Should You Play Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair? Free This Week Only on the Epic Games Store
By: Mr Constantine
The Epic Games Store has had a great start to the year of 2022, with games such as Galactic Civilizations 3 and Daemon x Machina both being decent free offerings from the platform. And as the month of February starts, it seems that Epic isn't stopping. This week, the title that has been made free by Epic Games…is Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair! The game is a charming 2D platformer that might just satisfy players who love Banjo-Kazooie or Donkey Kong Country. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair will be free on the Epic Games Store from the 3th of February until the 10th. So you guys will have about 6 days to bring the game into your library.
If you have never heard of the game before. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a platform video game developed by Playtonic Games and published by Team17 as a spin-off to the original Yooka-Laylee that was created back in 2017. The game is a side-scrolling 2D platform game where you control Yooka, who is a male chameleon, and Laylee, a female bat, to complete various levels. In these levels, the objective is to collect quills and T.W.I.T. coins, as well as to free a member of the Beetalion. For each member of the Beetalion that you save, Yooka and Laylee will get an extra hit point for use on the final level, the "Impossible Lair".
Now let's dive right into the question: should you play Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair in 2022? Well, to answer this question, we have to take a look at the gameplay first. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair features really fun gameplay and the game is really balanced. The game is both challenging and fun at the same time which will really keep you engaged for quite a while. In addition, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair feels like 2 different games combined into one. What is meant by this is that there are the side-scrolling platformers which are similar to the Donkey Kong Country games, but at the same time there is an innovative overworld map that feels like a separate game, similar to top down Zelda games.
However, despite Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair’s gameplay being balanced and innovative. Something that is holding the gameplay back is its slippery controls. According to reviews on steam, many users mentioned that for a 2.5D platformer, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair “has the absolute worst controls” which makes it hard to judge jumps and makes the game feel like a chore to play. Many people have compared the game to Crash Bandicoot saying that it is arguably a lot harder but not frustrating because Crash is a lot easier to control than Yooka. But keep in mind that not everyone will have the same exact experience, other users mentioned that the game is responsive, snappy and quick which means that it all depends on you and what you are used to. I played it for about an hour and although I could definitely feel the stickiness of the controls it did not lessen my enjoyment. This game is super fun to play.
Putting the slippery controls aside, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair feature tonics. The tonic upgrades, despite being completely optional, are actually quite powerful and can help you get through some difficult parts of the game. A tonic can only be unlocked by finding it hidden somewhere across the overworld, often buried or completely hidden, and then purchasing it with quills. They'll do stuff like increase the amount of time Laylee hovers around after being hit before completely leaving, or allow you to keep coins you acquire even if you die and respawn. Or they'll just do something silly like turn the entire level black and white. A lot of players seem to like the idea of tonics in the game and it really makes the gameplay feel more fun than it already is, and unpredictable.
Now aside from gameplay, let's take a look at other aspects of the game. Starting with game art, design and aesthetics, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair has colorful worlds, adorable looking characters, intriguing levels and a great soundtrack. Each and every level is covered with details in the foreground, the level itself, and the background to really give the sense of a living and breathing world. In addition, most of the levels are extremely dense and layered with hidden paths, so it’s fun to revisit them with a goal to fully explore and scavenge for missed items.
Unlike the previous Yooka-Laylee, which suffered from glitchy and unforgiving retro design ideas like insufferable and repetitive backtracking and an over-reliance on irritating collectibles, Playtonic has made some changes in The Impossible Lair where they decreased the amount of collectibles, the number of times you will have to go back to a previous location and modernized the game’s design.
So in conclusion, should you play Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair? Welp, the answer is a YES! I recently played it for the first time and I’m not usually the biggest fan of platfomers (except of-course for that plump little italian plumber) but this game is funny, charming, unique, and I didn’t want to stop playing. If you can stomach the mildly slippery controls – you’ll love it.