Yoshi Topsy-Turvy (released as Yoshi's Universal Gravitation in Europe, Australia, and Japan) is a title for the Game Boy Advance developed by Artoon and published by Nintendo. The game is a spin-off of the series of platform games starring Yoshi. It is one of the few games in the Yoshi franchise to take place in the present in the Mario timeline, as Bowser appears instead of Baby Bowser. It was released on December 9th, 2004 in Japan, and localized for other markets four to six months later. This was one of only a few Nintendo games to feature gyroscopic controls built into cartridges, with some others being WarioWare: Twisted! and Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble.
Bowser and his armies were attacking Yoshi Island, causing chaos and disorder to the inhabitants. In response to this, a spirit named Hongo attempts to seal Bowser and his minions in his book named Forbidden Pop-Up Book to stop Bowser's destruction, but Hongo fails and accidentally seals the entire island in the book. Yoshi starts panicking, but a spirit named Spirit Who Loves Surprises explains to Yoshi that he must talk with Hongo and convince him to bring Yoshi Island back to normal, because spirits don't have enough power to defeat Bowser, who was hiding in a cave at the final chapter of the book, The Tale of Bowser's Cave. He also says that he was fired because he didn't know how to keep secrets. Yoshi gets mad, and as proof of his apology, the Spirit Who Loves Surprises gives to Yoshi the power to tilt the entire world and explains how to use it, but Yoshi accidentally hits the spirit with a boulder. Yoshi manages to convince Hongo to restore Yoshi Island under the conditions that Yoshi must defeat Bowser, because if he restores Yoshi Island with Bowser, he will attack Yoshi Island again. Now Yoshi must satisfy each one of the Yoshi Island Spirits. By doing this, he will receive Happiness Medals and the spirits will allow him to battle with Bowser.
Yoshi finds the Spirit of Cuteness, which explains to Yoshi that Bowser attacked Eggland and transformed every Eggling into apples. When Yoshi swallows an apple, it is revealed that the apple is really a Eggling. After completing four chapters and satisfying some spirits, Yoshi must complete a level where Bowser tries to attack him; it turns out that the Bowser is actually a fake one being controlled by the Spirit Who Loves Surprises. Yoshi gets mad, but the Spirit Who Love Surprises apologizes and says that he was just testing him to see if he is ready to battle with the real Bowser. After completing this level, Yoshi must complete two more chapters. When Yoshi has satisfied every spirit of Yoshi Island, he can battle with Bowser.
After completing the spirits' missions, rescuing the Egglings, and defeating Bowser, the spirits celebrate Yoshi's victory, and Hongo is very grateful for Yoshi's heroism. He makes a meal for Yoshi, but Yoshi still isn't happy. He then uses his magic to bring Yoshi's Island back to normal and Yoshi back to its original state. Yoshi eats the meal with the Egglings, who will never forget Yoshi's deeds. In the end, the Spirit Who Loves Surprises returns to work with Hongo.
This is the first Mario and Yoshi game in which gravity plays an important role. By tilting the Game Boy Advance left or right, the game world tilts accordingly. There are only three levels of tilt: normal, left, and right. Fine-tuning of the level of tilt was not present. When the world is tilted, Yoshi can walk on walls, and many items such as Chime Balls and enemies like Igashira-kuns roll downhill. The player can also make some objects go upside-down by continually changing the tilt direction.
To go to the next area, Yoshi must touch a ring made of stars. If Yoshi touches one, he cannot go back to the previous area because there is no ring to take him there. At the end of the level, Yoshi must touch a large star to win a Happiness Medal and go to the next level. Some areas require Yoshi to transform into a different form to collect items and reach the end of the level.
Depending on what level of the game players are at, the spirit who give the mission and the requirements for finishing the level change. Every level has a task given by one or two spirits, to increase the difficulty.
The game features a Bonus Games mode, in which Shuffle Mode, Shuffle Mode EX, and other minigames can be played, as well as an Eggling Book. At the end of every level, there is a Bonus Chance!, which is a chance to play a Bonus Mission!. If Yoshi completes a Bonus Mission!, he wins 50 Coins.
Throughout the game, Yoshi will find twelve different enemies which drain his health meter if he touches them. Yoshi can swallow hearts to restore one point of his health meter; a larger heart completely restores Yoshi's health meter. These enemies play important roles in the game; missions given by the Spirit of Power involve defeating a certain number of enemies, and missions given by the Spirit of Kindness involve not defeating enemies. Unlike in other Yoshi games, Yoshi produces gas after eating an enemy instead of making eggs.
If Yoshi completes the task given by the spirit, he wins a Happiness Medal. If Yoshi completes the level with a much better score than that required, he wins a Gold Medal.
During Story Mode, Yoshi must travel through eight chapters. This includes fifty courses, a mid-boss and Bowser at the final chapter. In each chapter, a spirit will set Yoshi a task. Such tasks can include collecting coins, defeating enemies or rescuing trapped Egglings from Apples. Within the courses, Yoshi must avoid twelve different enemies which will drain Yoshi's health meter upon contact. An empty health meter will cause Yoshi to lose a life. He can swallow hearts to restore his health meter. Yoshi will be rewarded with a Happiness Medal at the end of a course if he successfully completes the tasks given by the spirits. Gold Happiness Medals are given if Yoshi completes the task to a very high standard.
After completing the game, this mode is unlocked. In this mode, five extra modes can be played when they are unlocked, each through their own specific conditions. The minigames that can be played are:
The Eggling Book is a book with seven pages with every Eggling that Yoshi has rescued. In this book, the player can see the name and the class of every Eggling.
Throughout the game, Yoshi may transform into a unique object. These transformations are obligatory to complete certain areas and to collect certain items.
Yoshi's Topsy-Turvy received mixed reviews. As of August 8, 2006, the game’s overall review score was 6.2/10 based on GameRankings collection of reviews.
IGN’s Craig Harris noted that the use of the star rings to travel through areas made the game seem rigid as some areas only lasted for seconds. He said that the characters were irritating, the storyline was stupid and the gameplay barely resembled other Yoshi games. They also caused the reviewer frustration when used in ways that made it seem like the developers were making sure players learned to pay attention. He also said that this game is the worst game that Nintendo published to the Game Boy Advance, the tilting concept makes everything feel forcefully clumsy, and that the level design is "all over the quality spectrum, from somewhat challenging to ridiculously stupid". He gave the game a 5/10, or "Mediocre".
GameSpot’s Justin Calvert stated that the adventure was fun and clever when it began, but after a while, the graphics, sounds and gameplay mechanics became repetitive. He said that the game is very short, and that he had little reason to keep playing after meeting the bare requirements for beating the game. He also commented that the areas which require transformations to complete are the most enjoyable in the game. He gave the game a 6.6/10.
1UP.com’s Jeremy Parish stated that the game felt like it had been designed around the motion sensor, unlike WarioWare: Twisted! where it felt like the sensor was designed to fit the game. He felt that the game was sub-par, with choppy tilt-sensing technology thrown in. He gave the game a 4/10.
The game was developed by Artoon and published by Nintendo, with the directors being Hidetoshi Takeshita and Hiroto Saiki and the producers being Masaki Tawara and Naoto Ohshima.
A few of the most memorable quotes in the game are shown below.
Names in other languages