Liam’s Game Room #48 (Yoshi’s Cookie, Game Boy)

Introduction

Yoshi’s Cookie is a puzzle game developed by Bullet Proof Software and published by Nintendo in 1992 for the Game Boy, SNES and NES. Bullet Proof Software developed most of the home ports of Tetris and also developed a Tetris spinoff called Wordtris, which is the same concept as Tetris, but instead the player has to match words instead of lines. Wordtris was still developed from the person who developed the original idea for Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov, who also did the concept work for these spin offs of the original concept. Nowadays, Bullet Proof software is called Blue Planet Software and continues to make spin offs and remakes of Tetris.

Gameplay

The goal of each level for the player is to match up different cookies to make lines across or vertical on the screen to remove these cookies from the screen. On the NES and SNES versions of the game, the cookies are coloured, which means that it is easier to match them up, however on this version of the game, the player is more matching up the shapes of the cookies as the Game Boy screen was not in colour. Apart from this difference, there is only one other difference between the versions, however the version do play somewhat differently.

The way that the game plays differently is how responsive the controls felt to me and this might be simply down to the hardware power differences. The controls on the Game Boy version seems to be somewhat laggier than the console versions, but not so much that it made the game less playable. However, the gameplay of the SNES version does seem to be a little bit slower, which allows for more calculated movements.

The only other core gameplay difference is that the SNES version has an action mode, which is standard level progression and also a puzzle mode similar to that of Tetris Attack. The Game Boy version most likely due to cartridge space limitations, had to have the puzzle mode omitted. I feel that the Game Boy did have the puzzle mode, then it could have caused potential issue with crash the game and pushing the Game Boy and the cartridge too hard.

The gameplay mechanics are quite simple to learn and understand and I feel that the simplistic nature of these mechanics can make the game quite addicting to play. I definitely found myself playing the game for long periods without noticing that time has passed, which is the combination for me of a well designed game. I think that the amount of different cookies in the game is just about right because there are very few different type of cookies in the beginning of the game and as the game goes on, the amount of starting cookies and cookie type rise perfectly. I feel that the gameplay mechanics mold really well with the lenient and good difficulty curve.

The major positive about this difficulty curve is that it can be a really good game for people who are new to the puzzle genre, but also for younger players who are looking to play their first puzzle game. This was one of the first puzzle games I played and because the mechanics I mentioned were so simple, I was able to understand the game quite easily. The game also allows the player to pick what level they start from, meaning that players who are returning to the game because the game does not save progress, can continue from the beginning of the set of levels they were previously on.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 10.49.31.pngThe graphics considering it is a Game Boy game is of a high quality and the animations of the pieces being moved onto and off the playfield do not have any blur associated with them. This is quite an achievement because the Game Boy is known for having some issues with blurring and ghosting on the screen when sprites are moving. The title screen where Yoshi and Mario are running backwards and forwards trying to open the box of cookies is extremely cute and really entertaining to watch over and over again. I think that this is such a small detail that the developers didn’t need to do because at the end of the day it is only a title screen, but this shows a dedication from the developers to put in a lot of work into every small thing about the game. This also shows the graphically capability of the Game Boy off extremely well, as well as offering the player a great introduction to the game. The detailing on Yoshi and Mario is great and the sprites are very well defined. The animations on these characters when they are moving the levers to control the movement of the cookies is synced up perfectly with the inputs of the player. Once again, it is such a small detail that goes a long way to adding something extra to the game rather than it being a stock image of Yoshi and Mario.

There is only one thing that I feel that the game is missing and that is a background during the gameplay. It could be that the developers needed to save processing space on the cartridge for the gameplay, but Super Mario Land 2 has a large overworld map and plenty of detailed backgrounds. On the flip side of the coin what sort of background would fit this sort of game and would have it maybe been distracting from the rest of the gameplay?

Conclusion

Yoshi’s Cookie does a really good job of being a simple puzzle game with a lot of addictive qualities to keep the player interested. I feel that the difficulty curve works like a treat alongside the core mechanics of the game, which makes the game easy to play for younger players. As a portable puzzle game as well, the game does really well in engaging the player and making an all round fun gaming experience that can be played in short bursts.

8/10

Copyright ©2017 Liam Piper. All Images Used Under Fair Use

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