A lot of really strong games released in 2019, but one of the industry's most underrated titles might be Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair. A spin-off of 2017's Yooka-Laylee, the game saw Playtonic's chameleon and bat switch from the previous game's 3D platforming to a 2D adventure inspired by Rare's Donkey Kong Country titles, as well as earlier games in the Legend of Zelda franchise. The combination might sound a bit bizarre, but critics were impressed by how it all worked out. For those who haven't yet taken the plunge, Playtonic announced an upcoming demo for the game, available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam.
In Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, Playtonic's duo find themselves in a top-down overworld inspired by 2D Zelda games. As they unlock more areas on the map, more platforming stages are uncovered. The platforming gameplay feels quite similar to Donkey Kong Country, with a dash of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island for good measure. The game has a difficulty level on par with a lot of other recent 2D platformers, but with the number of save points available, and the Zelda-inspired gameplay elements to break things up, the title never feels too frustrating.
Thankfully, the demo for Impossible Lair will follow the recent trend of demos that allow saved progress to be transferred, should the game be purchased. Dragon Quest Builders 2 and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX are just two titles that recently offered this feature, and it's a smart way to get players to give demos a chance without making them repeat their actions if they buy the full game.
Good news! A free demo of Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is on the way!
Steam: 23rd Jan
PS4/Nintendo Switch: 30th Jan
If you're a try before you buy kinda guy (or gal/pal), this is a great opportunity for you to get stuck in! pic.twitter.com/SVB0tIVdRa— Playtonic (@PlaytonicGames) January 20, 2020
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair represents an interesting change for Playtonic. The developer was created by former employees of Rare and, as such, their first project was a "spiritual successor" to Banjo-Kazooie, a franchise that has fallen a bit by the wayside, over the years. While a more traditional sequel to the first Yooka-Laylee seems to be in the works, the developer's latest game shows that the characters have a bit more versatility to them, and could live on in a number of different forms. Perhaps fans will prefer Yooka-Laylee in 2D, versus the 3D platforming format. Regardless, Playtonic is doing an impressive job producing the kind of endearing content that made Rare a hit back in the 90s.
The demo will be available January 23rd on Steam, the 30th on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch and a date to be determined on Xbox. Have you checked out the Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair? Do you plan on checking out the game's demo? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!
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