This is Yooka-Laylee’s ToyBox+. The alpha is available to backers of Playtonic’s Kickstarter campaign that paid $20 or more only on PC. It was built from the ground up as a no-spoiler exploration into what the full release will entail.
Yooka-Laylee is the spiritual successor to the Nintendo64’s Banjo-Kazooie. The bird and bear combo was a much beloved series of my childhood, so backing Playtonic’s Kickstarter was a no-brainer. Playtonic consists of devs who worked at Rare and also helped build and shape the world of Banjo-Kazooie.
They came together and created Yooka-Laylee. The name, which is much like Banjo-Kazooie, is a play on the instrument. Playing through the alpha, the moment you hear the music, the nostalgia will come back full force. Do the tunes sound familiar?
They should. Playtonic was able to bring back Grant Kirkhope (Viva Pinata, 007 Goldeneye) who was the talent behind Banjo-Kazooie’s original score.
The ToyBox+ edition of the alpha features combat and a whole new area to explore. The alpha is also quite expansive once you get past the barrier set by the little robot. He accompanies you on your journey throughout the alpha, giving you tips, hints and quips about the game, the devs and the environment.
This alpha has you controlling Yooka-Laylee and getting a feel for what the game will encompass. The character control is familiar in that I instinctively knew which buttons to press. You’re to pick up 100 Quills that are spread out throughout the level. The trademark inanimate objects speaking is very prevalent and brought back memories.
Objects and creatures have their own distinctive gibberish sounding voice as they ‘speak’ to your characters.
The level has jumps, slides, water, air, button mashing and other aspects that the final release will entail. There are also instances where you get to see particles, enemy animations as well as the types of terrains you will encounter in-game.
These neat scenarios are placed around the level and give you a peek into what’s to come.
Once you collect all the Quills, you’re directed to find one more secret. And in Banjo-Kazooie fashion, are told next to nothing and given but a slight hint. You are left to your devices in order to find it. If you managed to find the secret, you’ll be rewarded in the final release.
Yooka-Laylee is a blast from the past and if you’re a fan of Banjo-Kazooie, you’ll feel right at home. Yooka-Laylee’s campaign was massively successful and will release across all platforms Q1 of 2017. Be on the lookout for this Chameleon-Bat duo next year!
Curious about the ToyBox+ Alpha? Check out my playthrough here:
[Alpha] Banjo-Kazooie’s Spiritual Successor: Yooka-Laylee’s ToyBox+
Stay in the Know, Gamers,