For the last Game Boy Log I was writing about Wario Blast, and that it was effectively a Bomberman game with Wario added. That’s to say a non-Nintendo game with a Nintendo veneer brushed over the top. Well it turns out that there are a few more examples of that on the Game Boy, and one of them is Yoshi’s Cookie. Yoshi’s Cookie isn’t quite as obviously a game with a Nintendo skin, since it isn’t based on a title that’s anything like as popular as Bomberman. In fact, you almost certainly have never heard of Hermetica, the arcade game that Yoshi’s Cookie was based on. Hermanetica was first developed by Home Data (now Magical Company) before rights to the still-young arcade title was sold to Bullet-Proof Software (now Blue Planet Software), who set about producing a home-console version of the game. After coming up with a Super Nintendo version of Hermetica, Nintendo were impressed to license Hermetica from Bullet-Proof, and so Yoshi’s Cookie was born.
So with the short history lesson out of the way, how about Yoshi’s Cookie? Is it a Nintendo game worth a look, or just Nintendo-looking?
Well Yoshi’s Cookie is definitely not a Mario game, it’s a matching-puzzle game. Mario is introduced as the ‘hero’ looking for some sweet biscuits (cookies), and ever-hungry Yoshi joins him. So the two set out to bake some biscuits in puzzler fashion.
Although you’ve probably played a matching-puzzle game, and Yoshi’s Cookie is certainly that, it does have a couple of features that sets it apart. Like all matching-puzzle games, Yoshi’s Cookie is based around matching pieces (in this case cookies) for points, dispelling them before your screen is overrun. But unlike others in the genre Yoshi’s Cookie does not have a set number of cookies that you need to match. Rather, the player has to match a whole row (horizontal) or column (vertical). A row or column can be a little as two cookies long, and so long as the cookies lined up are all of the same kind then you see them crumble. The second big difference in Yoshi’s Cookie is that new cookies fall not just from the top of the screen but the right side as well, and if the cookies overflow from either the right or the top it’s game over.
As far as the cookies, there are a total of 6 types, some of which you might very well have eaten yourself if you are so partial. The sixth cookie is something a little bit special however; a Yoshi cookie that acts as a ‘wild card’ biscuit. This means that whatever row or column the Yoshi cookie is in, if the other cookies are of a single type then the Yoshi Cookie will be treated as the others it is lined up with, making the Yoshi Cookie the most useful piece in the game. You can choose between three different speeds at which the cookies will fall to alter the difficulty of the game, but I found the standard speed just right for someone new to Yoshi’s cookie, and the difficulty increases after each round (of which there are a total of 10, and each broken into 10 parts) at an intuitive rate. You don’t need to sit around waiting for cookies if you find they’re moving too slow for you though, just hold the B button to speed them up. To put it simply – Yoshi’s Cookie is not a puzzle game that will have you pulling your hair out over the difficulty.
In fact, Nintendo did such a good job of producing a friendly, pick-up and play sort of puzzle game, they even allow you to choose which round of Yoshi’s Cookie you want to start a game on, if you want to take a break half-way conquering all 10 rounds.
On top of the single player mode you can also pit your cookie crumbling skills against a friend, if you have the old, purple link cable and a Game Boy and Yoshi’s Cookie game each. You can link up to 4 systems together, but each will need their own Game Boy and game, and anything above 2 users will also require the Game Boy four player adapter.
Yoshi’s Cookie is really a great example of an accessible matching-puzzle game, with enough of its own identity to stand out among the many other entries in the same genre. It starts off easy enough, and builds in challenge so you don’t just sail through. It doesn’t have much of a story, but the light-hearted scenes between rounds are a nice bonus treat to the fun and friendly gameplay.
Yoshi’s Cookie is a little more expensive than some games on the Game Boy. As of writing a loose cartrige will cost you as much as £12, and £30 if you want a complete, boxed game. Even so, Yoshi’s Cookie is a good game on the Game Boy, and a great puzzle game, and is definitely a game to add to your collection if you’re a puzzle fan who.
I give Yoshi’s Cookie on the Game Boy an 8 out of 10.
For Stage – Select, this has been Ed, signing off.