Review: Yoshi Touch & Go (DS)

Touching is good!

Yoshi Touch & Go was an early title for the DS. The game centres on getting the highest score possible, making it feel like an arcade game. With other excellent selections for the DS with much more depth though, this game has been overlooked by many.

However, it isn't all that bad. The game starts out with you controlling baby Mario as he falls from the sky. You use your stylus to draw clouds and steer the young one away from such hazards as enemies and spikes. Enemies can't travel through clouds, so it isn't too difficult to avoid them. If for some reason you want to remove the clouds on the screen, a blow into the microphone will send them scattering - this is useful if you end up capturing baby Mario inside a ring of clouds.

In order to gain more points, you'll have to collect coins on the way down. If you draw a circle around an enemy, you can turn them into a coin, thus increasing your score and removing a hazard.

Your health is in the form of three balloons - get Mario hurt and one of them will pop. Pop them all and its game over. You wouldn't make a baby cry, would you?

So, where is Yoshi? This is Yoshi's Touch and Go, after all. After a while, Mario will get close to the ground, and Yoshi will be there, ready to catch him. Depending on your score at this point, Yoshi will vary in colour. More points means your Yoshi will be faster and able to carry more eggs. This point also acts as a checkpoint, so if you die later on, you'll be able to restart.

Now that Mario is on Yoshi's back, you'll be travelling horizontally. The same controls apply; draw clouds with your stylus to create pathways for Yoshi to cross chasms and avoid enemies, draw circles around enemies to turn them into coins, and blow into the microphone will to all clouds from the screen.

But there are some new controls for Yoshi - touching him will cause him to jump, so you don't have to draw clouds to go over gaps all the time. Tapping anywhere else on the screen will cause Yoshi to throw an egg, which can be used to take out spiked enemies that won't be destroyed by a circle, or to knock fruit from the treetops. Fruit functions as your ammo, and different kinds will give you different amounts of eggs to throw. Just walk up to one with Yoshi, and he'll eat it up.

Every so often Yoshi will come across another Yoshi. As with the first Yoshi, its colour will vary based on your score, which gives you a little extra incentive to collect every coin you see. As a bonus, every time you hop onto a new Yoshi, the scenery will change randomly.

There are four gameplay types in Yoshi Touch and Go, along with a bonus mini-game. The goals in these vary from trying to stay alive for as long as you can, to trying get to a certain point as fast as possible. The gameplay types don't mix things up particularly well though, and you'll find yourself playing variations of the same one or two.

The only real goals in this game are to unlock the last two gameplay types and the mini-games. These can be accomplished by beating certain high scores for each type, however, it isn't enough to keep you interested for very long.

Yoshi's multiplayer is a welcome addition, as it only requires one copy of the game. But it fails to discern itself much from the single player game, adding only the ability to add enemies to your opponent's screen by doing well.

The only area that Yoshi's Touch and Go really excels is its graphics, which, just like all Mario games, look great. It just fails to deliver in the gameplay area.

Conclusion

Yoshi's Touch and Go is a decent game that was overlooked by almost everyone, but it's definitely worth your time. At least, 15 minutes of it. If you're looking for something enjoyable to play, Yoshi's Touch and Go will give you some quick fun. But don't expect too much.

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