with the exception of the brilliant first title, so far i’ve found the yoshi series to be fairly lackluster. on the surface the next entry on the list to tackle, yoshi touch & go for DS, looked like it was going to be an even shallower experience. unlike the previous three games which are all essentially platformers, this one’s an arcade-style game that features the typical variations, including score attack, time attack, marathon, and vs. modes.
the game was released just a few months after the DS’s debut, and it was clearly designed to show off the new hardware’s dual-screen, touchscreen, as well as microphone capabilities. each mode has two sections: one in which baby mario slowly drops from the sky to the ground and you trace clouds to guide him to safety, and the other in which yoshi, in a more typical platformer fashion, carries baby mario horizontally, swallowing enemies and fruit and chucking eggs to clear a safe path and rack up points. both sections, especially the second, prove to be surprisingly robust, and once you get into the groove you can last for quite a long time in the endless marathon modes, although it doesn’t seem like the difficulty increases noticeably as you proceed within a playthrough. the game does provide a nice balance between the benefits of conserving eggs vs. using them up in order to reach a higher score, and unlike warioware: touched! it’s enjoyable even now, years after the novelty of touchscreen mechanics has worn off.
it’s surprising how enjoyable the game is. although it has only a few modes it will take you some time to beat all the default high scores, and by that time you may have become addicted to the simple but tactile gameplay. it’s unusual to see such a straightforward arcade-style game as this, which makes it a somewhat refreshing experience. it would’ve been interesting to see the mechanics applied to an entire platformer game, but i suppose that niche was more ably filled by the excellent kirby: canvas curse. despite its modest offerings the game was fairly well-received by critics when it was released, and although i wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorite games ever, it’s definitely one of the more compelling entires in the yoshi series that i’ve played so far.