Retro Review: Yoshi’s Cookie
by Kayleigh Powis
The puzzle game genre has always been rather popular. For many, Tetris springs to mind whenever they try to think of an excellent puzzle game. Yes, Tetris is a lot of fun, but the puzzle game that I always have fond memories of is Yoshi’s Cookie. Released on Nintendo’s Game Boy, Yoshi’s Cookie was a frantic cookie matching puzzle game with a lot of charm. Back when it was originally released in 1992, Yoshi, Nintendo’s recognisable and ever-so-loveable dinosaur had only been a minor character in a few games on the earlier systems. This puzzle game finally allowed Yoshi to have his moment of glory.
The object of the game is to get Yoshi and Mario to mix and match the cookies into lines. Now, it sounds simple enough, but of course, like most puzzle games, it gets a lot more complex as the levels progress. Unlike Tetris, the player has no control over the pieces as they fall-they are shuffled around by using the cursor once they have joined the collection at the bottom of the screen. Each piece represents a cookie, and as the levels get higher, so does the difficulty. More cookies are added to the lines, and it all becomes a bit more complex. Fail to clear the lines of cookies, and the factory blows up, signalling game over. Here we’re given a bit of “game over music” as we look sadly at a rather toasted Mario and Yoshi…all that hard work guys, and look what’s happened! So, to avoid a rather explosive end, match the cookies together in a line to clear it.
In a way, the gameplay in Yoshi’s Cookie is somewhat reminiscent of a Rubix cube. Players will be twisting and turning cookies until they make a matching formulation, which is what you’re trying to do with those 80s cubes. However, the enjoyment is much, much higher I assure you. Also, unlike a Rubix, it will not feel completely impossible! This may make Yoshi’s Cookie sound rather complex, especially as the format is slightly different to another puzzle hit at this time, Tetris, in all honesty, it is not. Once the idea of shifting around the cookie pieces to form matching lines becomes apparent, it is not only incredibly addictive, but also rather easy. The real challenge lies in the higher stages, where your brain is really worked.
There is definitely a high element of charm in the game play, in not only the cute designs of the cookies, and our hungry little dinosaur, but also the music (yes, there are only three tracks to choose from, but they’re easy to hum along to). The only downside to Yoshi’s Cookie is that there isn’t an incredible amount of options to this game. In the console versions, a two player mode is added, but other than that, the cookie-switching game play is all you will be confronted with. Some people may find that the gameplay gets rather repetitive after completing a few stages (stages are completed after every 10 levels), but in all honesty, if you enjoy this type of game play, there is nothing much to complain about. Its fun, simple to grasp, and pretty addictive.
Whilst Yoshi’s Cookie never surpassed the immense popularity of retro puzzlers like Tetris, it remains an enjoyable classic that many gamers go back to fondly even now. Yoshi’s Cookie is available to download via the Virtual Console on the Wii, and I highly recommend giving this a go if you fancy some nostalgic puzzle game play featuring an early version of Yoshi. Plus, who can resist those pixel cookies? They look so delicious, even in the Game Boy’s choice of green!