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Yoshi’s Cookie Review

Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: N/A Also On: None

Who is everybody’s favorite video game dinosaur? Barney, right? Okay, I’m kidding, stop pointing that gun at me. I know well as anybody else that most gamers would say Yoshi if asked that question. From Super Mario World, Nintendo knew that also, and they used that fact to market a lot of games, including two puzzle games on the NES. Among those two is the one that I will be looking at in this review, Yoshi’s Cookie.

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The graphics in Yoshi’s Cookie aren’t bad, but they are not quite up to the graphical standard set by Dr. Mario. It is easy to tell what kind of cookie every cookie on the playing field is, and you can even watch Mario pull levers as you move the cursor or hit the button to move a row of cookies. But this game, although it does everything it needs to do, does not do so with the same polish that Dr. Mario did, which kind of gives me the impression that this game was slightly more rushed. Overall, though, the graphics aren’t bad.

The sound of a row of cookies being removed from the playing field gets a little old after you hear it a couple hundred times, and believe me, you’ll be hearing that particular sound a lot. The sound to warn you that you’re about to lose is also annoying, but that is a strong motivation to correct the problem, so I have no trouble with that. However, the sound of the cookies being removed from the playing field is enough that, if it weren’t for the strong musical selections, I would play the game with the mute button on. For those of you that don’t like any of the three musical selections that are available, I strongly suggest you do so, but the quality of the music is enough to redeem this game’s sound score.

The gameplay in this game is truly creative. In the one-player mode, there are ten levels, each with ten rounds to them, for a total of one hundred rounds. The objective of each round is to remove all the cookies from the oven, or playing field. You do this by sorting the cookies in such a way that an entire row or column of cookies at least two cookies in length is made up of all cookies of the same type. When this occurs, all the cookies in that row are removed, and you are awarded points based on the length of the row. If multiple rows are removed simultaneously, then each subsequent row will be awarded its number of points multiplied by an exponentially increased (2, 4, 8, etc.) number depending on how many rows are removed.

If you get to a point where no more moves are possible, don’t fret. More cookies are on their way into the oven, and you can use them to help you remove the leftovers. However, if your oven gets completely full, you lose. Many times it’s better to be safe and keep the cookies as far from the end as possible, even if the lure of more points for longer rows seems appealing.

One other thing that should be mentioned is the Yoshi-head cookies. When you clear fifteen cookies of a type, a Yoshi-head cookie will be sent into the oven. The Yoshi-head cookies have two uses. One, they are a wild cookie and can thus be used to complete a row of any other type of cookie. In a two-by-two situation, it can even complete two rows with two different cookies. Also, when you use a Yoshi-head cookie to complete a row, you receive double the default score for that row. This can be used to increase your score if you are interested in doing so. You can know how close you are to getting Yoshi-head cookies by looking at the bar graph under Mario.

The two-player mode in this game is different than the one-player mode in many ways. In two-player mode, each player is presented with a field of twenty-five cookies (five by five) and, like the one-player mode, they must remove rows of all the same cookie. Unlike the one-player mode though, once a row is removed, five more cookies arrive to replace it. The objective is to remove a certain quantity of rows, and your progress is shown by a bar in the middle of the screen. I should mention that you are timed in your completing of a row, and if you don’t complete a row within the time limit, your opponent wins the round. This timer resets every time you complete a row. The first person to win three rounds wins.

However, the game is a lot more complicated than that. Every time you clear a row of cookies, one of the five cookies that return will be a Yoshi-head cookie, but, unlike in the one-player mode, the Yoshi-head cookies are not wild cookies, but could more accurately be called attack cookies. There is a box above the field of cookies and it will say something, such as 2P –7, which would mean that the second player would lose credit for up to seven rows completed (you can’t lose credit for what hasn’t been done yet). Other possibilities include the ability to cover the middle nine cookies on one of the players’ fields, an effect which reshuffles the cookies on one of the playing fields, and even an effect which allows one player to take control of the other person’s cursor. While all of these things are taking place, a player’s timer still counts down.

To make matters even more interesting, if a player by some chance removes two or more rows of cookies simultaneously, the replacement cookies will contain at least enough Yoshi-head cookies for an instant attack. A player has to be careful though of when he or she connects the row of Yoshi-head cookies, because a player can just as easily attack themselves as their opponent.

Overall, this game is quite fun, and a worthwhile diversion, but it doesn’t measure up to some of the other puzzle games on the NES. I would recommend you get this game, but remember that there are other good puzzle games on the console as well.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7.2
Written by Martin Review Guide