Publisher: Team 17
Category: Platformer, Adventure, Action
Release Date: 12.14.17
Yooka Laylee is one of those games I’ve been waiting for to come to the Nintendo Switch. I remember playing Banjo Kazooie and Spyro back in the day and just from the previews, I could tell that I would enjoy Yooka Layle just as much as I enjoyed those games. If you enjoyed the Banjo Kazooie, Spyro and Ratchet and Clank type games, then Yooka Laylee will be a familiar and excellent game for you.
The game’s key players are Yooka, a relatively lazy lizard (chameleon?) and Laylee, a really chatty and smart ass bat that rides on Yooke’s head. Before we meet Yooka and Layle, we first are introduced to Hivory Towers, where the evil Capital B and Dr. Quack ($.02 Gum) are stealing all the books and pagies in the world. Somehow, Capital B reminds me eerily of Gru from Despicable Me…coincidence? Maybe Capital B is some long lost brother? Who knows. All I know is that he has an over-sized golden statue that I half expected minions to be dancing around.
Capital B has taken Yooka and Laylee’s beloved book full of pagies, and as such the pagies have been scattered all across 5 different worlds. You must retrieve them all and bring Hivory Towers crumbling down!
I found Yooka Laylee to be quite charming and enjoyable, much like my old favorites. As in Banjo Kazooie, the characters all speak in odd grunts, which I found a bit…annoying the first time around. I would have almost preferred they had no voices if this were the only option. If you compare Yooka Laylee to the old platformers, you may find it a bit lacking…but if you just look at Yooka Layle as its own platformer reminiscent of the late 90’s and early 2000’s style platformers…you will be in absolute heaven.
Scattered throughout the game is quite a bit of humor, which I always enjoy in a game. From the name of Yooka Laylee’s shipwreck to the names of some of the characters and much of the sarcastic dialogue, it brings a very light hearted feel to the game.
The game begins simple enough. Explore the small area around you and get a hang of the controls; jump, spin, and…lick? You will use your tongue to snatch butterflies to restore your health. Proceed towards Hivory Towers where you will meet Trowzers, an entrepreneurial serpent who can’t quite figure out how shorts work. None the less, he will introduce you to his shop; you will collect quills to purchase moves from him throughout the game…and you will need all of these moves.
After Trowzers so nicely give you a free move (the ability to roll up slippery slopes), head in to Hivory Towers and find your first Pagie who will tell you all about the evil Capital B.
If Capital B unlocks the power within, his crooked company will have the…His crooked company will have the power to rewrite the universe! Luckily, us Pagies have fled the one book and gone in to hiding.
The first of the 5 worlds that you will unlock is Tribalstack Tropics. A decently sized world which, after you collect enough pagies, you will be able to expand to make larger. Here, you will have to run around and find as many quills as you can and find all of the pagies located in this world. However, there are plenty of small side quests to keep you occupied while you collect enough quills you need to unlock the moves you need in order to progress through the entirety of Tribalstack Tropics.
The first three moves that you will purchase from Trowzers (at 30 quills a pop) are Sonar Shot, Slurp Shot, and Buddy Slam. Laylee uses Sonar Shot which will be important to wake up sleeping totems to reveal hidden platforms. Slurp Shot gives you the ability to slurp up edible objects and fire projectiles; snow balls and fire breath galore! Buddy Slam makes me think of Mario’s slam. You jump up and then slam in to the ground, breaking objects that need to be broken.
Playing the Main Adventure has 3 separate games that you will play through and will give you quite a few hours of game play. Apart from the Main Adventure (which you can also play co-op, much like Super Mario Odyssey). There is the option to see your stats and there are plenty of achievements for you to unlock as you play. You can play single player Rextro’s Arcade or multiplayer Rextro’s Arcade (2-4 players). This gives Yooka Laylee plenty of replay as the arcade can suck you in for hours in and of itself.
Rextro’s Arcade is just like a Retro Arcade, complete with looking like an old school arcade game machine. Rextro has different games hidden in each world. In World 1, I have unlocked 8 arcade games alone.
Overall, Yooka Laylee is a great game for people of any age group. Playtonic definitely knows how to balance creating a challenging game with humor and goofy fun that will keep you coming back. My main criticism, apart from the Caveman like grunty voices is that there are quite a few camera issues. I found throughout the game that the camera jumped around and when I thought I was going one way, all the sudden I was going another way and accidentally fell off a platform.
Joy Con Detached: Ok
Joy Con Controller: Great
Pro Controller: Great
Buy Yooka Laylee
Follow Playtonic Games
Follow Team 17