Yooka-Laylee Review Roundup

What do critics think of the much-anticipated Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor?


Yooka-Laylee, the 3D platformer from Playtonic Games, is now just a week away from its April 11 launch.

The much-anticipated platformer was backed to the tune of over $3 million during its Kickstarter campaign, at least in part due to it being a spiritual successor to Rare's Banjo-Kazooie series. In fact, many of the people behind Yooka-Laylee worked on those Rare titles, and that angle is not one Playtonic shies away from: the game's crowdfunding page claimed the project would be a "3D platformer Rare-vival."

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Now Playing: Yooka-Laylee Video Review

With its launch now so close, reviews have begun to emerge. In GameSpot's review, critic Kallie Plagge said the game's likeness to its ancestors is both a blessing and a curse: "Its style of gameplay is still outdated," she wrote, "[But] it's worthy of the title of spiritual successor." Check out our full Yooka-Laylee review for more.

For a selection of other critics' opinions, check out the roundup below--or for a wider view on critical opinion, you can take a look at GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Yooka-Laylee
  • Developer: Playtonic Games
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release: April 11 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC; "2017" on Nintendo Switch
  • Price: US $40 / £29 / AU $60

GameSpot -- 6/10

"Ultimately, Yooka-Laylee's best and worst aspects come directly from its predecessor. Despite attempts at modernizing the formula, its style of gameplay is still outdated, and it doesn't stay challenging or interesting for long as a result. But if you're looking for a faithful return to the Banjo-Kazooie formula, Yooka-Laylee certainly delivers--from the font to the music to the wealth of collectibles, it's worthy of the title of spiritual successor." -- Kallie Plagge [Full review]

IGN -- 7.0/10

"Yooka-Laylee contains all the pieces needed for a fun, enjoyable throwback to the 3D collectathons of the 64-bit era. The characters are charming and funny, your set of abilities is vast and entertaining, and four out of five of the worlds are fun playgrounds to explore. While it lacks the heart and polish of some of its incredible predecessors, it's a good reminder that this genre, once thought to be dead, still has some life left in it." -- Marty Sliva [Full review]

The Guardian -- 4/5

"What the game loses by not having had a Rare/Nintendo-sized QA department to smooth its rough edges it compensates for with a princely pile of ideas, and a lovely control scheme that only improves with elaboration. Younger players may be less willing to forgive its anachronisms but for its target audience, those ageing mourners of a lost fashion in games, it's a promise that’s proven worthy of backing." -- Simon Parkin [Full review]

Polygon -- 5.5/10

"Yooka-Laylee looks the part of an updated platformer, but some of its mechanics should have stayed back in the era it came from. There was a reason we haven't seen more games like Banjo Kazooie on modern platforms, and it wasn't just because Rare as we knew it was gone; its ideas were very specific to a gameplay era that we've evolved past. Fourth-wall breaking dialog, shiny characters and lush graphics can't save Yooka-Laylee from the dated framework that it's built on." -- Chelsea Stark [Full review]

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