Title: Yoshi’s Island
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Platform: Super NES (originally), Gameboy Advance, SNES Classic
Release Date: October 4, 1995 (SNES Classic release: September 29, 2017)
How we got the game: We bought the SNES Classic
Yoshi’s Island was a game that I remember watching more so than playing. Our older sister used to try her hand at the game, and I don’t remember how far along we got in the game. It was definitely nostalgia-inducing.
Yoshi’s Island is a classic to us. I’ll be honest, I didn’t remember too much of the game as I was too young when it originally came out, but I remembered the music and sound effects and I was excited to give it a go.
Yoshi’s Island is fairly simple to figure out with the controls. You control one of eight Yoshis, each of them going through a level of the world while protecting Baby Mario. As Yoshi, you travel the levels from left to right, jumping and hovering when needed, as well as eating enemies with Yoshi’s tongue and creating eggs out of them. The eggs follow you until you need them as projectiles.
This game is similar to Super Mario Bros. where you have multiple levels in a “world.” Once you defeat a level, you pass Baby Mario onto the next Yoshi and move onto the next level. Each level contains coins, special flowers for a chance to get a bonus, and red coins hidden throughout. At the end of each level, you’re “graded” based on how much you get.
Our average score is probably in the 70s. Each world has six regular levels, then two castle levels, one in the fourth spot and one in the eighth. The bosses of these levels tended to be more of a challenge, but most of the gameplay consisted of dodging attacks while hurling eggs at the main enemy. Strategy-wise, it wasn’t that difficult, but it could be challenging to execute it.
The poor yellow Yoshi always got stuck with one of the castle levels. He must have gotten the short stick on that draw. Each level was challenging in its own right because whenever Yoshi got hit, he’d lose Baby Mario and the clock would start ticking down until Magikoopa came to get him. It was always stressful and tense whenever that happened.
Yoshi’s Island has adorable graphics, some of the backgrounds and levels reminding me of crayons. Being a predecessor of games such as Yoshi’s Story and Yoshi’s Woolly World, where the graphics were storybook-like and yarn, respectively, the graphics for Yoshi’s Island fit right in.
I always loved how this game looked. Yes, it looks like a drawing, and it’s certainly charming for a Yoshi game. The backgrounds of each level are vivid and colorful. The whole game just looks happy, despite the circumstances.
The music matches the world quite well, with music being fairly upbeat for most levels. The castle level music sounds a bit ominous, but it is offset by how bright Yoshi (and even the enemies) are. They’re the kind of tunes where we easily found ourselves humming along.
The music is upbeat, yeah. It’s some of the best gaming music. The sound effects were spot on as well. For some reason, that’s what I remembered the most. The sound effect for Yoshi sticking out his tongue was great for me… I don’t know why.
Twins Mario and Luigi as babies are on their way to a new home by the stork when the trip is interrupted. Magikoopa kidnaps Luigi while Mario somehow gets away and is found by a bunch of Yoshis. Together, the Yoshis take turns carrying baby Mario on their backs through various levels, defeating bosses, and trying to get baby Luigi back and keep Mario safe.
Throughout the levels, Magikoopa and his cronies are always ready to swoop down and kidnap baby Mario if he is ever separated from Yoshi. The Yoshis do their best to protect their new little friend throughout all the dangers found on Yoshi’s Island.
Like most Mario games, this game is all about saving someone who’s kidnapped and protecting the ones you love. It’s just Yoshi’s time to shine this time.
This game was tons of fun to go back to. There’s nothing really after the main story, but there are plenty of levels and adorableness to make you want to play again down the road. It’s a game that aged well in terms of controls and graphics, and it’s fun to revisit once in a while.
I can see ourselves going back to this game and trying to get better scores than what we already got. This game was a lot harder than we remembered… or maybe we just got bad at games the older we got.
Yoshi’s Island gets…
4 out of 5 lives.