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Banjo-Kazooie Spiritual Successor Officially Revealed

Yooka-Laylee is the next project from a group of former Rare developers who worked on the Nintendo 64 classic.


Say hello to Yooka-Laylee.

That's the name of the spiritual successor to Rare's beloved N64 platformer Banjo-Kazooie, currently in development at UK-based developer Playtonic Games. It was formerly known as Project Ukulele.

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Some of the core creative team that worked on Banjo-Kazooie at Rare are now building Yooka-Laylee, including character artist Steve Mayles. He created the designs for Banjo and Kazooie, and says on the game's website that Yooka and Laylee--the heroes--are his "most inventive protagonists yet."

Yooka is the chameleon and Laylee is the bat. According to IGN, Yooka can use his lizard tongue like a grappling hook, while Laylee can pick Yooka up and fly with him, but not for very long. This cooperative gameplay dynamic is quite similar to Banjo-Kazooie, where Banjo (a bear) and Kazooie (a bird) worked together to move through levels and solve puzzles using their unique attributes.

Playtonic is bypassing a traditional publisher relationship for Yooka-Laylee, and will launch a Kickstarter campaign for the game tomorrow, May 1. Backers will be able to buy the game for $15, and Playtonic is planning to offer a number of extras for people who kick in more, including soundtracks and art books, as well as a "64-bit" special version of the game.

If the Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter is successful (a funding target will be revealed tomorrow) the game will be released for PC and Mac, as well as Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U. However, it's possible that not all versions will be released at the same time, as timing will depend on the success of the Kickstarter.

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