E3 has drawn to a close and one of the many titles showcased which looks very promising is the second effort by Playtonic which is titled, Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Layer. The 2D platformer was featured during yesterday’s indie focused Treehouse session and the impression given is that this is Playtonic’s stab at a Donkey Kong Country game in 2019. With a number of ex Rare developers it was seen as a great choice. Reset Era member Camjo-Z is clearly a fan and has written a lovely summary of what was shown. Read that and watch the video below.
• The gameplay is VERY Donkey Kong Country, complete with rope swinging, cannons, and lots of banan- er, quills to collect and spend in the shop. The team’s focus is on “fluid” gameplay, so as you get better you can really blast through the levels. There is also a big focus on secrets and hidden things within each level.
• There are two different versions of each of the twenty stages. The alternate version is unlocked by solving a puzzle in the overworld. For example, a level that was very dry in its original state has a flooded version that’s rainy with lots of swimming, and another stage that’s totally horizontal gets turned into a vertical stage that you have to climb up.
• The Impossible Lair is the final level that you have to complete to finish the game, but you can take it on at any time a la Breath of the Wild. The catch is that it’s absurdly hard and four times as long as any other level in the game. The idea is that you progress through the game normally to free a bee at the end of each level, who will then join you and take damage for you in the Impossible Lair, basically acting as an extra hit point… or you can be a masochist and try to beat it with no extra help at all.
• Rather than being collectibles, Pagies in this game take you to short single-screen challenge levels that allow you to progress in the overworld when you beat them.
• The health system is a bit of a mix between Retro’s DKC games and Yoshi’s Island. When you get hit, Laylee starts fluttering off and you have a short time to get her back, and if you don’t reach her in time then you’re stuck playing as only Yooka who has a more limited moveset until you get her back at a Bell (this game’s DK barrel).
• The overworld is considered a “mini adventure game”, has you solving numerous puzzles, and features lots of appearances from NPCs like Vendi, Dr. Puzz, and Rampo who wouldn’t really fit in the 2D platforming levels.