I suppose I’ve had a kick for puzzle games recently. Sure; they’re my one of my favorite genres of game, but it is hard to talk/write about them; especially the older ones. Most of the time they’re the same thing; match the colors of the falling blocks or something like that. Then Bejeweled came along and revolutionized the industry. Instead of matching colors of falling blocks; now we’re matching and rotating colors on a grid! The wonders of our favorite industry never ceases to amaze me. Well, let me introduce to you what I believe to be the grandfather of Bejeweled; Yoshi’s Cookie. Yoshi’s Cookie is a puzzle game developed by Bullet Proof Software (The folks who are behind the Gameboy port of Tetris) and released in 1992. This bad boy was ported to the NES, SNES, Gameboy, part of the Gamecube; Japan-only Nintendo Puzzle Collection, and on the Wii Virtual Console. Now that that’s settled; let’s see if this game is a culinary masterpiece or just half-baked.
Yoshi’s Cookie is a bit different than most puzzle games. Mario and Yoshi are trying to get rid of all the 5 different types of cookie on the board by (what else); matching them and making them disappear. You control a cursor that is used to “rotate” an individual line. Think of it like a Rubik’s Cube in a way. When an entire row or column is fill with the same type of cookie; the line disappears and you get points. Of course this wouldn’t be a puzzle game without some sort of wacky thing to keep the game fresh. Occasionally, you will get a special type of cookie called a “Yoshi’s Cookie”(Fun Fact: The Yoshi’s Cookie has appeared in a few other Mario games; mostly the RPGs, but still it’s neat nonetheless.). This acts as a wildcard of sorts; allowing it to be used to clear lines of any cookie. Now the strange thing about this game is that it still uses a falling block system like Tetris. While you’re trying to clear the entire board and beat the level; more lines of cookies for you to match will fall down and from the right. If the screen fills up with cookies; it’s game over. This adds a sense of urgency to a rather lax game. There’s some other modes besides the single player:”Action” mode. “Puzzle” mode has a bunch of puzzles that have cookies that are set up in a certain type of way and you must clear them all in a set amount of moves. The puzzles were designed by Alexey Pajitnov of Tetris fame (Learn something new everyday, huh?). Finally there’s the battle mode. Man this mode is awesome! You’re trying to keep a fuse lit so you don’t lose and fill your red bar up to win by matching cookies . Simple right? Well, you can screw over your opponent if you match enough cookies (For example, shuffling their board up or covering up a 3×3 square of their board for a little while). This battle element has appeared in another one of my favorite puzzle games Pieces; which I’m probably doing soon. That’s enough about that; time for visuals and audio!
The game is bright and colorful, but with a name like Yoshi’s Cookie; would you really except anything else? In between every ten levels in the main mode; you’re treated to a cute little cutscene of Mario chasing part of the Yoshi’s Cookie sign. Then; similarly to Columns; the background changes from scene to scene, which I’ve always liked. Nothing much else to say but; it looks like a Nintendo puzzle game. Like most puzzle games from this time; the music is listed by letters, so not much surprise there. Action Type A (which is has been dubbed the main theme of this series, I guess) is my preferred song of choice in this game; being simple, sweet and lax which fits the theme of the game as a whole. Action Type B is a weird one folks. With those of you with an acute ear for music; you might recognize this as the Necke piece; Csikós Post. Why they chose this of all things; I don’t know. However; it works better than you might think. It was my main theme for a while due to it being a fast paced, action packed of music. Action Type C is there, I suppose. Not that rememberable and a bit repetitive for my taste. Versus Type A and Versus Type C sound like 80’s infomercial, car dealership commercial, or exercise music; nothing wrong with that; just making an observation. Versus Type B is pretty good in my opinion; the bass is kickin’ that’s for sure. By the way; Action Type A for Smash 5 (5mash, if you will)! If we can get a remix of Tetris‘s Type B in a Smash game; why can’t we get a remix from Yoshi’s Cookie (But seriously though, who the hell cares about Type B*? That’s like picking Cough or Sneeze* while playing Dr. Mario or Dizzy while playing Dr. Luigi**!).
Yoshi’s Cookie is a treat in my opinion. The game is fun, fast paced, and a uncovered gem among puzzle games. It doesn’t look like we’ll get another one anytime soon, but that’s okay; it’ll still live on in our hearts.