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Harkening back to the days when platforming games were king, Yooka-Laylee has arrived to remind gamers what the glory days of the mascot-driven adventure was all about. It’s on Kickstarter, it’s already blown past its first handful of goals, and it also happens to be the spiritual successor to an old-school genre great, Banjo-Kazooie.
A while back, a bunch of former Rare crew and like-minded developers over at Playtonic announced that they were working on a new game code-named “Project Ukulele.” They recently pulled back the curtain on this mystery title, revealing a game boasting another duo of characters, as well as a title, similar to Banjo-Kazooie. Fans were eager to respond, almost immediately funding Yooka-Laylee and pushing the game quickly through its long list of stretch goals.
You can check out the full rundown over on Kickstarter but, within hours of its launch, Yooka-Laylee breezed past its initial funding goal of $270,041 and, as of this writing, has catapulted over the $1 million mark.
If you grew up playing games in the ‘90s, chances are pretty good that you remember a time when platforming games were all the rage. From Mario to Sonic, Crash Bandicoot to about a dozen other critters that weren’t quite as popular, gamers couldn’t seem to get enough of these types of lighthearted adventures. The genre eventually evolved to include tag-team partners, including characters like Banjo and Kazooie, Jak and Daxter, and Ratchet and Clank.
The genre began to fizzle in popularity, but it looks like fans were ready for a revival, as folks appear eager as ever to jump, roll, glide and bash their way through colorful worlds once Yooka-Laylee finally drops.
This new team was thought up by character artist Steve Mayles, who just so happens to be the mind behind Banjo and Kazooie. While the previous duo was a bear and a bird, this latest team features an adorable bat and a chameleon. As for what we can expect out of the final game, Playtonic says to expect big things.
“You told us you wanted Yooka-Laylee to be the best came it could possibly be,” reads the official announcement. “You said you wanted sprawling, gorgeous worlds to explore, tons of smartarse characters to meet and inventive moves to learn...and you wanted to do it all on your gaming platform of choice.”
And that, of course, is the plan, as the developer aims to bring the game to consoles and PC. The next stretch goal will add a 2-4 player local multiplayer versus mode, with remaining goals set to add additional languages, more multiplayer games, as well as day-one launch on Wii U, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 alongside PC, Mac and Linux. With a whopping 46 days left to go in the funding campaign, I'm willing to bet Playtonic is feeling pretty comfortable about hitting all of those benchmarks.