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RELEASE DATE (NA): April 1993 GENRE: Puzzle
// review by SoyBomb

I did it all for the cookie!

When I was a young lad, I went out one cold and frosty winter morning. Though there were many deserving titles on the shelves, it was Yoshi's Cookie for the Game Boy that stole my hard-earned paper route money. The newspaper organization paid a pittance; even after taking on a second route, I could barely earn a dollar a day. This meant that any major purchases I endured had to REALLY count for something. And to this day, despite having sold off that cartridge of Yoshi's Cookie many years later (though I repurchased it directly from YouTube semi-celebrity Pat the NES Punk for four dollars, signed), I have no regrets about buying Yoshi's Cookie instead of the latest action-packed mega-blockbuster. It's just that good.

Yoshi's Cookie lacks in story, but for a puzzle game, you really don't need one. The game consists of ten rounds, each with ten stages, for a total of 100 levels. You can select which round you start on, the speed (LOW, MED, or HI, as in fast, not as in saying hello), and one of three potentially uplifting background tunes (or OFF, if you hate music), before heading off directly into the game.

Once in the actual game, you are given a grid of cookies to work with — checkered squares, delicious diamonds, flowers, hearts, circles... and those delectable wild-card Yoshi cookies — and you need to shuffle around the rows and columns to form one row or column of all the same cookie, at which point they will disappear. (It looks like Yoshi and Mario are working the levers at the cookie factory, but no, it's all you, buddy!) If you can't clear the remaining cookies, more will come in time to help you out. It's not complicated, but it's inexplicably satisfying. After a row or column disappears, the others snap back into place to make a square or rectangle of cookies, ensuring you always have rows and columns. Yoshi's Cookie also pushes you to complete combos, removing one set of biscuits and then having another be completed right after, earning you extra p-p-points, perhaps one of the few motivating factors of a game such as this, other than personal success in the art of baked goods manufacturing.

And...that's it. 100 stages of that. Surprisingly entertaining, and I still don't know why.

It's absolutely snack-tastic.

But what's all this? Let's say you're hankering for a little competition! You can also play a Vs. game against the CPU as you battle each other, working to achieve a high score first, all the while pressing against weird status effects like "PANIC!", which scrambles cookies on-screen or "SLAVE", which gives control of your cursor to your opponent. Manic, frantic puzzle action awaits. But what's all this? Let's say you'd rather play against actual humans? You're in luck: if you have a tangled-up bundle of Game Link Cables for your Game Boy, up to four players can get in on the action simultaneously.

We must keep in mind that this is the Game Boy version, not the NES or SNES editions, so the graphics will not quite as beautiful. That being said, it's a puzzle game, so we're not looking for lush scenery and large, gorgeous sprites. The game's look is functional, although the vision of Yoshi and Mario constantly working hard as we play is a nice bonus. For some reason, Mario looks more like Scatman John than himself. Plus we get the most adorable cutscenes after each round; I always wanted to press forward and see what hijinks Mario and a cookie would get into. The audio has not taken a hit, as the complete soundtrack is present and as inspirational as ever.

Yoshi's Cookie: it's a moist, gooey package that's deliciously addictive. Sadly, likely due to licensing limitations from its originator, Bullet-Proof Software, we haven't seen a re-release of this in many years, ever since the NES version was de-listed from the Wii's Virtual Console in 2013. This is something that should return to us in some form, because the game's simple pick-up-and-play nature would fit well in the current gaming climate. Put it on Switch, Nintendo!

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