Gameplay is staged by speaking to NPC’s to unlock pseudo missions which involve fetching or unlocking an area to eventually unlock the whole map. Whilst one states its open world, the in game tasks puts gameplay on the rails, which is not a bad thing. Our bullet proof insect protagonist is also the new postie for the island, and he could not have arrived at a worse time.
Let’s get the ball rolling!
Each major area has a series of elegantly disguised pinball tables which blend seamlessly into the game world. In fact, this writer was quite impressed by the level designs and how these pinball elements are woven into a seamless platforming experience. With all this in hand, Yoku’s Island has a habit of making players tread old ground. This means completing pinball elements that have already been slain previously, which gets old pretty fast.
“Slugs, the plague of Posties everywhere!”
The charm of Yoku’s Island does overshadow its one flaw with cell shaded artwork being the front and center of its presentation. This quirky design choice fits in perfectly with the insane premise Yoku’s Island offers. Speaking of quirky, some of the gameplay mechanics are pretty wacky as well. For example, a party blower is used to smash pots and spin pin wheels to collect fruit.
Something fruity is going on here
Fruit is the in game currency, its mostly used to unlock special bumpers which fire players to new areas. There is even upgrades early on in the game to increase your ‘Fruit Wallet’ size, this is imperative for the later game and at the same time are hard to miss. No worries about getting stuck in a rut here.
The soundtrack is reminiscent of platforming titles of old such as Crash Bandicoot, very upbeat but chilled out at the same time. It blends into the games off beat style perfectly. Sound effects are well timed and crystal clear, hats off to the audio engineers over at Vile Gorilla for a job well done.
“beautifully challenging, so much so I’m starving!”
Presentation and Graphics: 4
Overall Score: 4/5
To summarise, Yokus Island Express is a laid back platformer that incorporates a completely different genres mechanic to great effect. Whilst the repetitive sections of the gameplay could do with improvement, there is too much love from this reviewer to let that bother him.
Platforms: Xbox One (Reviewed), Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch and Steam
Release Date: 29/05/2018
Price: £15.99 (Microsoft Store)
Publisher: Team 17
Developer: Vile Gorilla
Pegi Rating: 7+