We had all started gaming somewhere early in the 90’s, when the only games widely available were platformers like Contra and Super Mario. Killing them cronies by jumping on them, or by shooting them out was a fun way to get some steam off after a hard day at work or studies.

Video game technology developed a lot since then, and platformers were virtually eliminated from the gaming scene, till they made a comeback VERY recently, with the development of VR tech. Recent platformers also utilize three dimensional graphics, which give them an edge over their predecessors. One such game is Yooka Laylee. It has the vibes of the old platformers, yet is surprisingly new, and has added elements to make the game more enjoyable.

Yooka-Laylee is a platform video game developed by Playtonic Games and published by Team17 for Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.


Yooka Laylee

Detailed Review


The beginning screen for Yooka Laylee.

Story And Narrative

Yooka Laylee is said to be the spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie, another game originating at the same time as Super Mario or Contra. The only difference here is that with the evolution of technology, developer Playtonic Entertainment was able to create a beautiful world with extra features that enhance the player’s experience. The game plays in the same way as any platformer, one needs to go through puzzles, avoid devious traps and solve riddles in order to unlock “moves” and in turn, “worlds”.

The save screen for Yooka Laylee.

The main characters are Yooka , an iguana, and Laylee, a bat. In the game, a corporate creep called Capital B tries to acquire all the books in the game world, in order to have complete control over the world. Yooka and Laylee have to learn separate new moves, and search for pagies in order to complete the books to unlock new worlds to advance through Capital B’s corporate lair and stop him from taking over the world.

Hivory Towers, one of the places in the game, is where Capital B plans to steal all books of the world.

Gameplay And Mechanics

The game has all the features of a standard platformer, with riddles, puzzles and traps to make it look like a standard platformer. It also has the added advantage of being an open world game, so it doesn’t feel  restricted like any of the old platformers. The game features collectibles, which are used to unlock moves, and help fill in the achievement page on Steam. The game features 5 playable worlds, each expandable to include more environments within the same world, some parts of which can only be accessed if a particular move is known. Yooka Laylee’s colorful and vibrant graphics makes playing the game even more enjoyable.

One has to unlock world after world, by collecting pagies, which are received for completing several objectives inside the worlds.

Being new to the generation of platformers at large, and not having played either Banjo Kazooie or Donkey Kong Country makes me a bit behind the times, and indirectly implies that I would not be able to follow up with the game. When I actually played the game, I discovered that it wasn’t at all dependent on either of it’s so called predecessors. A three dimensional platformer was a new concept for me, and I loved it. Open world, that’s another positive point! In fact, the game doesn’t feel binding or forcing on me in any way. I could explore the beautiful world as I want, without an invisible wall stopping me. (The only true invisible wall are priorities like homework and assignments and catching up with studies).

Tribalstack Tropics, the beginning world of Yooka Laylee.

There are several activities to unlock “pagies” as you go, which unlocks portions of each of the five worlds. There are collectible Quills, which can be handed over to a guy called Trowzer to learn special moves to gain access to special portions of the world. There are special tonics, which can be unlocked on performing a certain action in the game world, and a girl (err…. thing?) called Vendi helps Yooka and Laylee get tonics to help them in their journey. And of course, for a graphic s whore like me, the game looks gorgeous. It’s truly worthy of being called a next gen platformer.

Trowzer stands ready to sell his moves in exchange for quills.

Graphics Sound and Performance

However, there are points that do annoy me quite often once I start the game. The first is that the game forces you to use a controller. There is no way to reconfigure keyboard bindings, and I had to browse through quite a lot of web-pages to find the right controls. The controls shown in the menu screen are those of a controller (stuff like the A button, B button,etc.). Also, being ported primarily from the consoles, the game has a very clumsy and slow camera. Never having played games on consoles before, I had to encounter quite some problems with the slow camera, especially when cronies appeared close to you and you had to swipe them out by guessing their positions.

Shipwreck Creek, the area from which the game starts.

VERDICT

Overall, the game is a highly recommended one from me, both for people new to platforms, and to old veterans of the series. Newer people will obviously find it more enjoyable, due to the new features incorporated into the game, while old people will find something to brood about as they compare this with games of their times.

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No Indian conglomerate is complete without a Bong…dude. Arkadyuti represents the great state of Bengal and brings the perspective of a competitive gamer to the table. Heartstone, CS GO, LOL, DOTA 2. Arkad is always in the know.