YoshiThe Game: Mario has to keep more plates spinning than usual. With a plate in each hand, Mario must be moved underneath a never-ending onslaught of enemy creatures. The object of the game is to stack up identical creatures to eliminate them from play, and, when possible, to stack up the two halves of Yoshi eggs to allow a new Yoshi to hatch. Management of the creature stacks is vital, since a stack exceeding the height of the play area ends the game. In two-player mode, both players simultaneously try to outdo the other. (Nintendo, 1992)

Memories: Yoshi first appeared in 1990’s Super Mario World on the SNES, but Nintendo was keen to keep the character in the public eye. The result is a game for the NES that looks and feels just a little bit rushed.

YoshiUsing an interface that looks like it was borrowed whole-cloth from Dr. Mario, Yoshi seems to be yet another take on the basic dropping-object puzzle formula of Tetris, with a few Mario-verse twists to distinguish it. In competitive mode especially, Yoshi can be very entertaining, but the outcome (and the next creature to come down the pike) is so utterly random that the game quickly becomes frustrating.

3 quartersA curious choice to propagate the newest Mario character back to the NES – at a time when new games for the console had dropped off sharply in favor of the Super NES – Yoshi is hardly worthy of the effort put into launching the new character in other games. Another oddball puzzler using Yoshi, Yoshi’s Cookie, followed on the NES.