Yoshi’s Crafted World is set for worldwide release on the 29th of March this year, and is the eighth main instalment in the Yoshi series.
It’s a side scrolling platformer with 3D characters and a 2.5D environment with the occasional 3D element – The game will work in a way similar to previous instalments whereby you defeat enemies using Yoshi’s tongue, which generates an egg which you can throw throughout the level. In this instalment you’ll also be able to throw eggs at the scenery in the foreground and the background.
Like it’s predecessor, Yoshi’s Woolly World, where everything looked knitted or crocheted and we had those super cute Yoshi and Poochy Amiibo’s (I’m still after these), Yoshi’s Crafted World looks to be made up of lots of different crafty items. It kind of looks like a really talented child was let loose in the crayons and glue and they’ve made a fantastic world! The bright colours and childlike designs make everything super cute and super adorable. Sorta reminds me of the things they used to make on Art Attack or Smart… Or maybe even Blue Peter (Yes showing my age I know).
…But as more and more amazingly complex indie platformers are coming out (Like Celeste), are we going to start seeing a move towards the more cute and adorable for the mainstream platformers? I think we might, and this is why:
I feel as games evolve in complexity both in graphics, storyline, skillset and sheer size, the simple platformer is being left behind for the older gamer. This is because, for many of us, platformers no longer offer us the challenge that we are craving from a video game (Bar maybe Crash Bandicoot, screw you and your difficult hit boxes and curved toes). Sure, we may pick up the new ones from our favourite franchises, but I’m not sure we’re all rushing out to pick up every big new platformer. For that reason I think that platformers are moving towards drawing in the younger gamer; I’m thinking 14 and below – Platformers are the perfect game type for younger children, and most popular children’s films get an accompanying platformer (e.g. Big Hero Six and Frozen both had Nintendo 3DS platformer releases). Of course the cute bright fun aesthetic very much appeals to younger children (And giant adult children like myself), and allows for some distance from it seeming particularly violent when you gobble up an enemy. I’m all for this move as well as I feel platformers can be used to develop lots of different skills, such as spatial awareness and co-ordination. I don’t think we should shy away from allowing our kids to play these types of child friendly games; there is a good opportunity to make these types of games educational as well as adorable.
However for the adult gamer, as a platformer is a linear sort of game, I think a move towards bigger brighter cuter aesthetics may be necessary to draw in interest and hold the players eye… Or if not cute, then particularly beautiful aesthetics; I’m thinking games like Ori and the Blind Forest (Although actually Ori is completely adorable… The rest of the world is dark though). Looking through the top mobile platformers / indie platformers, the most popular have either a stunning and different art type, a cute central character, or a really really strong storyline. In order to draw in the older players I really think this is the key to making a successful platformer in the current market – Personally I will only pick up a platformer these days if it has artwork that I want to explore and see more of (Such as Ori).
In conclusion, I would say that for the more mainstream developers, cute and adorable aesthetics are going to be the way forward for their platformers. I think we are going to see them move towards targeting the younger generation to draw in a new set of gamers, and I think that the Indie scene is where we are going to start seeing the platformers that I would like to play. I think they have the time and ability to develop the shorter, edgier, but beautiful storylines that I’m wanting to see.