You remember Rare LTD don’t you? If you grew up playing video games chances are good you’ve played at least a few of their games. Some of their most popular games came while Rare was a second party developer for Nintendo in the N64 days. Gems like Donkey Kong Country, Goldeneye, Banjo Kazooie, and Conker’s Bad Fur Day provided gamers with hours of entertainment, and unique original characters. Banjo Kazooie in particular stands out as one of the top entrants in the “buddy platformer” genre.
Now, several former Rare employees have formed a new studio – Playtonic Games – and their first project is a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie called Yooka-Laylee. The team behind Yooka-Laylee has some pretty impressive credentials. Resume’s of the team include character design, programming, voice acting, world and environment design, and programming of some of Rare’s most popular games. They’re bringing their years of experience to create a project near and dear to their hearts. In fact they’ve claimed that even without Kickstarter, Yooka-Laylee would be released at some point as they’ve self-funded quite a bit already. They chose to turn to Kickstarter in order to help the game grow bigger and provide a wider initial release than they would have been able to pull off on their own.
Now, many Kickstarter campaigns have to promote like crazy and many don’t even hit their goal after their funding period has expired. Yooka-Laylee and Playtonic Games won’t have to worry about that. In just over a day of funding, Playtonic Games have already smashed through their £175,000 goal and as of this writing currently have just under £1,300,000 pledged from over 37,000 backers. According to IGN they are the fastest video game to hit $1 million on Kickstarter. Suffice to say that people are excited for Yooka-Laylee. In fact, all of the originally announced stretch goals have already been hit and new goals are starting to get announced. To state the blatantly obvious, it’s done pretty well already.
But what is Yooka-Laylee? If you’ve played Banjo Kazooie you’re probably already pretty familiar with some of the general mechanics of the game. There are two main characters: Yooka, a chameleon, and Laylee, his bat friend. They work together to make their way through a series of levels filled with wacky characters, loot to collect, and secrets to explore. Each character has their own special abilities which will help get both characters through the obstacles that they’ll face.
The art style has the signature bright colors and vibrant environments we’ve seen in the games on which Yooka-Laylee is based. The graphics and character abilities are obviously cartoonish and exaggerated, but the developers have stated that they’d like their main characters to have at least some basis in reality.
Honestly, if you’ve played any of the classic games in the first few paragraphs you’ve probably already bailed on this article and have made your way over to the Kickstarter page. Trust me, I wouldn’t blame you. Even in its early stages, Yooka-Laylee already looks like a winner. The talent working on the game have the sort of track record that leads me to believe that they’ll release a high quality product. So what are you waiting for? You can check out the Kickstarter video below, then head on over to the source link if you’d like to help Yooka-Laylee become the best buddy platformer it can be.Source: Kickstarter