Yu-not-so precious when you smile.
Yuso is a charming puzzle game on Switch that is simple to play. You are tasked with clearing screen after screen of small pink, yellow, blue, and green balls called Yuso. When two Yuso are side-by-side, you can tap or click on one of them to explode it and Yuso of the same color around the one you selected. Differently colored Yuso in the blast radius change to the color of the Yuso initially exploded. With a handy rewind function, it is easy to progress through each stage using trial and error, but is there much more to this game? Yu-not-so much.
The game contains 100 levels in total, 80 of which are known at the outset and unlocked in groups of 10. Each set takes place on a planet in the solar system with a different character named after each planet who provides minor backstory on why they need you to solve their respective Yuso problem. The story beats are largely forgettable, but the first few worlds do introduce elements that change up the gameplay. First, some Yuso start off asleep, and must be awoken by a nearby Yuso explosion that turns them into regular Yuso. Second, other stages feature a Nightcap obstacle that explodes after a set number of player actions, putting all surrounding Yuso to sleep. Finally, bombs of the four colours appear in many stages that destroy all surrounding Yuso of the same color after a set number of actions. These three wrinkles are the only gameplay changes to speak of, and the lack of variety means later stages can seem very similar to previously completed ones.
While it can be fun to look at a stage and try to plan out the path and steps needed to clear the screen of Yuso, I found myself often just trying different moves and resetting back a few steps when I determined that I had made a misstep. The rewind function and touch screen functionality make Yuso very easy to play, but the overall strategy and keys to success don’t change much over the course of the game. The music changes with each planet and includes such puzzle-genre hits as “Smooth Elevator Operator” and “Telephone-Hold Me,” but unfortunately Yuso’s soundtrack has more variety than its gameplay.
Overall, the game has a light and endearing presentation that makes the experience more enjoyable, but the fun of actually playing quickly wears thin. No time-attack modes, achievements, or unlockables are available other than the two final planets and 20 accompanying stages. Frustratingly, the 100th stage may have a bug that makes it impossible to complete, and not being able to finish the final stage was thoroughly unsatisfying. Yuso makes a good first impression, but it becomes stale fairly quickly. I can recommend it only to people who want an easy-to-play but shallow puzzler to while away a couple of hours.