The last few years of gaming have seen many new practices become popular that once seemed like nonsense. One of these practices allows developers to get their games funded by people who are interested in what the final product may be. Starting as an idea all the way back in September of 2012, Yooka-Laylee didn’t actually start its crowdfunding until May of 2015. Promising a spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie franchise, Playtonic Games put tons of work into their platform-adventure game, Yooka-Laylee. With the success of the crowdfunding campaign, players eagerly awaited the announcement of the final release date which was finally confirmed as April 11th, 2017. Players that pre-order the game gain access to the Toybox demo. This sandbox mode allows players to get a sneak peek at what to expect from the final game.
Right after loading up the Toybox demo, players will quickly realize just how bright and vibrant the game will clearly be. The world is made up of floating platforms that are put in many interesting configurations. Whether jumping from platform to platform over a huge empty gap, working through puzzling areas with various skills, or diving and swimming to hidden areas, Yooka-Laylee’s simple controls work smoothly no matter what the situation asks for. No matter what the player chooses to do, they will be pleased with how detailed and well defined the character models are. The platforming and controls (and even the music) are very reminiscent of Banjo-Kazooie, and allows players to feel like they are simply playing a brand new Banjo game and it feels wonderful.
The Toybox demo isn’t only about reminding players that Yooka-Laylee will be like Banjo-Kazooie. To its own credit, Yooka-Laylee is extremely simple to pick up even though there are several different ways to get around and explore the entire sandbox. Switching between running, jumping, rolling, gliding, attacking, and swimming is smooth and easy since most controls are a simple press of a button. All in all, playing the game is best described as simple, fun, and unique in todays catalogue of platforming games.
Players can choose to just roam around and try to find any little secrets that may be hiding out there or they can tackle the task of collecting 100 Quills in order to get a ‘moderate reward’. After scouring every inch of the Toybox demo, I finally collected the final Quill and got the only Pagie available in the demo. Once I had this, I was able to find my reward in the form of a hidden room and a hint about the upcoming game. With or without this reward the demo doesn’t seem to cover several things shown in the images on the Xbox Store page.
From the Toybox demo, it’s pretty clear we can expect diverse levels that take advantage of the many ways Yooka-Laylee can get around. Besides what is in the demo, Yooka-Laylee seems to have many powers and secrets that will be expanded on in the main game. Unfortunately, I can’t say much more about the actual game since the Toybox demo is mainly just meant to show off some gameplay, a few puzzles, and a few diverse platforming sections.
From what I’ve seen in the demo, I can say I’m excited to see what other surprises the full release will have in store. Lucky for me, I won’t have to wait too terribly long, since the game releases in April. Even if it’s not shown in the demo, I am also curious how the coop mode is going to work out, since the description says the coop partner will take control of a second character. I suppose we will have to wait and see to find out. If you can’t get enough of Yooka-Laylee and want to play the Toybox demo for yourself, you can preorder the game now and gain instant access to the demo. Before I actually got to play it for myself, I was worried I was going to miss out on some super awesome exclusive content if I didn’t play the Toybox demo. Now that I have, I can say that it was fun enough, but isn’t enough to preorder an entire game for. Regardless of everything else, I can say I truly enjoyed exploring the Toybox demo for Yooka-Laylee.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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