an enemy will also defeat it in some circumstances. Sometimes clouds must be used to protect Yoshi and to create paths in order to walk over pits. Once the player reaches the end of the level, your score is awarded.

The controls work brilliantly and the added DS features add a great deal of nuance and depth to the game. It is, however, unfortunate that Nintendo limited the game to a high-score-driven style. Although the various modes as they stand are classics, this game could have been absolutely amazing with an added single player mode provided Nintendo put the proper work into it. Still, as it stands, it is a stellar pick-up-and-play game with an addictive interface and a lot of replay value.


The two player mode is a great diversion, but not exactly the next Super Smash Bros. In this mode, two players compete using the LAN feature of the DS in the Yoshi level and must run on clouds in order to gain speed. They can trip each other up by nailing three enemies, which causes a hail of spikes to fall in the path of the rival. The first to the goal wins the match. It can be pretty intense if you find someone skilled with the controls, and the fact that it only requires one cartridge makes it more appealing.


This game is, by no coincidence, very much like the Balloon Trip tech demo shown at E3 2004. The game has gone a good distance since then, and it is currently a must-own application for your DS. Although it could have been a lot more with an extensive single player mode, the current build is brilliantly done for a high-score-setter. You’ll be competing against yourself long into the future once you get past the slight learning curve, and when you finally set a new high score, the feeling is quite pleasing. Hopefully Nintendo will release another iteration of the Yoshi Touch & Go series as a full fledged 2D adventure game. However, for now, you should seriously consider picking up this game; the addictive nature of the title is enough to give you a good deal of bang for your buck.

final score 7.9/10

Staff Avatar Patrick Ross
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"Reggie kicked my ass and took my quote."

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