Yooka-Laylee is already amazing and it's just in pre-alpha


It feels right at home if you're a Banjo fan

Today, the Yooka-Laylee Toybox was released for backers (note: I'm in that group), providing a brief look at the game by way of a pre-alpha sandbox.


Playtonic has packed in more charm in the first few minutes than most games do in total. Have I mentioned that I'm addicted to mascot platformers in the past? I'm sure I have. There's just something so special about them; the team genuinely loves that character they've created, and you can see it in just about every facet of those projects. I'm a huge proponent of Laylee (the bat) especially, who is one of the cutest creatures I've seen in gaming for some time. Every single one of her sounds causes my face to light up, and she's surprisingly emotive -- idle animations are a lost art these days.

It plays well, too. The controls are deep enough to dig into and easy to learn. You have your basic jump, attack, and crouch commands, along with the tried-and-true 3D platformer ground smash, but the other two main concepts are where it's at. Using the power of both Yooka and Laylee, you can curl up into a ball and roll around at will, or hold down the jump button to glide for several seconds.

Not only do these actions cue adorable animations, but they're also quite useful for traversing the landscape and both have their unique uses. The ball mode for instance is necessary for rolling up hills, so you really need to get a feel for its physics, lest you find yourself falling off a cliff mid-mountain climb. I'm already seeing a ton of Marble Madness scenarios coming out of it, and there's a lot of potential when it comes to vertical map designs.

As expected, the Toybox is bare-bones at the moment. There's no real story, you can see everything the sandbox has to offer in roughly 15 minutes, and there's only a few light quests, including the collectible variety. But even with this early build, I can see a lot of potential, especially from the sound and visual department.

Yooka-Laylee is slated for an early 2017 release on PC, PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One. It was Kickstarted in May of 2015. You can also peruse some screenshots from my soiree into the Toybox below.

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Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! ------------------- T... more + disclosures



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  • Yooka-Laylee will be getting a '64-bit Tonic' mode soon - Peter Glagowski
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  • Yooka-Laylee's Nintendo 64 makeover looks neat - Jordan Devore
  • Yooka-Laylee will finally arrive on Switch on December 14 - Chris Carter
  • Yooka-Laylee is getting a collector's box with a new statue - Peter Glagowski
  • Unity games are having trouble on the Switch - Drew Stuart
  • Playtonic gives us a Yooka-Laylee Switch update, says port is in its final stages - Chris Carter
  • That big Yooka-Laylee patch is out now on consoles - Joel Peterson
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    Filed under... #action #Gallery #Impressions #Notable #PC #PS4 #Team17 #Wii U #Xbox One



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