By Tyler Lubben / May 1st, 2015
In a development impressing many, but surprising none, the Kickstarter for Yooka-Laylee, Playtonic Games’s spiritual successor to the N64 classic Banjo-Kazooie, reached its initial funding goal of $270,000 (£175,000) just 38 minutes after it launched this morning at 9:00 PST. With this goal met, Yooka-Laylee will be making its way to Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U once it’s completed, though when it reaches these other systems will depend on the project’s stretch goals.
Reaching this initial goal means that Yooka-Laylee will be available on Windows, Mac and Linux on day one of the game’s release, though home console versions will have to wait till a later date, unless the £1,000,000 (~$1.5 million) stretch goal is met. However, given the sheer amount of cash flowing in from eager fans, it seems meeting all current goals will be a breeze.
It was only just yesterday that we were first introduced to Yooka the Chameleon and Laylee the Bat, the stars of Playtonic’s debut title, but the little that Playtonic has already showed off is incredibly exciting. Yooka-Laylee looks to be every bit the successor to Banjo-Kazooie that it’s being touted as. Players will explore lush environments while dealing with hordes of silly-looking enemies, all while tracking down a variety of collectibles. Key among these are items called “Pagies,” which can be used to expand the game’s different environments, making them larger and more challenging as players move forward.
Players will also be able to utilize different abilities, much like the new team’s bear and bird forebears. It will be possible to use Yooka’s tongue like a grappling hook, as well as a rolling attack to bowl over enemies. Laylee seems to work very much like Kazooie, with the ability to temporarily hover to help the pair cross large gaps. Players will also be able to use special “Play Tonics” (get it?!) to change gameplay to suit their style, giving Yooka and Laylee faster movement speed, stronger attacks or greater airtime.
This all comes on top of some pretty big industry names attached to the project. We already reported back in February that composers Grant Kirkhope, David Wise and Steve Burke would be lending their exceptional talents for the sound side of the game. In addition, veteran Rare employees like character designer Steve Mayles, director Chris Sutherland and environment artist Steven Hurst are on staff to help recapture the magic from those classic games.
At the time of this writing, Yooka-Layleehas amassed well over $950,000 in funds, but I expect even this will pale to the final figure before too long. With 46 days still to go on the project, the sky’s the limit when it comes to lovers of classic 3D platformers. Heck, Playtonic may have to think up some more stretch goals if things keep building up at this rate! If you want to get caught up in the hype, check out the game’s Kickstarter page and peruse the many rewards on display.