Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island[a] is a 1995 platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. In order to reunite baby brothers Mario and Luigi, who has been kidnapped by Kamek, the player controls Yoshi, a friendly dinosaur, through 48 levels while carrying Baby Mario. As a Super Mario series platformer, Yoshi runs and jumps to reach the end of the level while solving puzzles and collecting items. In a style new to the series, the game has a hand-drawn aesthetic and is the first to have Yoshi as its main character. The game introduces his signature abilities to flutter jump and produce eggs from swallowed enemies.
The game’s hand-drawn aesthetic—a style new to the series—descends from producer and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto’s distaste for the computer pre-rendered graphics of the game’s contemporary Donkey Kong Country. After four years of development, Yoshi’s Island released in Japan in August 1995, and worldwide two months later. Some of its special effects were powered by a new Super FX2 microchip. The game was rereleased for the Game Boy Advance with few changes in 2002. This version was ported to the Wii U Virtual Console in 2014 and, as a promotional exclusive, to the Nintendo 3DS in 2011.
Yoshi’s Island received “instant” and “universal acclaim”, according to IGN and review aggregator Metacritic, and sold over four million copies. Reviewers praised the art, sound, level design, and gameplay, and posited Yoshi’s Island as a masterpiece and one of the best platformers of all time. The game brought newfound renown to both Yoshi as a character and Miyamoto’s artistic and directorial career. The distinct art style and Yoshi’s signature characteristics established in Yoshi’s Island would carry throughout a series of cameos, spin-offs, and sequels, including the 1998 Yoshi’s Story, 2006 Yoshi’s Island DS, and 2014 Yoshi’s New Island. It was the last 2D game in the Super Mario platformer series released on a home console until New Super Mario Bros. Wii 14 years later.