Yooka-Laylee is a platform video game developed by Playtonic Games and published by Team17 for Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It was originally also in development for Wii U, but was later cancelled in favor of the Switch version due to "unforeseen technical issues".
Yooka-Laylee was developed by Playtonic Games, a group of several former key personnel from Rare during the Nintendo 64 era, as a spiritual successor to their game series Banjo-Kazooie and other works. Among them, Banjo-Kazooie staff Chris Sutherland, Steve Mayles, Steven Hurst, and Grant Kirkhope reprised their respective roles. Similar to the title of Banjo-Kazooie being a play on the banjo and kazoo musical instruments, the title of Yooka-Laylee is a play on the ukulele.
Gameplay bears resemblance to Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel, Banjo-Tooie, featuring items and characters that play similar roles to those found in these games. One player controls two characters working together simultaneously, a male chameleon named Yooka, who is being described as "sensible", and likewise controls a female bat named Laylee, who is being described as "a little bit crazy". The game is intended as a resurrection and modernization of the "collectathon" 3D platforming game genre of the late 1990s and early 2000s, with an emphasis on progression by collecting various different items. During their adventures, Yooka and Laylee explore worlds contained within magical books and complete challenges to collect "Pagies": golden book pages that act as the main currency in the game. Players can use their Pagies to either unlock new worlds or expand those which have already been unlocked.
The characters' abilities include "sonar blasting", "tongue whipping", "sky soaring", eating berries for temporary powers such as fire breath, and a "fart bubble" for breathing underwater. Most of these abilities use a power meter that is filled by collecting butterflies (which can be eaten instead to restore health). Butterflies are earned by collecting enough quills to purchase them from Trowzer, a snake salesman who wears pants. Atoms known as Mollycools are used in order help an octopus-like scientist named Dr. Puzz give Yooka and Laylee various transformations that grant them exclusive abilities. Play Tonics are RPG-style ability modifiers that are purchased from Vendi, a living vending machine, and equipped to modify or enhance players' ability stats. Also found in the levels are Ghost Writers, collectible characters who provide various challenges like catching or fighting them for more activities, and Play Tokens, which are used to play the secret arcade games that are found once per level, hosted by a low polygon T. rex named Rextro Sixtyfourus, a homage to the Nintendo 64. There is a "quiz show challenge" featured before the final boss, similar to the Banjo-Kazooie games. Furthermore, 2D and 3D "mine cart" sequences are also included, similar to those of Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong 64.
The game features a local cooperative multiplayer mode for two players. There is also a 2–4 player adversarial local multiplayer mode, with eight different minigames.
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