Yooka-Laylee is part of the Kickstarter boom which started with Double Fine’s Kickstarter for an adventure game. During this time, games like Yooka-Laylee, Bloodstained, Mighty No. 9 and Shenmue 3 were funded on Kickstarter. This trend appears to have faded with time but Yooka-Laylee is finally here on the Nintendo Switch, so how does it hold up?
To start off, we have already reviewed the game on the PS4 but this review is specifically for the Nintendo Switch version of the game. When Yooka-Laylee was initially pitched on Kickstarter, the developers were aiming for a Nintendo Wii U port because there was no information about the Nintendo Switch. Now that the Switch is out, the developers wanted to give it their own try and as such, they spent a considerable amount of time with the game on the Nintendo Switch making sure that the port worked great and without any major issues. After having spent a considerable amount of my time with the Switch version, I can say that it is indeed a great port.
Yooka-Laylee seems to be the perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch hardware. It works great in both handheld and portable mode with a pretty decent resolution. It doesn’t matter if you play it through the portable mode or docked on the big screen, you will get the same experience when it comes to the performance and visuals. Of course, if we compare it next to the PS4, there is some drawback for the visuals, but it doesn’t appear to be that severe as one might expect, infact, it will be hard to notice the difference unless you see both of these versions running side-by-side.
Yooka-Laylee is a charming platformer that takes inspiration from the cult classics and fan favorite games like Banjo Kazooie. One of the downside to this is that some of the game design is antiquated in a sense, because of the way the levels are designed, however it doesn’t mean the game is any less fun. Infact, it is easy to get a hint of nostalgic when you play through the game. However, there are also some obvious flaws that appear to have made the transition to this modern platformer, and something that should have been addressed by the developers.
Yooka-Laylee’s main character are a male Chameleon and a female Bat. As you might expect from the name of the game, these characters are called Yooka and Laylee respectively. Both of these work together to save the world’s literature from the nefarious plans of the evil Capital B. As a primarily collectathon platformer, the story here serves the purpose of tasking the players with finding the magical book pages. You will locate them in the various levels, either hidden, or obtainable through completing challenges. The pages that you will collect as the main story progress and once you are able to find a certain amount of these pages, you can either expand the level or unlock new ones.
Yooka and Laylee are able to perform different abilities that can help them reach new locations or complete challenges. These abilities are gradually unlocked as you find quills that can be then traded to Trowzer, a salesman designed as a Snake. To use them, you will have to keep an eye on the power meter which can also be fulfilled by eating butterflies. After all, Yooka is a chameleon so his tongue can come pretty handy here.
If you are addicted to finding secrets in a platformer, Yooka-Laylee will easily scratch that itch. The collectibles are not simply meant as a trophy, but also serve the purpose of giving you new abilities or features. Aside from the quills, you can also find Mollycools that unlock new type of transformations for the main characters, thus giving them exclusive abilities. You will also discover hidden secrets like Ghost Writers or Play Tokens, both of these add more replay value to the game.
Yooka-Laylee is another gem in the Nintendo Switch library, which is quickly becoming a highly competitive platform with the release of Super Mario Odyssey. It might not offer the same quality of experience as Nintendo’s finest work, but it manages to stand well on its own next to other platformers on the Nintendo Switch. This is backed by an excellent port of the game that manages to run well with minimal issues.
Yooka-Laylee Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: Yooka-Laylee is a platform video game developed by Playtonic Games and published by Team17. The game was released in April 2017 for Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with a Nintendo Switch port released in December 2017.
Yooka-Laylee is an excellent port of a great platformer that works well on the Nintendo Switch hardware.