Release Date: April 11, 2017
Developer: Playtonic Games
Available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Mac OS, Nintendo Switch
Written by James Williamson
Editor Note: Yooka-Laylee was reviewed using a Xbox One review code provided by Playtonic Games.
A trivia game instead of a boss battle!?
Yooka-Laylee is a breath of fresh air into the platformer/adventure games genre – the genre that once held a monopoly on console gaming has since been replaced and moved on. Yooka-Laylee will be a familiar experience for gamers who played video games during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. Yooka-Laylee is a spiritual successor to the 1998 classic Banjo-Kazooie by Rare, which comes about as a result of Rare’s former employees now working with Playtonic Games.
The bright, colourful, open-world elements will have the player experiencing a range of different emotions. Yooka-Laylee is a happy game from the moment it launches, appropriate for young children and mature adults alike.
One thing Yooka-Laylee executes to perfection is the method in which new powers and abilities are introduced to the player as they progress, allowing players to not be overwhelmed and feel a greater desire to take everything in without feeling rushed.
Collection is back, big time. The perfectionist players will have a blast going through many worlds and gathering all the Pagies and Quill’s, and coming back through them a second time with all their abilities in an attempt to complete the log. Very few games get collectables right. In most cases collectables in video games are one long, exhausting, unfulfilling nuisance. Yooka-Laylee gets collectibles right. Players will feel compelled to gather it all!
Yooka-Laylee has some of the greatest tongue-in-cheek humour of any video game, ever. Whilst keeping it suitable for children, many adults will see the funny side of it. The games ability vendor who you frequently encounter, a snake, is aptly named Trowzer. Yooka-Laylee also likes to break the 4th wall, making references to the games crowdfunding, and development process frequently.
The HUB in which players choose which worlds they want to enter can be a bit confusing. It took myself upwards of half an hour to find out how to enter Glitterglaze Glacier, the games second world. After navigating an oblique corridor I finally found myself at my goal. What happened to the ‘one small HUB’ idea the likes of Crash Bandicoot?
Players can find their selves bypassing gameplay mechanics at times using clever manoeuvring. During the games first world Tribalstack Tropics, players must navigate their way up a monolithic mountain exhibiting many hurdles along the way. These events can be bypassed using clever platforming skills, jumping on rocks that were obviously unintended to gain vantage on the course.
Whilst cute at first. The games “dialogue” will become obnoxious and repetitive, this will almost certainly get turned down a notch by most players through the sound options (thankfully we have that option).
Yooka-Laylee is the best Platformer game of the generation. Undeniably. Whilst one may argue that there isn’t too many games quite like this anymore, Yooka-Laylee still executes its values to perfection. A game that will be strongly enjoyed by all age groups, and can be enjoyed simply just for its quirkiness.
Yooka-Laylee is a must have for any 90’s born video game lover. Yooka-Laylee will be a trip down Memory Lane whilst still feeling fresh.
Yooka-Laylee also showcases just how great crowdfunding can be. If Yooka-Laylee is a great success (which it deserves to be), then hopefully we can expect more great, quality content from the recently formed Playtonic Games.