Ever since Yoshi's Island came out in 1995, a sequel never really appeared. Yoshi Touch & Go, may not be the direct sequel that we've been waiting for, but it's the closest thing that we're ever likely to get.
With that being said, Yoshi Touch & Go uses the same story line as Yoshi's Island. Baby Mario and baby Luigi are being delivered by the stork when Kamek the Magikoopa attacks and sends baby Mario plummeting out of the stork's beak and lands on Yoshi's Island. While it does have the same story, characters and even some areas from Yoshi's Island, there are a few differences that separate the game from its predecessor. For one, there are a total of four modes in the game: Score Attack, Marathon, Time Attack and Challenge.
In Score Attack, you'll try to earn as many points possible in both of the linear stages (sky and land) before the yards meter counts down to zero. Marathon relies on your stylus skills and a sharp eye in order to keep Yoshi and baby Mario moving for as long as you can while trying to set a new yards record. Time Attack is devoted to those with a quick and accurate hand who can save baby Luigi from the Magikoopas in the two linear stages while trying to break the record time. Finally, Challenge is where you'll want to break the yards record. At the same time though, you'll want to keep adding time to a timer that's counting down to Kamek's arrival in the land portion of the game. Once he arrives, its game over!
The second difference between this and Yoshi's Island is that the only controller you'll be using is the stylus itself. You'll draw clouds to bridge gaps over bottomless pits or move baby Mario around in the sky portion of the game; and blowing them away using the microphone in case something goes wrong. You'll draw circles around enemies to make them turn into coins and you can also draw circles around the coins and fruit themselves and then collect it by dragging them towards Yoshi. Finally, you'll use the stylus to point at specific areas on the touch screen to make Yoshi throw his eggs at those areas.
The third and last difference is that, since both the sky and the land stages are linear, Mario and Yoshi will be guided atomically to their destination. It's a one way trip, and if you miss something, you can't go back. Also, since the sky portion is your first destination before touching down, the goal is to collect as many coins as possible before hitting soil as your coin count determines how fast your Yoshi can go and how many eggs he can carry.
My favorite aspect of Yoshi Touch & Go is the fact that the game is very easy to pick up and play. With some games, it can be a chore to memorise the controls. Simply drawing and pointing as the controls? It's great. It's simplicity at its finest. However, I did have a little trouble with the stylus controls as sometimes drawing the circles to make the bubbles wouldn't take and I ended up having to draw them a couple of more times before the bubble finally did show. Also, sometimes in the sky portion of the stage, baby Mario wouldn't go where I wanted him to go as he would somehow tilt out of the top of the clouds that I drew and then land in a pile of enemies, leading me to see the dreaded words "Game Over." Sometimes I had trouble actually making an accurate draw as it can be hard to line up where you want to draw on the touch screen to where baby Mario is on the top screen. It can be hit or miss at times. Finally, it can be hard to make Yoshi throw his eggs for the split second while he is gobbling up fruit. This can lead you to get hit by an enemy. It can be frustrating when the game over screen pops up yet again.
So, what's up with all of these game overs appearing on the review? Your first impression that you'll get when seeing this game in action is that this is going to be an easy game, right? Well you're wrong buddy! This game is a lot harder than you'd think. The thing that keeps the game challenging is that while baby Mario and Yoshi move at a relatively slow pace, there are all kinds of enemies to avoid, encircle or throw things at, gaps to bridge or items to collect. With each character only having one life, you're going to need keen eyes and a fast hand to keep both alive as Nintendo throws everything at you to make sure you're not going to beat any records. Although it can be hard at times, the game is very addictive and a lot of fun. A lot of the time you're going to want to challenge yourself to beat your previous records and sometimes, you're going to want to explore the game's many areas just to see if there's something new you might have missed. At times, it's almost like playing an adventure game. Finally, the games four modes give it some variety as they're kind of different, however they basically the same area, with the basic rule adjustments providing variaton
The only real complaint that I have about this game is that, for some people, since it's not a very deep game, its novelty will last for a few hours before they turn around and trade it in for another game. Once they've accomplished all they care to accomplish, they'll be finished with it. When it comes down to it though, Yoshi Touch & Go is a perfect addition to the DS library. It utilizes the touch screen and the microphone, it's a challenging game that anyone can easily pick up and play since the controls are simplistic, and it's addictively fun. What more could you ask for?