Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Platformer
Developer: Playtonic Games
Publisher: Team17
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Tested on: PS4

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair – Review

Site Score
Good: Design, Mechanics
Bad: No real story evolution, No real character progression
User Score
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (4 votes cast)

Back in 2017, we got connected with the spiritual successor of the Banjo-Kazooie series, Yooka-Laylee. This series introduced a new dynamic duo that consists out of a lizard and a bat, who put their skills together to save the world from Capital B. The game proved to be a great success and was also well received by critics and gamers alike. Now, the second installment of Yooka-Laylee will hit the shelves, but this game isn’t really a pre- or sequel. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a 2D platformer instead of following the 3D adventure platforming format of the first game. You’ll once again have to fend of Capital B, but this game adds a twist to the gameplay. You can already try your hand at beating the game from the very first minute, but it’s advised to go through the other levels first as these will give you more protection in the final levels.+


Even though this game doesn’t really serve as a sequel to the original game, we can state that Capital B is back and he’s up to no good. He has entrapped all the bees in the kingdom and he wants to use them for his own personal gain. This is where Yooka and Laylee step in to save all the bees, who will ultimately provide them with extra protection when battling Capital B in his impossible lair. This is pretty much all there is to the story. Unlike the original game, there is no real story progression in-between the completed chapters. You’ll have to make do with an intro and an outro.


The first Yooka-Laylee was somewhat of a colorful bliss that reminded us of a very polished Banjo-Kazooie game. This title is more of the same, albeit with fewer exploration options as the first game. The different levels all have different themes, which makes the game interesting to look at and play through. Everything looks clear and crisp and it’s once again fun to see what the rest of the game has in store for us. The game also has a few ‘Tonics’ you can unlock, which also alter the visuals of the game. This can be quite fun to mess around with and to see how our brand-new protagonists could have looked with some retro spectacles on.


The music design of Yooka-Laylee has been handled in an extremely pleasant fashion. Each of the levels has its upbeat or fitting background track, while the overworld is very tranquil, making sure this portion of the game doesn’t get annoying. There is no real voice acting present, but every character does have its own mumble-speak, which is also something pleasant.


Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a 2D adventure platformer with a twist. The game allows you, right off the bat, to dive into the last level in order to beat the game. That being said, the last level is immensely long, has more than enough traps and is sure to kill you many times before you’re able to reach the end, if you’re able to do it without all the ‘power-ups’ the normal levels give you. When you opt to play the regular levels, you can collect bees, who will allow you to get hit once per bee during the last level. Overall the concept is very clear, but those seeking a real challenge will get presented with one, mere moments after the game is booted.

Unlike the first game, you’ll be confined to fairly small 2D levels and a 3D overworld viewed from an isometric point of view. In this title, you won’t be able to learn flashy new moves, as you did in the original, but you can collect Tonics, which serve as modifiers/mutators for the gameplay. These tonics can vary from putting a few filters on the game, making everything look pixilated or retro, to having more time to recover your partner, to earning more Quills to eventually buy more Tonics. The concept is fun, but it doesn’t really add the same goal of evolving the duo you play with, as they already have a ‘full’ move-set from the start.

The game does an effort to provide you with many different levels to collect bees. That being said, you’ll often find yourself playing the same levels again, albeit with different conditions due to what happened on the overworld. Some levels will be turned into water levels, others will have sticky goo covering the surfaces, while others have windy conditions when you play them the second time. This is certainly interesting and it creates a diversity with minimal resources, but it also makes the game a bit less interesting.


Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is the second successful iteration of the Yooka-Laylee franchise albeit a bit less well-crafted than the first game. The original title had a bit more flair, more options and a bigger sense of wonder than this 2D spin-off, that has a flimsy storyline, somewhat short levels, no real move upgrades and so on. Nonetheless, if you love the characters, the first game, and platformers, this game is still very much worth looking into.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (4 votes cast)
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Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

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