Game Review

Yoshi Touch & Go Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Dave Letcavage

Fleeting fun

Between the DS, 3DS and Wii U, Nintendo has delivered many touch screen gaming experiences throughout the years. While some are genuinely creative and/or mechanically deep, others have ended up feeling like little more than an experiment or a tech demo rather than a full-fledged game; Yoshi Touch & Go falls into that latter category. It's a game that, if it were to release today for the first time ever, probably shouldn't cost more than $10 on the eShop. Wouldn't you know, those are the exact circumstances that surround the Wii U Virtual Console release of this DS game. So the question is: should you spend your time and money tossing eggs with Yoshi when there are so many other options available?

Touch & Go relies only on touch screen controls for participation, with the stylus serving as a magic wand that allows you to draw clouds that can direct Baby Mario and Yoshi through two types of levels – vertically and horizontally scrolling. If you've spent any time with Kirby and the Rainbow Curse you should have an idea of what kind of mechanics to expect here; yet instead of going off on an adventure where you travel from level to level through scenic themed worlds, you essentially play the same couple of stages over and over again while trying to set a high score. If you don't like the idea of a score attack game that doesn't offer a whole lot of variety, it might be best for you to stop reading now.

There are two modes available from the start – Score Attack and Marathon. Score Attack begins with Baby Mario slowly descending from the sky with a few balloons tied to his back. As the top screen remains fixed on his position, you need to draw lines on the bottom screen to direct him around enemies and towards coins as he continues downward; you can even draw circles around enemies to turn them into coins and boost your score. When Baby Mario reaches the ground he'll then hop onto Yoshi's back and gameplay will switch to a side-scrolling style. Yoshi will press forward on his own, but you'll need to draw walkways over gaps, tap the screen to aim and shoot eggs at enemies, and even touch Yoshi to make him jump. The gameplay is the same in Marathon mode, but instead the goal is to try to see how far you can get without losing all balloons or Baby Mario.

Your best performances will be tracked on local leaderboards, and if you reach the top spot in either of the aforementioned modes there are two others you can unlock — Time Attack and Challenge. Time Attack follows the same two forms of gameplay, but the level design is a bit different, featuring stars to make Baby Mario invincible and a new area for Yoshi to travel through. Challenge functions similarly, except the presence of enemies and obstacles is intensified, which means it's no walk in the park. Lastly, it should be clearly stated that the Vs. mode featured on the main menu isn't functional; if that happened to be one of your favourite aspects of the original game, just know that it's not available to you here.

It takes a little bit of practice to accurately move Mario and Yoshi through these obstacle courses and optimize your coin intake, and once you get it down there's definitely some fun to be had. The problem is that the lack of variety can cause these two styles of play to grow stale after a short while. That's because once you've logged about 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how good you are, you'll likely have seen just about everything there is to see. This is Touch & Go's biggest problem, and it's what makes it a tough sell on a digital marketplace filled with fantastic value offerings. It's not the richest gameplay concept out there, but had there been more stages or significant tweaks to the formula between modes it may have amounted to something special.

Presentation-wise, the game looks good enough, with a similar look and quality to the original Yoshi's Island. When it comes to the music, it's a touch repetitive and underwhelming. One of the tracks sounds like it would accompany a puzzle in a Professor Layton game, and while that charm works well on its own it feels a bit too pensive and docile for the events on screen. That's not to say that this is an intense gaming experience, because it's not, but the song does feel slightly mismatched.

If you've played Touch & Go in the past and are debating returning to it, the question you're likely wondering is: how well does it perform on the Wii U GamePad? What it comes down to is that, because you need a very clear view of what's happening on the top and bottom screens at all times, the only screen formatting options that work are Standard DS and Vertical. There are one or two more options that you might find feasible, but it's hard to imagine that they'd be preferred by anyone. If the two screens aren't stacked vertically so you can have an accurate view of where Baby Mario is headed as he falls down to Earth, it's rather awkward to play; with that in mind make sure you access the settings and play with the GamePad positioned vertically. The game looks and performs the best this way, and actually feels surprisingly natural even though it's not on its native device.

There's not much more to say about Touch & Go. It's the type of game that gives the impression that it was an experiment that never had the opportunity to blossom into something more substantial - at the time of its original release it was, it's worth noting, taking advantage of touch screen gaming as a fresh concept. The touch screen controls are responsive, and outside of the rare situation where there's not enough screen available to tap and throw eggs, there aren't any major gameplay complications. This title makes much more sense as a download at its current price point than it did as a full retail release, but that doesn't necessarily make it an easy recommendation.


Yoshi Touch & Go is a cute and enjoyable score attack game that sadly doesn't offer much variety or long-term appeal. With only four modes included – two of which need to be unlocked – and no real sense of progression, there's not much incentive to keeping playing beyond a couple of hours; that's unless you're content competing against yourself for top honours on a local leaderboard. Quite frankly, there are various alternatives available, so this is a tough sell.

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User Comments (43)



Cosats said:

"It's the type of game that gives the impression that it was an experiment that never had the opportunity to blossom into something more substantial - at the time of its original release" <<< THIS IS SO TRUE



rjejr said:

"If you don't like the idea of a score attack game that doesn't offer a whole lot of variety, it might be best for you to stop reading now."

Thanks, looked like a long read after that. 5 out of 10 sealed the deal to skip the rest, better things to do w/ $10.



kkslider5552000 said:

I'm kinda sad that they never expanded on this, as I vastly preferred this to the actual DS Yoshi's Island we got later.



DerpSandwich said:

I remember trying this out and being really underwhelmed.

Man, and this was a full retail title. I complain about game content/prices now, but the early days of DS were just filled with $30 games that offered about an hour of entertainment.



Yrreiht said:

Wasn't this some kind of tech-demo/game for the DS? Not surprising it's underwhelming then



gingerbeardman said:

@Dave you've missed an important point about the game: the gameplay is dynamic! The better you play the more challenging the game becomes.

Try it by playing and not collecting any coins in the initial falling from the sky section - play badly. Then try again and play well, looping enemies and collecting coins. The difference is obvious - Yoshi even changes colour! Enemy layout is different and number of eggs you can carry also changes. The are at least 10 different Yoshi colours and related difficulty/enemy layouts.

I'm not sure how you missed this, but you seem to have if you're talking about lack of variety.

Please let us know your thoughts after trying this out.



DarthNocturnal said:

I remember way back in early 2005, the DS game drought. I was getting bored of Super Mario 64 DS (I got all 150 stars and unlocked all minigames). I decided to get Yoshi Touch & Go, thinking it'd tide me over until the next big release.... I was wrong.

Looking back, this game had the variety and size of most modern mobile phone games (thank goodness it was a one-time payment). It's a shame they didn't actually try to add any sort of progression.

Either way, I found myself buying Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on DS not too long after. It's actually a rather well-made beat-em-up like Streets of Rage or TMNT IV: Turtles in Time. It lasted me far longer then Yoshi Touch & Go ever did.



Pastry said:

Very underwhelming game. It was the second game I got for the DS, and probably the first game that I ever owned that I thought was bad.

I blame this game for how cynical I am now.



bofis said:

@DBPirate I can barely imagine a world where Yoshi's Island DS could really work WELL on WiiU since there is so much moving between screens and also precise platforming necessary...it's hard enough on DS



SKTTR said:

This game has such a nice soundtrack. An addictive, endless, colorful, randomized autoscroller with the freshness of touch controls which was unique and original back then.

First bad DS game by Nintendo? No way, that award goes to Pokémon Dash.



Yosher said:

I have this on DS, and it's actually pretty fun if you ask me.. for a high-score game. I just can't imagine this one working so well on the Wii U, when you need to switch between both screens almost constantly. I suppose the one with the sideways view with both screens on the Gamepad will work, though. Either way, it'd be fun if something like this would be included as a minigame in (some) future Yoshi game(s). Can't really recommend this as a VC game though... unless it comes on 3DS VC at some point or something.



Rhino47 said:

I can definitely see where this game wouldn't be for everyone, but personally it was one of my favorite DS games. Perfect for pick up and play and made great use of the new features of the DS at the time. 9/10 in my book.



ACK said:

This is a stone-cold DS classic and shows how far ahead of the times Nintendo was in those days. It's one of my most played and cherished DS cartridges.



Seanmyster6 said:

Seems like a decent launch title that showcases the DS's touchscreen abilities, but if I had to choose, I'd pick Yoshi's Island DS instead.



BigDaddysPizza said:

Yeah, I got this on the DS many years back at full price. It definitely wasn't worth it. It was a fun and charming game that gets old fast. It needs more modes and spontaneity.



Bolt_Strike said:

I played the original version of this game and ended up shelving it after a few days. This game really doesn't have any longevity, don't bother with it. Yoshi's Island DS is much more worth your money.



GameCube said:

This game is the DS equivalent of Tetris on the original Game Boy: inifinitely replayable and addictive. I must've logged over a hundred hours on it over the years. Beautiful graphics and music too. The local leaderboards thing isn't an issue if you just exchange high scores online with other players on message boards and such, the playerbase is very competitive.



StarDust4Ever said:

I got this game when it first launched, and all it ever felt like was a glorified tech demo. In fact, I sincerely believe at it's core was the exact same tech demo they showed off at e3 2004, with a couple extra modes thrown in which did little but remix the same repetitive fameplay. I got 100x more gameplay out of Sega's XX/XY Feel the Magic, which was a giant touch screen gimmick in and of itself.

Later DS games came up with much more creative uses for the touch screen, while others primarily made use of the classic SNES inspired buttons, outside of basic navigation and menu selection. Many games offered dual controls with multiple ways to play.

If you want a good Yoshi game, get Yoshi's Island DS. It is the true sequel to Yoshi's Island debut on SNES (and the subsequent GBA remake which is also on VC), and is infinitely better than Touch and Go in terms or replay value. Also play as Baby Peach, Wario, and Bowser in addition to Baby Mario. Plus you get replays this time being a VC title, which may be helpful for clearing each level with 100% as it generally requires collecting everything and not dropping the baby even for a second.



DreamyViridi said:

It's a pretty fun game imo, especially if you put an arcade mind-set into it. I played it for a good while when I first played and occasionally go back to it. However, I don't think it's worth the $10 price tag. I personally would give it a 7/10 because no, it's not a Yoshi's Island game; it's an arcade game with some challenging (how far can you go?) modes that use the Yoshi motif.
In the event of a price drop though; I'd recommend it if you had the spare change.



Geonjaha said:

This is actually one of my favourite DS games. While every Yoshi's Island game since the first one has been horrible, this actually managed to be a really fun experience. It manages to use every aspect of the DS' capabilities and apply them to a franchise in a way that's refreshing and enjoyable to keep playing.



DiscoDriver43 said:

Honestly, i think this game would be a great game to play on Mobile. It feels like one already. As a full priced game, it had too little content.



umegames said:

I actually like this game, and bought it on launch. Do agree it was overpriced and is more of a pick me up game.



Darkmire said:

I think people look at this game through the wrong lens. It was definitely overpriced and should have been a cheap download game, but those didn't exist at the time, at least on DS. Compare this to any current-day runner that all of us have played on our phone. In that sense, this game is strangely deep and makes for awesome high score gameplay (which admittedly isn't for everyone). This was a (somewhat) procedurally generated and highly dynamic runner from almost 10 years before the genre really blossomed. The only thing that shows its age is that you don't get a ton of unlockables like in most modern runners. It's also slower but they really made it work by incorporating aiming, shooting, jumping and circling things. I've only played this on DS but if you enjoy this sort of game, I think it still holds up. I have come back to it on occasion. I could see this being strange to play on the gamepad, but maybe not. I think, when held vertically, the screen area on the gamepad might be bigger than the original DS.



Blue_Yoshi said:

This game was nothing more than a glorified demo just like Steel Divers was. I feel that while this game had potential they lazily turned it into a score-based game with one single level rather than have a full fledged game with levels and possibly a story and such. This is bad that its actually 10 bucks because as a single level score based game it should be 2 bucks at the most. Like legit I know Nintendo has been known to cheap out on launch titles but seeing this small miniscule game as a $40 release is pathetic and seeing it be sold for 10 bucks is really unreasonable and shows just how willing they were to cash in on the Yoshi name but at the end of the day its still a game from the Yoshi series that's worth preserving but the potential for it was so lost that its merely a "meh" type of game that would have barely held off even most casual gamers back in the day. Warioware Touched! perfected this style of gameplay but this game would have potential as a sequel too if it were longer. Maybe I might pick it up on sale or even full price someday when I feel like playing it as Yoshi is still my favorite series of all time.



Adam said:

I may be the only one who really loved this game. One of my favorites on DS, possibly my favorite. Can't wait to play it again. An expanded version would be cool, but I like the focus on improving your score.



Tate24 said:

This was one of my first DS games. I always thought this was more of tech demo than actual game though!



AshFoxX said:

Pity for this game, I absolutely love the Yoshi series, Wooly World looking to be another pre-order for me, but I remember the shattering disappointment that was THIS game.



Kevlar44 said:

One of my favourite DS games by a long shot. Love this game, don't understand how it could get a 5. I can see score attack games not being your thing but a lot of people do value it and at 10 dollars it's extremely reasonable.



Kevlar44 said:


But the difficulty changes based on how skilled you are meaning you should theoretically remain challenged. I don't think the game would be as good as it is if it didn't take the score attack route, i like pushing my abilities and seeing if it can get better scores in more challenging circumstances.



NintyMan said:

I played it back when DS was new, but it didn't make a big impression on me. It's just a glorified tech demo. But Nintendo was definitely on to something as now these kinds of games are all over the place thanks to smartphones.



Geonjaha said:

It says a lot that so many people consider this to be one of their favourite DS games, while Yoshi's Island DS was just a mediocre Platformer trying to live off the success of the original masterpiece. They tried something new here, and even though there wasn't as much content, what's there was great.

Also worth noting to anyone who plays this game: After you unlock the latter two game modes and beat the high score on them, some balloons will float past in the main menu. Pop one of them and you get to play a small high-score based minigame where you must pop as many balloons as possible in a small amount of time. It's not much, but its just another small touch that I really enjoyed.



AlexSora89 said:

This is the only DS game I used to own but ended up selling. And this is saying a lot.

It's not like I actually care, however: it's a portable game on a home console now, after all. And I won't buy them anyway (not even Mario Kart DS, which is a masterpiece). Nintendo should port home console games to handhelds, not the other way around. The Wii U is hogging too many consoles already, the 3DS only has NES, GB and GBC. Come on.



King_Octorok said:

I really enjoyed this game on my DS. I agree that the concept wasn't fully realized, but this game feels far fresher than the butchered Yoshi's Island DS. I think lots of valid points were made in the review - especially the steep $10 price point. Despite its flaws, I found this game to be quite fun. I give it 7/10.



VanillaLake said:

I was given this game by my parents for my original DS and I sold it quite soon. It feels like a mini game that should have been included in a real Yoshi game. My score is 2 for this reason. For the €40 it costed to them, it was robbery.



Bass_X0 said:

You can get this game for free if you download Yoshi's Woolly World in Europe.

Yep, GBA and DS games belong to 3DS and not to Wii U.

Nobody is supporting the 3DS with any new Virtual Console game right now. Even if GBA and DS games were possible, that doesn't mean the 3DS VC drought will be lifted.



ICEknight said:

@Bass_X0 DS games are possible, natively even.

GBA games can also be done natively but just won't allow a VC menu on regular 3DSs, but this may be possible to do on NEW3DSs with the extra RAM.

They just won't bother right now for reasons we'll never know for sure.

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