Yoshi (NES/GB) Retro Review

Yoshi is a 1991 puzzle game for both the NES and Game Boy developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. It features Mario trying to match falling monsters/blocks by swapping the 4 rows around and causing to matching ones to touch each other which makes them disappear. As you’d guess you lose if they reach the top.


Yoshi (U) [!]-0Yoshi (U) [!]_000


As you’d expect the NES version is far superior to its handheld counterpart in terms of graphics (the Game Boy pics are upscaled for convenience) although the music seemed alright on both. That’s expected from games that got a simultaneous release though compared to a port.

Boths games obviously have the same options too. Type A is basically an endless mode where you keep going while Type B is where you clear the screen.


Yoshi (U) [!]-1Yoshi (U) [!]_001


Getting into Type A I had set the game to low but it almost put me to sleep so I set it to fast instead which was far better. Moving Mario and switching the rows was quite easy and even the goal could be guessed. As well as simply matching the enemies 2 halfs of Yoshi eggs can appear and you have to match them both to hatch a baby Yoshi.

However it does sometimes feel like you’ll go ages without a bottom half appearing and by the time it does the game is already going too fast for you. I did notice that you don’t to match eggs directly though and the top half of the egg will destroy anything above the bottom half possibly clearing an entire row (which also gives you bonus points and sometimes a bigger yoshi hatched) which could explain the rarity though that doesn’t make it any less boring.

The Game Boy version is literally the same thing except for the graphics and the weird noise that Yoshi makes (although those that played the original Pokemon games probably wouldn’t care).


Yoshi (U) [!]-2Yoshi (U) [!]_003


As for type 3 it was meant to be a short level based type where you are given set blocks on the screen and have to get rid of them in the shortest time except unlike games like Dr Mario it feels incredibly random. One time I was able to win a level in a few moves whereas most of the time even the first level would drag on into oblivion because you never get what you need (just look at the screenshots).

All you get for completing each level is a congratulations screen where Yoshi eats an item which is already disappointing enough in color considering the time it takes to finally win a level. This is common in old games though to be honest.

Overall its kinda a boring game with a lot of flaws that causes it to be boring and slow, there was nothing in there other than the Yoshi Egg mechanic to make the game feel really special. On top of this the NES version has been portable for ages so the Gameboy Version has not only aged terribly but its 100% pointless now unless you happen to own it.

If I were to remake this I’d increase the customization and modes, perhaps instead of merely having 2 speed options you could also choose the amount of rows as 4 doesn’t seem like enough.


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