Quite a Rare treat: Yooka-Laylee released

Rarelike 3D platformer Yooka-Laylee [official site] is now out, recreating that old N64 style of adventuring – both the good and the bad. It’s bright and cheery and DID YOU KNOW that the game’s title, formed by combining the names of its chameleon and bat protagonists, sounds like “ukulele”? I only spotted that last week. Attentive. Anyway! The Yooka-Laylee team at Playtonic Games included a number of key folks from Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie games and the game’s utterly, proudly going for that sort of thing. See for yourself in the launch trailer:

Pip said in Her Wot I Think:

“It’s a testament to both the enduring appeal of Banjo-Kazooie and the faithful nature of the sequel that at some point I gave up calling it Yooka-Laylee and just started referring to the game as ‘Banjo-Kazoodle’ as I used to when I was younger. You can probably also get a sense for how much Banjo-Kazoodle I played on the N64 and how successfully Yooka-Laylee recreates that mindset by the fact I kept accidentally trying to perform old moves like the Beak Barge and Bill Drill to solve problems. It’s like falling through a dimensional rift and playing an old favourite – familiar but different.”

She dug it, in short. This faithfulness to the ’90s isn’t all good news, as it also brings bad boss battles and other annoying bits. Pip called out camera problems too, though a patch whipped up after review copies went out has supposedly improved that. We didn’t get to see the results of that pre-launch but hey, now it’s out for everyone.

Yooka-Laylee is out for Windows, Mac, and Linux at £34.99/39,99€/$39.99 on Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store.


  1. Seafoam says:

    I really dislike the character design in this game, but then again I dislike all Rare style designs so I guess it’s just matter of taste.
    But still, have you seen Dr. Puzz or Vendi characters in this game? Dear lord whats up with them!

  2. Pazguato says:

    I for one can’t stand Banjo and Kazooie (as designed characters) and I love Yooka and Laylee. They’re charming and cute!

  3. Ur-Quan says:

    As a big Banjo Kazooie fan I was really looking forward to this a lot, but after watching a bunch of Let’s plays and playing the Toybox demo I’m really dissapointed…

    I don’t really know how to explain this but it’s like I expected Banjo Kazooie (2017) but what they actually made is Banjo – Threeie (2002).

  4. SquarePeg says:

    Wow, Yooka-Laylee and Bayonetta all in the same day. The gaming Gods hath smiled down a gift upon our poor wretched souls! The Sexy Brutale looks interesting as well.

  5. henrythefool says:

    Ukulele is pronounced “oo koo lay lay” but I get what they were going for

    • Frank says:

      Not in middle america, it’s not. We pronounce words as we please, for example, pronouncing “president” totally out of concordance with the proper Old French. Heck, we even spell words as we please, to the point that I’ve never seen it spelled otherwise than “ukelele”.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      According to wikipedia (the ultimate and best info source) ukulele is pronounced “ukulele (/juːkəˈleɪliː/ yoo-kə-lay-lee, from Hawaiian: ʻukulele [ˈʔukuˈlɛlɛ] (oo-koo-leh-leh); variant” so I guess it depends on where you’re from.

  6. April March says:

    DID YOU KNOW that the game’s title, formed by combining the names of its chameleon and bat protagonists, sounds like “ukulele”? I only spotted that last week. Attentive.

    I… I hadn’t noticed that until you pointed it out. ?

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      In RPS’ previous article about this game, the first comment also said that they hadn’t realized the wordplay until now. I saw the connection during their kickstarter, because my brain is on 24/7 association/pun/wordplay duty.

  7. ZippyLemon says:

    I myself was nowhere to be seen in the trailer linked.

    More ethics required in games journalism.