And now for something completely different! Personally I'm a big fan of the Metroidvania genre, and will go out of my way to get them when they show up in new bundles. Like UnEpic or even Hollow Knight for example, but we may have to cover those in another review later.
Yoku's island express is a metroidvania unlike ANY other you've ever played. It has all the classic metroidvania elements, but mixes it's gameplay with Pinball. Yes, Pinball. My curiosity was honestly tickled when I read that. Available on Nintendo, Playstation and PC. Overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam.
Bounce left and right
So, about that pinball mechanic. Your character "yoku" as you may have guessed is a little beetle that pushes around a big ball. You can walk left, you can walk right - and later swim. But, this critter does not jump. Instead you use the island's many pinball paddles to get kicked and rolled around all over the place. It may sound harsh, and often times it most certainly is, but the mechanic is refreshing and quite unexpected.
The publisher is Team17, which was another surprise. For anyone who has not heard of them before, they're known for games such as Worms and Alien Breed. More they've also published games such as My time at portia, and Overcooked. In short, they're a publisher that goes back many years. Before EA was even a thing.
It's a big island with many inhabitants and you've just arrived to take up the position of mailman. Or, mailbug in this case. The game is pretty casual, you can't actually get killed, and there are no special achievements for not letting the ball get lost too many times. There's a lot of items to find, and hidden items to discover. Much like any good metroidvania.
In Yoku's you'll find an entertaining game with lots of charm and a decent few hours of gameplay. The replayability isn't huge, but it's a great game to share with your younger family members. Some of the moves can be challenging, but a few tries is usually all it takes - and there's no time limit.
Yoku's island express is a colorful game about exploration, adventure, and full of charm. Put this on your wishlist if you enjoy either pinball, metroidvanias or both. The game features a charming soundtrack and many friends to discover along your journey on this magical island.
Release date: 29 May, 2018
Minimum system requirements: 64 bit cpu and OS, windows 7 or higher, Intel i3-2100 at 3GHz, 4 GB ram, Nvidia GeForce GT 630 1 GB or AMD Radeon 7770 1 GB or Intel HD 530, DirectX 10 or up, 3 GB available hard disk space.