Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
Yooka & Laylee are back in a brand-new platform hybrid adventure! They must run, jump and roll their way through a series of challenging 2D levels, face a puzzling Overworld and rally the Royal Beettalion to take down Capital B's Impossible Lair! Each level offers beautiful, rich visuals with detail and depth. Yooka, Laylee and a whole host of colourful characters (good and bad) are realised in stunning 2.5D The overworld isn’t just a hub, it provides a whole separate gaming experience! Explore and unlock more 2D levels by completing objectives and puzzles, rescue the Royal Beettalion bees and find collectibles. Alternate Level States! Think you’ve got a level figured out? Try it in its alternate state! Flip switches in the overworld to create new landscapes.
Steam User 26
As the successor of Yooka-Laylee, we can expect a lot of news,
for example, a switch has been made from the 3D part to 2D/top down (with noticeable 3D environments)
Also at the start of the game you will already have the option to play the last level, which I don't exactly recommend, but which you can definitely try, but don't let this confuse you, it will soon become clear where the other levels are located and so you will be able to build everything up to be ready and prepared for that last level.
Check out gameplay of this game and also the first Yooka-Laylee here:
There would be about 40 levels, with a lot of variation of course. With each level you free a bee who stands by you in the final level. The more bees you collect, the more times you can get hit by an obstacle. That way it becomes a bit easier to beat the final boss.
Of course you can't get to all 40 levels at once. In the 3d world you will find different areas that you can unlock.
Each area contains a number of levels and each level offers a unique 2d platform world where you have to defeat different enemies, collect gold feathers, find secret coins and free the bee at the end of each level.
Once you've played some levels, you can use the coins you find to pay some sort of toll to unlock other parts of the world.
Besides finding coins you can also find tonic bottles in the world. These bottles can be exchanged for a kind of power-ups against payment of golden feathers.
These power-ups allow you to customize the gameplay and appearance of the world.
For example, there is a tonic bottle that gives you longer time to calm Laylee if you are hit by an enemy.
There is also a tonic bottle that allows you to keep gold feathers you have found when you are finished and that make the world black and white or even turn it upside down.
All these parts ensure that the game has enough diversity to keep you entertained for a long time. Everything shows that it has been finished to perfection and it is therefore not inferior to other well-known titles of this genre.
Steam User 23
Even if this game has some great qualities, it kinda feels rushed. Another game that could have being amazing but there are these few things that are completely unnessecary.
+ Nice universe, we can see the touch of people who worked with Rare before
+ Kinda funny, relaxing and quirky
+ First quarter of the game feels nice, well balanced
+ Lot of collectibles, which I always enjoy
+ The overworld which is filled with good ideas and actually hard to find secrets. I had a lot of head-scratches.
- Frustatingly hard starting the half of the game, for no apparent reason other that ''the game needs to make you suffer''
- Not the best gameplay either : Yooka can roll but it's not as precise as in Donkey Kong, the character also feels like it's weighing a ton since it doesn't jump well, the platform sometimes are slippery for no reason (and you die because of that)
- Side-scrolling Levels = this is the worst part and makes the game being unfun at some point. You can never really go fast because the way the enemies are programmed is that they are always follow with your flow
- The collectibles are also a bad thing in this game : the 5 coins to find in every level are not that bad to find for the first quarter, but after chapter 10 they are insanely hard and unfair. You need to die several times to get to know how to reach a specific coin. But the thing is that you also need them to progress.
→ You'll find countless areas where there are 3 mobs and if you kill them you can't collect the coin and have to do the same level again in order to let the enemies respawn
- The way to move in the overworld feels so sluggish by moments. You can have nice puzzles to solve and that really add some fun to the game, instead of just being levels after levels, but it really need more polish.
- The loading time at the beginning, every time you start the game. It litterally takes a MINUTE everytime to load the game. That's not nice anymore because for what reason??
- Bugs and glitches → I found myself in some boxes occasionally → Nothing gamebreaking.. just annoying
All in all a good game, but you need to be sadistic (especially as a casual) to finish this game 100% because it's actually not fun to do. With more polish, better gameplay and a better difficulty-curve, this could have been as good as the DK series for sure. I really hope the devs are gonna make another game like that but without those flaws.
I finished this to 100% (without the final tonic for doing the impossible lair without the bees - fuck that)
Steam User 8
This is my review after getting every achievement. If you like Rayman Legends and DKC you'll like this.
YLatIL overall is a very very good game. The presentation is great, the gameplay is fun, the hub puzzles are very enjoyable, and the game is just filled with charm and personality. However there are a couple problems that stop the game from being amazing.
1. There aren't many side scrolling sections in the game, but there are a lot of places where the game just makes you wait, either for a platform or cycle or something else. This really ruins the pace of the levels due to how frequent they are and how long you have to wait for some of them. For a game that's supposed to feel really smooth and make you feel like you can just dash and slide your way to the end without stopping this is a pretty big problem.
2. The coins are way too difficult to find and collect. Instead of feeling rewarding, they feel like a chore. Having to go way out of your way to find and collect some of them is just really unfun. They force you to check every wall and corner just in case, which makes every level take much longer than it needs to and just ruins the pace so much.
3. The final level is unnecessarily difficult and long. Even after getting all 48 bees (each bee takes 1 hit for you) it is still very unforgiving and punishing. Thankfully there are checkpoints (I think those were added post-launch) which makes it a bit more reasonable but it's still the least fun part of the game. This is all coming from someone who beat Wings of Vi and felt there that the difficulty was just right.
Steam User 9
I'm so glad that we have a Donkey Kong Alternative game on Steam. I mean, we know that Nintendo won't publish their games on PC which is just a missed opportunity.
Anyway, the gameplay, soundtracks, level design are fantastic. It's also great that you can interact with the level selection. You have a huge map where you can collect tonics and do other stuff.
Total and a message to Playtonic Games:
Thank you so much for releasing this game on Steam. This is the best Donkey Kong Alternative game on PC.
I recommend you to buy the Yooka-Laylee: Buddy Duo Bundle.
I'm looking forward to see a new Yooka-Laylee game. ^^
Maybe a Diddy Kong Racing Clone Game in Yooka-Laylee Style would be great. ^^
Or a Splatoon Clone Game.
Steam User 5
"Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair" flew under the radar of many, given its low-key release. But many consider that it was something of a redemption for Playtonic - the development studio founded by former Rare veterans. After they supposedly fumbled with "Yooka-Laylee" (I say "supposedly" because I'm yet to judge it), "Impossible Lair" showed they still had that Rareware magic.
Of course, "Yooka-Laylee" and "Impossible Lair" are of vastly different genres, with the first taking after "Banjo-Kazooie", and the second being more in tune to their classic "Donkey Kong Country" games. Now, I never played such games: they came before my time, as I started off with the Nintendo 64. I only heard of the "DKC" games on YouTube, so I can't say how well they compare to "Impossible Lair". But I can perfectly judge it for what it is. And I found it to be pretty good... but not without some jank.
The game tries to assimilate several things that are familiar to us while also introducing new ideas. It actually starts on the final level, the titular Impossible Lair. But the level is so mercilessly hard that you're expected to die right from the get-go, like in FromSoftware games. It is then that you're introduced to the main idea of the game: you're supposed to roam the overworld, and find books that will take you to the side-scrolling levels. These levels contain imprisoned bees, and for each bee you liberate, that will be an extra hit you can take in the final level, raising your chances. They'll form a protective shield around you.
There's no need to have anything to open such books, but you still need to collect coins in levels to open new areas in the overworld - which will eventually get so massive that you may get lost on it sometimes, forgetting which path leads to where. You no longer collect "pagies"; instead, they're scattered across the overworld, presenting mini-challenges that unblock new paths.
Every level has an alternative variant: there are things you can do to the books in the overworld that will change levels considerably. One level will be covered with honey, making moving more difficult. Other level will become windier, making platforming more challenging. Levels can be flooded, and even be frozen all over. This means that, in reality, the 20 levels are 40. There will also be bees locked in the overworld, some hidden and some only accessible through secret exits in levels, bringing the total to 48.
Quills are the most common currency in the game, and you can find them in droves. They can open cages in the overworld, buy clues and unlock tonics. Through levels, you'll find these special quills of different colours that can award you many quills at once, like chests. The green one will make you dash for it, like in a "Sonic" game; the purple one will move around vomiting quills before exploding, while the blue one will generate moving quills that you have to grab in order to reveal its prize - keep an eye for those, since they can hide coins. There's also a special award for those who found out all the 200 coins in the game: an extra tonic slot.
Tonics can be of extreme help: they are these perks hidden in the overworld, and once you collect one, you can unlock it right in the menu with quills. Some are incredibly well hidden, while others are fairly easy to collect. There will be these talking signs that, also for quills, can sell you clues to where they are, but some of such "clues" are incredibly useless, and you're better off following walkthroughs. One of the signs even flat out refused to give me the clue, saying I would see it online anyway: it would have been funny if it had been for free. Tonics can be both helpful, prejudicial or neutral; usually, helpful tonics will diminish your quill totals at the end of a level, while prejudicial ones will raise them. Neutral tonics do nothing but cosmetic changes, like modifying the colours or the ratio, but if you want the achievement, you better collect and unlock them all. You equip three tonics (four with the extra slot) at the beginning of each level.
In this game, being hit will make Laylee fly away from Yooka. She'll fly aimlessly, giving you a chance to grab her, but if she flies off, the only way to get her back is to ring these bells you'll find in levels, or respawning at checkpoints. Taking another hit without her means death, but there will be certain perils that can kill both of them in a single hit. Without Laylee, you'll lose many powers such as the ground pound or jumping longer distances - think of how in the old "Mario" games you would lose a power-up by taking damage. This will make certain collectables impossible to get, so many times, when I lost Laylee, I just killed Yooka with the nearest threat, because it made them both respawn at the nearest checkpoint. This is when the jank shows up: the game doesn't allow players to restart from the last checkpoint, but from the start. This may have been a way to avoid players from cheesing the game... but I would still just jump at a pit to have Laylee back.
Checkpoints register not only your progress in that level, but also the quills and coins you collected. If you die before reaching a checkpoint, you'll lose whatever you collected, and you may actually lose a lot of stuff. Of course: there will be tonics that allow you to keep collectables after you die - and you can even keep collecting the same quills over and over again (so much for keeping players of cheesing). There are even tonics that can increase - or decrease - the number of checkpoints. One thing curious is that when you die a lot in a certain area, the checkpoint - which, in the tradition of Rare, is anthropomorphised with big round eyes - will change colours to a golden yellow, and say that you can skip that part if you're struggling. At first, I thought this proved this would be a casual game: "Cuphead" would never compromise that way. But when you feel you did everything there was to do in the overworld and want to come back to the Impossible Lair... you'll feel it.
The Impossible Lair is brutal. "Cuphead" got nothing on it. The game really shifts gears: no tonics are allowed. There are no secrets, no quills, just moving forward. It's a level that demands a lot of attention and precision from players, a lot of fast thinking and even some creativity. In this game, movement has a lot tricks, and you have to know them all if you want to stand a chance. The bees you collected will be there, and it would be incredibly wise to have them all at your disposal: you'll need all the extra hits you can get. There will be moments that are more like puzzles, in which you have to figure out what to do. There's a lot of trial and error, but fortunately, it's not all that hard: the level is divided in four sections, and once you reach the beginning of one, you can pickup from there. Except that you'll start with the number of bees you had when you reached that section, so do as I did: try to replay a section with as less bees lost as you possibly can, so you have some extra safety for the next one. Each section starts with a boss fight, but with enough play, you can predict what the boss will do, and minimise your losses.
"Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair" is a beautiful looking game, with a great soundtrack from four composers - two of them being Rareware icons Dave Wise and Grant Kirkhope. Completing this game entirely took me almost 30 hours, so it's not a walk in the park. For us keyboard players, the game can get a moment to get used to, but I quickly assimilated its commands. And for those of you who are absolutely obstinate, there's a final tonic for beating the Lair without bees - but it's not necessary for achievements.
I think this truly was the first "Donkey Kong Country" game I've ever played. It's a game full of love, care and personality that's most definitely worth a try. But it's a game that requires maximum dedication from players.
Steam User 3
A marked improvement on the original, but with some annoying design choices that will turn off many players.
I really enjoyed the mix of the casual exploration of the top-down overworld and and challenge of the 2D platforming levels. The platforming in particular felt great and while the levels could be a little challenging, they still had plenty of checkpoints. Each level also has 5 hidden collectibles that I enjoyed finding and since they are numbered in the order they appear, it's very reasonable to find any that you missed in subsequent playthroughs of the level without needed to resort to a guide. The overworld was more exploration and puzzle based and offered a great contrast to the platforming levels. I really enjoyed exploring it, though I did have to use a guide to find the last couple of secrets and collectibles that I missed.
Despite the gameplay being incredibly solid, the game still suffers from some dumb design choices. To start out, the main menu is incredibly annoying. You literally have to wait for the publisher and developer logos to SLOWLY play every time you quit to the main menu because they are integrated into the menu itself. You also cannot access the settings from the main menu, so you can't change any of the settings until after you have a game started and have completed the tutorial. A friend also noticed that you can't rebind controller inputs in the game, which is pretty ridiculous. You also discouraged from using many of the gameplay enhancing tonics because they reduce the amount of quills (the currency) you get from the levels, and if you want to 100% the game, you will need a TON of quills. Because of this I just never used most of the tonics in the game.
Probably the biggest flaw of the game is the final level. Simply put, it is an insane difficulty spike from the rest of the game. Despite the developer making it more forgiving in an update, it still took me hours practice and attempts to finally beat it. It's literally 20 minutes of challenging platforming and boss fights with only 48 hp to get you by for the whole level. I know 48 sounds like a lot, but the level is difficult and you will eat through the hp fast without practice and once you die you are kicked out of the level. The developer added the option to load checkpoints with the best number of hitpoints you made it to that point with, but it still took me tons of practice and attempts just to make it from one checkpoint to the next with 10 hits or fewer. To the average player, the final level will feel impossible, and while I KNOW that's literally in the name of the game, the final level will definitely turn off a lot of players who had otherwise enjoyed the game up to that point.
You can get hours of enjoyment from Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair as a casual gamer, but you might have to be comfortable with the fact that you will never be able to actually beat the game.
Steam User 3
One of my favorite games of all time is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Now, since this is Steam and Nintendo still has their heads up their asses about releasing games on PC, I can’t play it without wiping an inch of dust off of my Switch and cussing about not getting achievements or trading cards or being able to play on my preferred device without their legal team staking out my house. Fuck all of that bullshit.
Luckily, we’ve got the next best thing: Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair.
Just like with Donkey Kong Country, this is a tight, challenging 2D platformer full of humor and whimsical characters. Each level is broken up into two “acts” where some kind of monumental environmental change transforms the first act into a whole new level. (Some of my favorites were: flooding the level with water, coating the level in honey, or turning the level on its side.) Each of these changes are toggled on or off in the overworld map – a gameplay feature that surpasses Donkey Kong Country or, hell, even Mario Bros. Between each level, Yooka and Laylee explore an overworld that plays like a Zelda-like. I had a blast exploring mini-dungeons, finding hidden treasure, and solving puzzles. It was the perfect way to cool down after a tough platforming level.
In fact, I had such a blast playing through this one that my complaints are pretty limited. There are glitches here and there. (There was one in particular that keeps Yooka from traveling as intended along conveyor belts. It was a boon at times, sure, but a glitch nonetheless.) There is no way to attempt The Impossible Lair after you've cleared a level in the game without starting a new save file. (After you collect a single Beetallion, it becomes The Not-So-Impossible Lair.) And, there are no boss battles throughout the game, only in the final stage. (I didn't notice this until I was trying to beat the game but it still struck me as odd once I’d noticed it.)
Despite those little issues, this was an outstanding game. If you're a fan of classic, level-based 2D platformers and haven't played this one, you definitely should. I liked it enough that I'm even looking forward to going back and playing the first one, since I missed out the first time around!