Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair – Looking Both Back and Forward

Ex-Rare developers newest release lives up to it's predecessor.


Photo Courtesy of Playtonic Games

Video from Nintendo YouTube channel

Jackson Clayton, Reporter

Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a spiritual successor to the Donkey Kong Country series. It’s development team, is made up of ex-Rare developers who created many popular retro games including the aforementioned Donkey Kong Country and Banjo Kazooie series.

But unlike the first game, which was a somewhat-lackluster spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie series, this game goes above and beyond its predecessor from its tight platforming, amazing music, crisp level design, and quality of life improvements.

It fixes many problems seen in the Donkey Kong Country series including it’s incredibly difficult level design. If the player ever has trouble completing a part of a level, they have the ability to skip it and go to the next part with no punishment. The game both looks beautiful and runs surprisingly well, with vibrant cartoon y characters and well-lit environments. It’s music comes from Grant Kirkhope, the composer for the Donkey Kong Country soundtrack which includes many musical allusions to his previous work.

The game includes several original concepts that differentiate it from it’s competition without making it worse. The final level and the game’s namesake, the impossible lair, is accessible from the start of the game and can be attempted whenever the player wants, but unlocking more Royal Bee Guards unlocks extra health to finish the lair. In between each level is a large hub world filled with secrets. In this hub, there are puzzles that can give you have the ability to change each level (represented by books) by doing things like pulling a switch to make change the direction of a river and flood a level. 

Its most annoying feature is it’s “Paywalls”. Instead of a linear- level unlocking system, it requires you to collect enough hidden quills found in each level to proceed to the next world. This slows down the pace of the game and stops the player in their tracks from proceeding.

Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Layer is a fresh platforming experience that can be enjoyed by old and new fans of the genre. It’s level design can be difficult but still fair and enjoyable. Because of this, Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Layer gets a 4.7/5.

Have you played Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair?

No, and I don’t expect to try it
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