In a few months, Playtonic Games will finally be able to see a game they’ve been working on for years out in the hands of gamers. Yooka-Laylee is an upcoming open-world platformer, one that was Kickstarted by fans and is now being published by Team17.

Playtonic and Team17 are teaming up to launch Yooka-Laylee on April 11. The new title will revive an era of gaming that was popular back in the Nintendo 64’s time. Lead protagonists Yooka and Laylee will have access to a diverse arsenal of abilities and moves. These can be upgraded throughout the experience and at a player’s own leisure.

The open-world of Yooka-Laylee consists of, last we heard, five unique worlds. Each of these locations can be expanded and new secrets will emerge. We Write Things recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Andy Robinson of Playtonic Games. The studio’s communications director told us about his thoughts on the length of playthroughs in Yooka-Laylee.

“It’s very difficult to gauge an ‘average’ playthrough as there are so many different routes through the game. One of our core design goals for Yooka-Laylee was to empower players to make their own choices in how they progress through their adventure, and so depending on which moves you unlock and which worlds you expand it could take varying lengths of time to get to the end of the game,” Robinson said.

A look at Yooka and Laylee from the upcoming open-world platformer (Courtesy of Playtonic Games).

As open-world games usually go, everyone will have a different experience. This is particularly true in Yooka-Laylee because players can unlock whichever world they want. There is no set order for which new world can be unlocked and when. This is something Playtonic Games consciously wanted to do, as it gives players more freedom.

Games like Yooka-Laylee aren’t as common anymore. Playtonic Games is hoping their experience will lead to more games like it. Robinson spoke about the impact he hopes Yooka-Laylee will have on the rest of gaming.

“We hope that it further enforces gaming as the vibrant canvass where lots of different types of games can be successful and find an audience. It’s really pleasing to see other platform games on the horizon such as Crash Bandicoot and Hat in Time. Hopefully we can collectively kick-start a genre revival!” Robinson said.

The characters we’ll be meeting in Yooka-Laylee certainly harken back to ones N64 gamers will remember. Not only that, but the game world feels and looks like one you would find in a title like Banjo-Kazooie. Gamers will be able to pick up Yooka-Laylee for $39.99 at launch, which is contrary to the traditional $59.99 price. Robinson detailed why the studio decided to price the game at a lower point.

“We want to reach as broad an audience as possible with Yooka-Laylee and hopefully help a brand new generation of gamers experience the open-world platforming genre for the first time. We’ve been able to develop our first game thanks to the amazing support of our 70,000 Kickstarter backers and although they’re getting the game for a much bigger discount, if possible we wanted to pass on a saving to those who missed the crowdfunding campaign too,” Robinson said.

A look at the wondrous world that awaits gamers in Yooka-Laylee (Courtesy of Playtonic Games).

Players will surely benefit from the lower price, and it will make the experience far more accessible as a result. For those who are on the fence about picking up the game, having it $20 cheaper than usual will most likely attract more gamers.

We have seen quite a bit of Yooka-Laylee over the past few months and the game’s secrets await those who explore. Robinson spoke about what he is looking forward to players discovering in the game.

“I think players will be surprised by how much freedom they have to explore and complete their adventure. Every world can be unlocked but also expanded, which will literally make the environments bigger and full of more complex challenges. Players can also choose to purchase moves with freedom and equip special Tonics which modify gameplay to suit your playstyle.

“These features allow for players to opt for the kind of experience they’d like from the game; a relaxed adventure through all the different environments, or a challenging quest to obtain every last collectible. This core idea is enforced by our player-empowering approach to UI; it’s very clean with no mini-map or waypoints to be seen. We want you to explore and discover your own secrets!” Robinson said.

Platonic Games will be releasing its first title this coming April 11. Team17 is partnering with the studio and will bring the game to PS4, Xbox One and PC. A Nintendo Switch version of the game is expected at some point. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Yooka-Laylee.

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that.
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