Yooka-Laylee – Playtonic Games
It will come as no surprise that this first game has made the list, as it arguably stands on its own pedestal, and that’s Yooka-Laylee. Since the game’s record-breaking Kickstarter success, the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie from ex-Rare devs has been receiving a lot of press, and deservedly so.
After going hands-on for about 15 minutes, the game is incredibly charming and an absolute joy to play. It is a love letter to the mascot-driven platformers of the time, but modernised in a beautiful and colourful 3D world. Yooka and Laylee are immediately likeable thanks to their adorable character designs and witty dialogue. Other characters you meet all have their own personalities and stories to share, providing interesting gameplay opportunities and helpful tips to get you familiar with gameplay mechanics. Cheers trouser wearing snake, appropriately named, Trowzer!
Conquering and traversing different parts of the vibrant world to find one of many collectibles, is both satisfying and enjoyable. It felt like unlocking a gaming muscle memory that hadn’t be flexed in ages. Nostalgia will hit you square in the face almost immediately, and playing the game will quickly feel so familiar. The platforming is expectedly strong and the natural sense of progression as you unlock new delightful transformations and abilities, is gratifying. Yooka-Laylee is the indie game many will shout about, but there are others that shouldn’t be left in the dark, too.