Yoshi was released for the NES and Game Boy systems, and later Released on the 3DS Virtual Console via the Ambassador Program. It played much like Tetris, in that you were assigned to eliminate objects that endlessly fell from the sky. The player is able to choose to play as either Mario or Luigi, who were the on-screen characters who moved the stacks of enemies back and forth two at a time.
Goombas, Piranha Plants, Boo Buddies, and Bloopers all rain from the sky. They can be eliminated by pairing up two identical characters at a time. Enemies can only be removed by lining them up vertically, there are no horizontal eliminations. Extra points can be earned and space can quickly be created by sandwiching enemies between the top and bottom halves of Yoshi eggs. Depending on how many enemies are placed between the eggshells; larger Yoshis can be created, as follows:
- Small Yoshi - No enemies, 50 points.
- Tall Yoshi - Between one and four enemies, 100 points.
- Winged Yoshi - Five or six enemies, 200 points.
- Star Yoshi - Seven enemies, 500 points.
There are also two different gameplay modes and a multiplayer mode:
- Mode A - The game's endless mode, start with a clean slate and play until you run out of space in a column and lose.
- Mode B - The game's round clear mode, eliminate all of the enemies on a screen to earn a bonus and move on to the next round. Each stage starts with a greater number of enemies on it.
- Multiplayer - Compete to see which player can complete their stage the fastest, or who can at least survive the longest.
Yoshi was poorly rated by the video game press when it was re-released on the Virtual Console, reviewers felt that it was too unoriginal and similar to other puzzle games.