Yoshi Touch & Go
Yoshi Touch & Go is a Nintendo DS platform/puzzle game developed by Nintendo EAD and first released in Japan and the ROC on January 27, 2005. It is the only spin-off game in the Yoshi's Island series. Here, the player guides an auto-running Yoshi and Baby Mario through an array of side-scrolling courses. The game is almost entirely touch driven, using the DS's stylus to fire eggs at enemies, trap them in bubbles, and build bridges or ramps for Yoshi to walk on. The "Touch & Go" in this game's title is a phrase more or less synonymous with "risky", which reflects the overall gameplay where the player needs to multi-task against multitudes of obstacles to succeed. The game first started out as a tech demo for the Nintendo DS under the title Balloon Trip, where it was decided to adapt the game as a full title due to its positive reception.
Unlike all the other Yoshi games, this game has no overarching story. Every game mode begins with Kamek smashing into the Stork, causing the Stork to drop Baby Mario and Baby Luigi, while Baby Mario falls toward the land below, beginning the game. Every mode begins with Baby Mario falling toward the ground, while the player must use clouds to guide him to the ground and draw circles to create bubbles to destroy enemies. The Sky Area differs depending on the mode selected; for instance, the Time Attack mode has Super Stars hovering in the air for Baby Mario to reach the air faster, as well as a timer and bumpers to obstruct his fall. Each level has the following in common:
When Baby Mario reaches the ground, a Yoshi awaits him. The color of the Yoshi influences how fast it runs, plus how many eggs it can carry. The lowest Yoshi color is green, the highest is black. The color changes from green to light blue at 60, level-ups are given every 20 points up.
This game has the player shuttling the Yoshi and Baby Mario over the ground to safety at the stork, in segments called "Ground Areas". The Yoshi automatically walks and thus must be guided on its way with the clouds made from drawing with the stylus, being comparable to Mario & Wario. A blow into the microphone sweeps all clouds onscreen away, in case the screen has become clogged. These clouds must be used to keep the Yoshi and Baby Mario from danger; a single hit from an enemy defeats them. Enemies cannot go through a cloud, but they can use the surface to walk on. Tapping the Yoshi causes it to jump; tapping again and holding the stylus again while it is in the air makes it Flutter Jump prolonging its descent and gaining a little height, which can be repeated infinitely while it is in midair. The Yoshi can additionally defeat most enemies by jumping on them.
As in the Sky Area, a drawn, semi-perfect cloud circle morphs into a circular bubble. This bubble can be dragged with the stylus, and releasing it flings it across the screen. Bubbles can be used to push enemies away or if a bubble is drawn over an enemy, the bubble traps the enemy inside, turning it into a coin. Different enemies have different values; for example, Shy Guys are only worth one Yellow Coin while a Fly Guy is worth a Blue Coin. Multiple enemies can be trapped in bubbles; the more that are trapped, the more bonus points can be earned. Some enemies, such as Briers, cannot be trapped, as they have spikes protecting them that pops any bubbles drawn on it. If a bubble is thrown to Yoshi, it pops and the coins inside are immediately obtained.
Another way to destroy enemies and to collect coins is to shoot eggs. Eggs are obtained and act in a way quite differently than in other Yoshi titles: Eggs are collected by eating fruit rather than eating enemies. Different fruits have different values; the smallest one being apple, the largest being the melon. Fruits are eaten when Yoshi gets near them; he automatically sticks out his tongue and swallows them and lay the eggs obtained. Fruit can be grabbed in a bubble and thrown to Yoshi for more eggs as well. The number of eggs Yoshi can carry depends on color. The green Yoshi can carry the lowest amount, the black, orange, and purple Yoshi the most, while white Yoshis have unlimited capacity. An egg is thrown by touching the touch screen with the stylus, and it is thrown in the direction where the screen was touched. If an enemy is hit with an egg, the points given are the same as if the enemy was a coin. For instance, a Shy Guy is worth one Yellow Coin, or one point. It can be grabbed in a bubble to make it become a Coin or be shot with an egg to quickly obtain its point worth. In this game, eggs, instead of bursting once having hit too many walls, bounce about until flying off the screen.
When a high score is achieved, regardless if a player makes to the end goal or gets defeated, it is placed on a leaderboard that can be accessed by tapping "Rankings" on the title screen. Here, players select an icon to represent themselves, ranging from enemies and characters from Yoshi Touch & Go, various Mario franchise characters and items including adult Mario and Luigi, and 8-bit sprites from Super Mario Bros.
Players can additionally adjust the following settings under "Options" in the title screen:
The game has four modes; the first two are unlocked from the start, the others must be unlocked by beating the top score for the first two.
Vs. Battle mode is the game's multiplayer mode, where up to two players can play with one game cartridge; the host has Baby Mario while the client has Baby Luigi. The goal of Vs. Battle is to reach the goal first; if one Yoshi manages to go far enough, an ending goal with Yoshi's face on it appears. Whichever Yoshi goes through it first causes the other Yoshi to get defeated and lose. If a Yoshi gets defeated by an enemy or falls down a pit, the Yoshi also loses. The drawn clouds in this mode are yellow rather than white, as in Time Attack, which causes a Yoshi to run faster. The only enemies are Marucchi, but if the player defeats many enemies in a row with an egg, a few red spiked Briers appears on the opponent's screen. In addition, the players can view their opponent's progress on the top screen.
The Yoshi species serve as the main playable characters of the game, coming in various different colors. The following table displays information pertaining which color of Yoshi the player controls during the Marathon Mode. During this mode, White Yoshi may randomly be played during one 1,000 yard run, after having finished one 1,000 yard run as a Black Yoshi.
Items and objects
Yoshi Touch & Go was directed by Hiroyuki Kimura; his resume included directing most of the Super Mario Advance titles. The game was his last role as a director before he served as a producer and a co-producer in future games. Yasuhisa Yamamura and Masataka Takemoto were both involved with the level design; Yamamura was involved with the creation of the map design of many Mario titles, including Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Kazumi Totaka was the sound director of the game and he provided the Yoshis' voices. This game contains the famous "Totaka's Song", a little tune included in almost every game where Kazumi Totaka is a member of the music staff. Here, pausing in the windy area explored in Marathon Mode to allow the background music to loop long enough will yield a short section with the Totaka song's notes. Asuka Hayazaki and Toru Minegishi composed the game's soundtrack; the former would go on to compose music for future Mario titles namely New Super Mario Bros. and Mario Kart Wii among other games. Charles Martinet provided the voice for Baby Mario, though his voice clips are reused from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Yoshi Touch & Go was initially planned to be a Nintendo GameCube game; specifically, it would be a puzzle-oriented, horizontal platformer centering on the basic concept of Yoshi protecting Baby Mario. It would also use the GameCube controller and was said to have apparently always focused on drawing as a major gameplay element, although such a statement may have been referring to the game's later Nintendo DS version when spoken by the developers. Sometime during the game's development, it would appear to have split into both a Nintendo DS and GameCube version (the latter of which was favored by Shigeru Miyamoto), the developers undecided as to which one would be released.
A work-in-progress Yoshi Touch & Go was first revealed to the public in the form of an E3 2004 Tech Demo known as Balloon Trip. Though Balloon Trip featured only the sky segments that would later be used in the final version of Yoshi Touch & Go, it did so in a manner almost identical to that of Yoshi Touch & Go's final version. Balloon Trip proved itself successful enough for Nintendo to permit its developers to release it as a full game, and the team working on it soon grew. Balloon Trip's success also helped the developers in deciding to cancel the GameCube version of Yoshi Touch & Go and completely move their project to the Nintendo DS. On October 7th, 2004, Yoshi Touch & Go was announced as a full game, and it was released on January 27th, 2005 in Japan, featuring several differences from Balloon Trip, one of the most noticeable of which being its ground stages (which may have been inspired by the puzzle-platformer elements of the canceled GameCube version).
Yoshi Touch & Go has received generally positive to mixed reviews garnering a 73 based on 41 reviews on Metacritic and 75.01% based on 51 reviews on GameRankings. Critics have generally praised the fast, frantic gameplay, the addictive loops of its simple, yet effective playstyle, its bright and colorful graphics, and its unique take on the Yoshi franchise being a episodic game rather than one that has any overarching narrative, creating high replay value. Most of the game's criticism was directed towards its lack of content, which some critics felt like they were playing a minigame or a Nintendo DS tech demo at full price and that it can be enjoyed only in very short bursts.
Craig Harris from IGN gave the game an 8.8/10. He has praised the game for being "one of the most original and unique games created for the system so far, and it's truly a design that's unlike anything you've played before." While he has labeled the presentation as "cut-and-dry" and pointed out the game lacking an overarching narrative, he wrote that the game still stood on its own, being reminiscent of the "old-school ways". Harris additionally praised the two-player mode, as it is single-cartridge and its simple race to the finish line concept was simple but addicting. Ryan Davis from GameSpot gave the game a 7.2 out of 10, also echoing the addictive, fun qualities of the game as well as being a game that works only for the Nintendo DS, though he criticized the lack of substance; due to its short length, he stated that players find themselves replaying the same levels again and again, which "eventually rote memorization supplants actual skill". He additionally wrote that the multiplayer mode, while not as compelling as the main game, "stands as a nice addition to the package regardless."
Jeremy Parish from 1UP gave the game a C+. He has praised the game for its quality and creativity, where he wrote that the visuals and overall presentation made the game feel like a sequel to Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and that while the game is comparable to the NES title, Gumshoe, Yoshi Touch & Go was a much more satisfying experience than anything before thanks to the touch screen controls. However, he has wrote that the game lacks depth and is "reminiscent of a first-generation NES game." He ended by saying that Yoshi Touch & Go feels incomplete and is just another high-quality novelty for the Nintendo DS.
References to other games
References in later games
Guide Yoshi in bringing Baby Mario™ and Baby Luigi™ to safety!
Help Baby Mario and Yoshi get past airborne and grounded enemies as they attempt to reach the delivery stork. Set new records as you trek Yoshi's Island, and you may even encounter Baby Luigi and other Yoshis who need your help. Master your actions by using only the GamePad!
As a lone stork races through the skies over Yoshi's Island, he's startled and drops the precious bundle he was on his way to deliver. Draw clouds and bubbles to help guide Baby Mario onto Yoshi's back. Then, create paths as you race across the island to meet up with the stork. Yoshi is equipped to fight off enemies, so don't be afraid to throw some eggs at them. If you find yourself running low on ammo, replenish by eating some fruit. Earn as many points as quickly as you can while besting records in four fun modes!
Names in other languages