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Mario and Yoshi is a Gameboy puzzler released back in 1992 that is also available on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Wii Virtual Console. As the title suggests the game features the world famous plumber Mario and his pal, the ride-able dinosaur with a big appetite, Yoshi. The duo first took on Bowser's evil minions in the smash hit platformer Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo, but this time round they have hung up their jumping shoes to try out a more cerebral challenge. Mario's no stranger when it comes to games that make you think (having appeared in the excellent Tetris and Dr Mario) so I was curious to see if he could complete a hat-trick of quality games that test your grey matter.
Players who have always wished to have a manly Freddy Mercury style moustache will be delighted to know that they get to control Mario who appears at the bottom of the screen. The objective is to prevent one of four columns from filling up with blocks which represent enemies from the Mario series. Raining down from the top of the playfield are the walking mushroom Goombas, venus flytrap like Piranha Plants, ghostly Boos and Bloopers (squid like things not accidents caught on tape.) Who came up with these crazy character designs? Forget walking mushrooms... I think the developers responsible had one too many magic mushrooms.
Anyways, to prevent the columns from filling up Mario can move around the four trays that the enemies are stacking on. If you manage to get two blocks with the same enemy to land on top of each other they vanish, just like my hopes and dreams of growing up to become a world famous super model. Two enemy blocks normally descend at the same time so you need to think quickly to decide the optimal place to drop the blocks and how best to rotate the trays to get everything into position. Things start simple enough, but as time passes by things get trickier as the speed of the falling blocks increases as does their number.
So where does Yoshi factor into all of this? Well aside from the enemy blocks egg pieces also drop down from time to time. You get the bottom half of an egg shell and the top half of an egg shell. The idea is to piece the two together to form a complete egg which Yoshi hatches from giving you bonus points. The good thing about eggs, aside from being a rich source of protein, is that they can aid in the destruction of pesky blocks. The enemy tiles can be stacked on top of the bottom half of a shell and if the top half lands on the pile it will eliminate any blocks sandwiched between them during the Yoshi birthing process. The more enemy blocks you dispatch in this manner the bigger the emerging Yoshi will be... because size matters as many an ex-girlfriend has told me during their "let's just be friend speech."
Two gameplay modes are on offer for puzzle fans out there. First up is Type A were you start on a blank screen and keep playing until one of the columns fills up. It's pretty much a case seeing how long you can survive, jotting down your high score and then trying again to see if you can do better next time. In Type B you start the game with a few blocks already placed on the tray and the aim is to clear the screen in the fastest time possible. Success moves you onto another level were they up the ante by starting you off with even more blocks to get rid off. In between levels you are treated to an animation of Mario riding Yoshi up to a power-up which the dino munches on. I note that Mario forces his pet to eat by striking him on the side of the skull. How cruel! Despite being well respected in the mushroom kingdom it appears that Mario is hiding a secret hatred of animals (he started off mistreating Donkey Kong and now he is decking poor Yoshi.)
Graphically this game isn't too bad when judged against other titles in the puzzle genre. Normally in games like these coloured blocks gets the job done, but here we are spoiled by well sized pictures of Mario characters. There's no backgrounds to speak off, but it was good to see some animation in the form of Mario turning the trays, Yoshi hatching from the egg and the animal abuse cut scenes between levels. The music isn't terrible although you are likely to forget its there as you'll be concentrating on the action on screen. For what it's worth you get a selection of three background tracks or if none of them catch your fancy you can play in silence by turning off the sound.
As far as puzzle games go this one is pretty average. It's fun to play for around fifteen minutes and then you start to lose interest due to its simplicity. You only have four columns to manipulate so your tactical options are pretty limited. The requirement of having to match just two blocks means that the game misses out on more complex strategies such as chain reactions found in other games that require thinking several steps ahead in order to succeed. Mario and Yoshi lacks the charm of Tetris or Bust-A-Move, but it's not all bad. It's a good choice for introducing kids to puzzle games as it is fairly straight forward and as a portable game it works as something to keep you distracted during a short train journey. Thank you for reading. Until next time, remember that striking prehistoric reptiles is not cool... especially raptors as they may bite back.
This game, unlike any other mario game, is a little diffrent instead of it being a platform collect em up it is in the puzzle genre.
the aim is to make a column of 3 characters from the mario world and to trap them in both the top and the bottom of a yoshi shell.
you may be thinking that this is very similar to tetris, well it is but with a bit of a twist,
characters fall from the top of the screen, your job as mario is to swap round the columns so the characters can lign up in an egg shell.
its gameplay is fairly simple nothing too difficult to control just move mario then press spin, graphics are nothing special as it is for a puzzle game,
i would probably give this game a rating of 2/5 stars as it gets very boring easily.
there are much better titles out for the gameboy then this
and in my opinion its not worth the money
Well fortunately in some respects this is somewhat different, being as it is, a puzzler, rather than the usual platform action, but unfortunately it quite simply sucks. Its difficult to say much about it because the gameplay is so...empty. You are Mario and you are at the bottom of the screen holding ummm serving trays(?). Your enemies from the platform games fall from the sky and turn into blocks when they land. You must manipulate these fallen blocks so that you get groups of three which will then disappear, get you points and eventually allow you to move on to the next level. The later levels start with blocks already there making you task that much harder but the chances are you won't get this far anyway. The music is nice, the graphics are average and the gameplay as dull as ditchwater. There is a two player option which gets very boring very quickly, but the chances of you finding two people who want to play this is pretty slim to be fair. Its probably aimed at kids, but then it seems to difficult for that...well it was too difficult for me, but then I had immense difficulty in trying to retain interest in playing it so...maybe it'll float your boat - just not mine. I suppose there is a market for this somewhere, but for me its the most boring thing I have played in a long time. Then again, I never liked Tetris either and I suppose the principle is (in a very loose sense) similar. Even so, surely it is about time we moved on from that now? Mario & Yoshi is a poor attempt to cash in on the Mario name but thankfully its price tag reflects this. Nevertheless, I have better things to spend my cash on thanks.
When I first saw Mario and Yoshi I assumed that it was simply an addition to the Super Mario series on the Gameboy. Being an avid platformer fan, I bought it, took it home and instantly realised I had actually bought a PUZZLE game! I was at first a little annoyed. I played it for a while. I was actually beginning to LIKE it! After a few more plays through a one player game I really enjoyed the game's quirky graphics and sound track. The idea is simple - you stack up little enemies in blocks of three and they disappear. But unlike most puzzle games, it wasn't a case of simply going on forever. When you enter a level, there are some blocks already laid down. You just have to clear them - but it's not as easy as it sounds. The two player game is also very good, but a little repetitive, as you both start with a blank screen and the simple idea is that you have to "outlast" your opponent. All in all, I think that you should give Mario and Yoshi a try. And afterall, its RRP is only £4.99!!!