Update: This demo was actually released on PC in early July, but only came to my attention when publishers Team17 made an announcement around the demo’s launch on more consoles today. Shame on me. Still! If I missed it back then, maybe you did too?
Apparently done with our Graham’s long-running promise to review Yoku’s Island Express, developers Villa Gorilla today released a free demo for their, ahem, “open-world metroidvania pinball platform adventure game” so we can all try it for ourselves. That official description may be odd but it’s not inaccurate. Yoku’s Island Express is a platformer where we play an insect postman tethered to a giant ball, moving across the open world and completing quests mostly by boinging around little interconnected pinball puzzles. It’s a real cutie too, with a nice look and laid-back vibe. As you can now try for yourself.
The demo is out now on Steam. It only took me 15-ish minutes to complete, but I now feel I understand quite what it is – and am glad that I do. Very pleasant. I want to buy it and discover where it goes next, which I suppose means the demo has served its purpose.
Matthew nominated it as one of the best games of 2018 so far, saying:
“Like a great pinball game it gives you the satisfaction of nailing those precision hits and lighting up icons until new, exciting table elements burst into life. But instead of asking you to pour hours into perfecting one, complex play area (something pinball fans love, but certainly isn’t for everyone), it whisks you to a new micro-table for a change of scenery and challenge. It’s pinball for the impatient, and platforming for the lazy. If you fit either category, you’ll probably dig this.”
He also made this here video showing the game off, if you need further temptation to justify a 628.7MB download:
If you dig the demo and want Yoku’s Island Express in full, it’ll run you £16/€20/$20 on Steam.