2015 has been an interesting year for Kickstarter. For example, we have had quite a few 3D platformers arrive on Kickstarter with an unfortunately inconsistent amount of success. These were Spooky Poo’s Happy Hell, Clive ‘n’ Wrench, and FreezeME. Sadly, Spooky Poo’s Happy Hell is the only one that has been successfully funded. It’s a bummer, but I have my guess to why some of them didn’t get funded. It was probably because of either bad first impressions, or there wasn’t enough shown to make the game look worthwhile to potential backers. However, I think one reason was because every single potential backer was waiting for the instant Kickstarter hit Yooka-Laylee. This isn’t just another 3D platformer inspired by the great classics of the 90s. This is made by those people who made those classic platformers. I am being serious. Playtonic Games, the developers behind Yooka-Laylee, are all from Rare. Not only that, but you also have the musical talents of the always fantastic David Wise and Grant Kirkhope. I know this game doesn’t technically need a shout-out since it was funded in 30 minutes, reached all of its stretch goals 8 hours later, and will probably go through more stretch goals as time goes on in its over-a-month-long funding date. However, I want to talk about it!
Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where you play as Yooka, a chameleon, and Laylee, a bat. If you have played games like Banjo Kazooie or, well, any platformers Rare made back in the Nintendo 64 era, then you should know what to expect. There are huge open levels, collectables to, um, collect, evil baddies to beat down, a huge boss, and challenges to get the best goodies in the level. Due to our main heroes being a chameleon and a bat, the developers plan on using certain unique moves due to what animal they are. For example, Yooka will be able to use his tongue like a grappling hook, and Laylee will be able to use her sonar. They didn’t really show any of these elements off besides a rolling move where Laylee uses Yooka like a rolling barrel to get through areas faster and to probably run over enemies. Apparently, the collectables you get will expand the world around you with even more challenges. Since it has crossed every stretch goal ever, there will be local co-op, a pre-final boss quiz show, 2-4 local multiplayer versus mode with unique game modes, and unexpected transformations. Boy, reading about this game having all of this on day one is rather exciting. It’s a lot of content for a platformer, and no sign of a season pass or DLC. Something some recent developers should learn from *coughs* Warner Bros. Interactive *coughs* Mortal Kombat X *coughs* Batman: Arkham Knight *coughs* Sorry, I had a rather nasty cough while writing this article.
Graphically, for game footage that was 3 months in development, it is really impressive. This is what every future Kickstarter game should look like in their pitch video; super polished, but with signs of a game being in development. Don’t just show everyone something that is in pre-alpha or nothing at all. That is a one-way ticket to not getting funded. The two music tracks they have on the Kickstarter page are excellent. The first one has all the quirky cartoony charm that Grant Kirkhope brings to his best music, and the challenge music from David Wise brings that whimsical fantasy feel you get from his compositions from games like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. You also get the help from Steve Burke who has worked on a lot of Rare titles like Viva Piñata and Kameo: Elements of Power. Their musical contributions definitely make the soundtrack one of the most hyped elements of the game.
You know I am definitely going to have an interview with these incredibly amazing people! Be on the lookout for it. Of course I am super excited for this game! It has already reached its funding goal and stretch goals with no sweat. It has one more as of May 6th, 2015, but I know it will reach that goal as well. If you love 3D platformers, and miss the glory days of platformers, then you should definitely put down some money for the game! Congrats, Playtonic Games! Yooka-Laylee gets my official Kickstarter Shout-out!
(To support this Kickstarter, go to this link!)