Bespoke Arcades

Yooka Laylee

Yooka Laylee is the highly anticipated game due for upcoming release on biggest gaming platforms. Considered a ‘spiritual successor’ to the Banjo Kazooie series of games, after many years the creators of these hit games have reunited to bring Yooka Laylee to life.

Yooka Laylee
Yooka Laylee

The game follows two protagonists Yooka and Laylee as they embark on an epic adventure to save all the literature in the land from the evil Capital B and Dr Quack. Yooka takes the design of a male chameleon and is seen as the sensible one whereas Laylee, a female bat, is the more ‘crazy’ of the pairing. Along the way, the two heroes must find ‘Paiges’ (golden book pages that act as currency) to expand or unlock new worlds.

Back in September 2012, a group of ex-Rare employees publicly created a twitter account (@MingyJongo) announcing their intentions of creating a spiritual successor to the Banjo Kazooie series. Soon after the account was abandoned and the project was thought to be cancelled.

Surprisingly, the account was later revived (under the new handle @Playtonicgames) and project Ukulele was officially announced. In May 2015, a kickstarter campaign was launched with a goal of $170,000 to create the game. Within 38 minutes of being live, the total was reached. Adding to this, the highest goal for the project ($1,000,000) was raised within 21 hours. This made the game the highest video game kickstarter to reach 1 million dollars at the time. Breaking more records, Yooka Laylee currently stands as the highest-funded UK video game in kickstarter history.

Overall the game play is very similar to that of Banjo Kazooie with parallel characters and items featuring in the game. The game even includes various 2D and 3D ‘mine cart’ sequences that mirror the likes of Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong 64. Due to the likenesses to Banjo Kazooie and the DK franchise, the game is being dubbed a resurrection of the 3D platformers from the late 90s/early 2000s. The game has a planned ‘N64 shader’ mode which will convert the graphics to that of an N64.

One player controls Yooka and Laylee together on their journey across worlds (which are contained within magical books) where they will compete in challenges to win ‘Paiges’. Local 2-player co-op and 2-4 player mini game modes are additional methods of game play.

Both characters have their own abilities which include the likes of ‘solar blasting’, ‘tongue whipping’ and ‘sky soaring’. A further plethora of abilities can be gained through various methods. Eating berries can give temporary powers, allowing the character to breathe fire or produce a fart bubble (to breathe under water).

Butterflies play a vital part in the game, which are earned by collecting quills to purchase from Trowser (a snake salesman that wears trousers). These butterflies fill power-meters for the additional abilities that the player can obtain or can restore health if eaten.

some of the characters you’ll find in Yooka Laylee | Source: gamasutra

Other power-ups and abilities include:

  • Mollycools

Which are in game atoms that can transform Yooka and Laylee, giving them extra abilities with the help of octopus-like scientist Dr Puzz.

  • Play Tonics

Can be purchased from Vendi (living vending machine) and offer enhancements/modifications to the player’s stats.

  • Ghost Writers

Collectible characters that provide the player with various challenges and activities. These can include catching or fighting them.

  • Play Tokens

Can be used secret arcade games within each level, these are hosted by the T-Rex ‘Rextro Sixtyfourus’.

The game is set to be a huge success, with already a vast following from retro gaming and Banjo Kazooie fans. Set to be released on Linus, macOS, Windows, PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch (though it will only be produced in digital copies for the Switch), the game will be widely available as of April 11th.

Here at Bespoke Arcades, we have been lucky enough to work with the team behind Yooka Laylee and have created a unique Yooka Laylee special edition Arcade Machine that can exclusively play the game!

It will be unveiled on April 10th at the Loading Bar (97 Stoke Newington Rd, Stoke Newington, London N16 8BX). Even better, you can come and play it yourself for a limited time only! We’ll be raising money for the gaming charity ‘SpecialEffect‘ when you play the machine, so do come down and give it a whirl.

Let us know if you will be buying Yooka Laylee and on which console! Did you help fund the project? Or will you be joining us at the Loading Bar to celebrate the release?