Yoshi Touch and Go (DS)

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Yoshi’s first appearance on the Nintendo DS, and he even found himself a part of the launch titles! But many might be surprised to find out that Touch & Go was developed to be a benchmark for the unique features of the DS and was never intended to be converted into a game that was to be sold.

After creating the Nintendo DS, the game known as Touch & Go was developed as a means to showcase the features of the DS: the touch screen; microphone; dual screen capabilities; and the wifi download play. It was only after the game was given much praise that Nintendo decided to give it a go and develop it into a game which they could launch with the console back in 2005.

Yoshi, the lovable character from the mushroom kingdom, was the star that would be thrown into the spotlight. He would have the tedious task of having to catch a falling baby Mario and then lead him through miles and miles of treacherous territory which will almost always end in the both of them dying or, in the more politically correct Nintendo version, Yoshi passing out and baby Mario being captured by Kamek riding on a broomstick.

As the player you do not directly control Yoshi but rather create paths of clouds by drawing them onto the screen with the stylus. If you find that you have drawn the clouds incorrectly, you simply blow them away by blowing towards the microphone! Yoshi will continue to move forward no matter what is in his path, so you must urgently create bridges over holes in the ground as well as kill off any enemies who are in the way. There are two ways to kill off enemies. You can either circle them with clouds which capture them in a bubble and convert them into a coin (which must then be dragged into Yoshi to be scored) or you can launch an egg in the direction of the enemy to try and knock them out. You will often have to aim the eggs so that they knock out enemies on the top screen or try to get your egg to hit more than one enemy at a time which will result in a score multiplier.

The game consists of two parts, the falling baby Mario and the traveling Yoshi. As baby Mario is falling from the sky you will have to guide him to avoid obstacles and score as many points as possible. The amount of points that are accumulated in this stage determine which colour Yoshi you receive for the traveling part. Basically the more points you score, the faster your Yoshi will run and the more eggs he can carry behind him.
There are four different modes of play: Score attack tests you to see how many points you can accumulate in a set level; Marathon tests to see how far you can walk along the ground before getting knocked out, the score is the distance that you have traveled; Time attack sees you trying to rescue baby Luigi in the shortest time possible, the quicker your time the better your score; Challenge gives you a certain amount of time to score as many points as you can before Kamek attacks.

The game has a two player single card download play feature. Players walk their Yoshis along a designated section of path that is 1000m long. The aim is to be the first to cross the finish line, but in most cases the winner is the person who survives the onslaught of enemies for the longest time. One can make it more difficult for the other player by getting combo scores, which places more enemies on the opponent’s pathway, making it more difficult for them and slowing them down. But on the same note, this also allows for them to set up even bigger combos which will spawn a massive amount of enemies onto your pathway! As you can imagine, the game gets really hectic, really fast. A nice feature is that the other players’ view is shown in the top screen, so you can keep a watchful eye on them and see when they are about to launch an attack or die.

Unfortunately the game is not very long and contains no real storyline other than “get Baby Mario to the stork that is waiting in the field of flowers.” It is basic and to the point. It is more of an arcade game that will see you playing it over and over again to try and get the highest score. What I do is I give the game card to my friends and let them play with it for a while to beat my high score and then when it comes back I have new challenges to try and topple them off the score board. Doing this increases the amount of gameplay time you will get out of this game.

Pros: Unique gameplay; pick up and play; arcade feel; nice, light multiplayer gameplay.
Cons: Short; repetitive.

Final thought: This game should have come out at a reduced price because of the fact that it is a really short, arcade style game that won’t keep you glued to your DS for long. Having said that it doesn’t mean that the game is any less fun than you would expect it to be. It’s a Nintendo game, it’s polished and it is everything it needs to be to get by.