Developer: Nintendo
Pubsliher: Nintendo

Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1-4

Yoshi's Cookie, like many Nintendo puzzle games, has a title that describes the gimmick more than the concept. In the version I have (Nintendo Puzzle Collection for the GameCube), Yoshi and Mario are hoarding cookies and trying to keep them away from Bowser. I'm sure there's more, but I have an import copy (Nintendo Puzzle Collection wasn't released in the U.S.A.), and I don't speak Japanese. The story isn't important anyway. It's just a gimmick to hold the game together.

The gameplay is reminiscent of Panel de Pon in that it is played on a tile-based field, but whereas tiles can only be swapped horizontally in Panel de Pon, entire rows of cookies can be shifted horizontally or vertically in Yoshi's Cookie. There are a maximum of five types of cookies on the board. When an entire column or row is full of one type of cookie, it is removed from the board. The cookie types are flower, heart, checkerboard, circle, and diamond. A Yoshi head can be used as any type of cookie. Cookies continuously drop from the top and right edges of the screen toward the bottom left corner of the playing field. When a row or column is composed of only one type of cookie, it is removed from the board. When the rows or columns touch the edge of the field, the game is over. When the field is empty, the level is over, and the player moves on.

The arcade play is entertaining for a puzzle game, but Yoshi's Cookie really shines in multiplayer mode. All of the versions of Yoshi's Cookie support at least two player multiplater. The GameBoy version requires a link cable, and the GameCube version supports four player multiplayer.

Controls seem standard across all versions of the game. Move the reticule with the directional pad (the GameCube analog stick works, too, but the d-pad is more precise). Holding A locks the reticule in place. When A is held, the d-pad shifts the column or row of cookies. Holding B causes the cookies to drop faster than normal, and the start button (start/pause on the GameCube controller) pauses the game.

In all, Yoshi's Cookie is a good puzzle game, and it's definitely worth picking up if you find a copy. The GameCube version is especially worth picking up because it also comes with Dr. Mario and Panel de Pon which can be played on the GameCube or downloaded onto a Game Boy Advance via the GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable. There are two downsides to the GameCube version, however. All the menus are in Japanese, and it's a little pricy for three puzzle games because it has to be imported to the U.S. or Europe.

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