Back in April 2015 Playtonic Games; a company made up of a rag-tag team of ex-Rare veterans created a Kickstarter campaign to accomplish one thing, to create a spiritual successor to the 1998 classic Banjo-Kazooie and to revive the classic platforming genre. Two years later, we are mere days away from the release of Playtonic’s first title Yooka-Laylee and from my time with the game, it is clear to see that Playtonic games have achieved their goal.
The Kickstarter was welcomed with overwhelming support, even though Playtonic Games only asked for a small sum of £175,000, by the time the campaign was over, they had raised more than £2 million to turn their small project into the fully-fledged release we have in today. This support is a sign that the return to the genre is needed, fans want it and Playtonic have aimed to deliver on just that.
Whether you play Yooka-Laylee for a few minutes or a few hours it is clear to see that it is a beautiful game and a love letter to a genre of gaming that has remained dormant and forgotten since the early 2000’s. By playing Yooka-Laylee it is clear why the collect-a-thon platformer reigned supreme for such a large part of the 90’s, the games never relied on the use of guns, cinematic sequences and motion capture technology. All that was needed was a plethora of collectibles and a cast of wonderful characters.
Which is why it may be a breath of fresh air, whether you have followed Playtonic’s work since the humble beginning of stellar Kickstarter success, or if you’re just tuning in now, Yooka-Laylee is the something old we need in the games industry right now.