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Yoshi Touch and Go was released soon after the launch of the DS and although criticised for its limited number of levels, it more than compensated for this by making intelligent use of the DS's touch screen, microphone and two screens.
Platform games task you with getting from point A to point B. The world you journey through is usually based on different levels, and populated with enemies, switches and lifts to be negotiated. As you work through each level you pick up various collectables that accrue score, special abilities and access to hidden areas.
Unlike most platform games that feature lots of varying levels, Yoshi Touch and Go tasks the player with perfecting a much more limited set of environments. Although progress through each level is determined by their auto-scrolling nature, they can be tackled in a variety of ways because of the distinctive stylus controls.
Firstly, the majority of the platforms needed to by drawn by the player to either direct Yoshi as he was falling through the first half of the world, or to provide ramps and jumps in the later horizontal scrolling sections. Additionally, the player can create bubbles by drawing a circle - which can then be flicked at enemies or used to trap them. Finally, holding a shoulder enables players to fire Yoshi's eggs across the two screens to collect stars and power ups.
These aspects combine to make Yoshi Touch and Go's level to be some of the most replayable in any game. For many this will more than compensate for the small number of environments.
Playing Yoshi Touch and Go is a much more playful and tactile experience than other platform games. Much like later Kirby's Canvass Curse the ability to interact directly with the environment rather than your character gives it a creative quality. Everything from the stick-in-your-head whistled title music, to the restrained level design and cartoon aesthetic means that this is a unique experience.
The levels each take from five to ten minutes to play through once. However, as soon as you are finished the expectation is that you will want to play them again. It is in this repeat play that the game comes to life as you wrestle to squeeze out a few more points. Accordingly, you need a good thirty minutes for each session.
Super young gamers, although attracted by the tactile interface, may struggle to keep up with the automatic scrolling worlds. Gameplay hinges on the restricted time to draw the appropriate platforms, and hit the bonuses.
Intermediate and young players will enjoy the simplicity of Yoshi Touch and Go's controls. There is a great head-to-head multiplayer mode that in itself is more than worth the price of entrance.
Expert players are also well catered for. They are more likely to rise to the repeat play function of the game as they hone their score again and again.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
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