After a handful of delays and compatibility issues, Nintendo fans will finally get their hands on Playtonic’s Banjo-Kazooie successor in two weeks.
Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee is one of Kickstarter’s most successful game-related projects of all time, exceeding its funding goal of £175,000/$235,767 roughly 40 minutes after the crowdfunding campaign’s launch. Conceived by former developers of Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Yooka-Laylee is a throwback to the classic 3D-platforming “Collect-a-thons” of the 90’s; players guide the chameleon-and-bird duo through several whimsical environments, each with its own variety of bizarre inhabitants and progression-based collectibles. Aside from the obvious naming convention, conjoined protagonists and an abundance of googly-eyed creatures and inanimate objects, Yooka-Laylee borrows other elements from Banjo-Kazooie including the transformation mechanic, but leans towards more ridiculous mechanical forms- say, a snowplow, ship and even an assault-helicopter.
Yooka-Laylee was originally expected to release for the Wii U alongside its PC, Xbox One and PS4 counterparts, however the previous Nintendo version was canceled in favor of a Nintendo Switch edition. The PC and other console versions suffered their own delays, but eventually hit digital and physical marketplaces earlier this year; the Nintendo Switch version was nowhere to be seen, due to compatibility and optimization issues regarding the Unity engine and Nintendo’s new gaming platform. Fortunately, with the help of both Nintendo and Unity developers, Playtonic held true to their 2017 release window promise from February, as Yooka-Laylee has been finalized for a December release on the Switch. Set to release in just under two weeks, the Nintendo Switch version will include all updates from the other console and PC releases, all eight multiplayer modes, and a custom in-game Achievement system. Yooka-Laylee will support all Nintendo Switch play modes (i.e. TV, Tablet, Tabletop, Single Joy-Con, Pro Controller), and allow for local multiplayer with multiple Joy-Cons.
Yooka-Laylee will release for the Nintendo Switch on 12/14.