The much anticipated Yooka-Laylee is finally here and it has made platforming fun again. When it was first announced that Playtonic Games, made of team behind Banjo-Kazooie were beginning a kickstarter to produce a new game, the Internet lapped it up and the funds were secured within days. Despite the delay on the game I can assure you it’s been worth the wait.
Yooka, a green lizard and Laylee a purple bat begin the game relaxing and discussing what could come from a magic book they had discovered, little do they know of the adventure that awaits them.
In a suspicious looking factory not too far away are Captain B and Duck who are hatching plans to steal every book in the world, but most importantly they are after the one in Yooka-Laylee’s possession. Page by page they manage to steal the book and it’s up to our dynamic duo to get the pages back.
There are five worlds to discover, each with their own theme. To unlock them you’ll need to find ‘Paiges’ by completing tasks, solving puzzles and exploring every inch of the different worlds. Each world can be expanded, bringing new discoveries your way, again you’ll need more pagies to do this.
Each world is fantastic, you’ll have already seen plenty about Tribalstack Tropics. and some about the Glittergaze Glacier but it’s the later worlds that stand out for me, my particular favourite being Capital Cashino, a huge casino that will see you collecting tokens which can be cashed in for pagies. You’ll spend plenty of time exploring again, but this world is made up of lots of mini games for you to take part in. There is a Mini Golf game, Jackpot machines to play and plenty more. Moodymaze Marsh, Galleon Galaxy and Hivory Towers are all great too. Each world has a boss for you to try and beat too, but be prepared for a fight!
What I love about each world is that if you can see an area in the distance you can explore it, you just need to work out how to get there or make use of one of your unlocked abilities to help you get there. For example, later on in the game Laylee will be able to pick Yooka up and fly him to wherever you need to go. Every ability is restricted by how much power you have available.
To unlock abilities you spend a lot of time talking to my One of my favourite characters in the game. His name is Trowzer, he is a snake and it just happens that he wears a pair of trousers. Despite his Del-Boy like attitude he is very useful to you. Every Time you open up a new world he will give you a free move that will help you progress further through the game. He’ll also be waiting for you in each world to sell you new moves for a number of quills.
The abilities range from being able to breath underwater, allowing you to reach new areas deep down, to giving Laylee the power to pick up Yooka and fly him for as long as the power bar lasts. Keeping your power bar full is simply a matter of eating butterflies. It’s not just abilities that you can use, a vending machine names Vendi let’s you purchase tonics that can modify various parts of the game for you. These modifiers range from giving you extra health to turning the game into a 64-bit mode. The clever bit is how you unlock them, some are simple, you may have to collect a certain amount of quills or stun a number of enemies. Some however will be unlocked through guesswork, there are a few I’m still struggling with.
Arcade fans will be pleased to hear that you’ll be able to play some games on arcade cabinets to win paigies. All you need to do is visit Rextro, a dinosaur desperate for friends, and a brain. Find a coin to play and attempt to beat the high scores. There are racing games, shooters and even runner games. Search around and you’ll find an arcade full of them to practice on.
The freedom you have in Yooka-Laylee allows you to play exactly how you want. For instance, having spoken to Greg who is reviewing for someone else (don’t read his review) we had played around the same amount of time earlier on yet I had managed to discover completely different things to him.
I struggled to find things I didn’t like about the game, except for the camera. It’s pretty annoying, it seems to have a mind of its own at times making some more of the simple things difficult.
Really though, that was it. Yooka-Laylee is the definition of fun platforming for me. It doesn’t hold your hand, it encourages you to explore, make sure you do because you’ll discover so much. Fun characters, great puzzles and lots of great humour. It looks greats, I can’t get the soundtrack out of my head and I’m determined to find every last collectable in the game, I encourage you to do the same.