Review: Yooka-Laylee Is a Decent Nintendo Switch Platformer

When it comes down to 3D platformers, the Nintendo Switch is the best place to play. Super Mario Odyssey is possibly the best 3D platformer in quite some time, but there’s another game that wants to take that crown.

The game in question is called Yooka-Laylee, and from what I can tell, it tends to focus more on the past than on the future. It’s more in line with the Banjo-Kazooie series than anything else, and that’s not a bad thing by any means.

What is Yooka-Laylee all about?

In the game, players control a chameleon and a bat, which is a similar set-up to the bear and bird in Banjo-Kazooie. Right away you can see the similarities in both games, but gladly the similarities are not profound.

As for the story, our two characters are out on a mission to Capital B, the villain of the game. You see, Capital B wants to take over the world by using the One Book, and the best way to stop this villain is to travel through five words and collect Pagies from each.

During the journey, players will come across a galore of platforming and challenges that are bound to cause problems. The good news, however, is the fact that the game world is a bit open, which means, issues can be tackled in a variety of ways.

Let’s talk more about gameplay

As stated above, Yooka-Laylee is filled with variety, and the gameplay is quite straightforward. As players explore the five worlds, which are all beautiful in their own right, one should expect to come across different skills and new opportunities. They allow the player to feel empowered, though, these are things we expect to be a central part of most video games.

Now, then, once the player collects enough Pagies, they can be used to unlock a new world or to expand an existing world. World expansion gives the player the ability to tackle new challenges that are more difficult than the previous.

When these elements are combined, gamers will find that Yooka-Laylee has gameplay elements that are tight and focused. Not to mention, players are constantly rewarded, so for the folks who enjoy collectibles, then this game is probably your jam.

I should point out that there’s more to this game than its collectibles. You see, each world have their own unique transformation, which means, our heroes can combine into strange looking creatures with new abilities.

For example, it’s possible to transform into an acid-spraying plant or even a helicopter. These transformations add a unique gameplay element that’s very fun, and it makes me want to see and play more.

What about the graphics and performance?

Yooka-Laylee isn’t the best looking game on the Nintendo Switch, but it isn’t ugly either. The graphics are more of what folks would expect, and the performance holds firm for more of my play time.

But despite the many good things, Yooka-Laylee is far from perfect. The camera tends to give problems from time to time, and some times the pacing in the five worlds are little off. For example, some levels, at some point, is just too barren and therefore, the fun aspect is lost.

Additionally, some of the puzzles are too unforgiving. Hey, I love difficult puzzles, but once they have me cursing, that’s it, I’m out.

Overall, if you’re looking for a fun platformer that is not based on the Mario games, then Yooka-Laylee is the right game for you.