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If any of this looks familiar, it's supposed to.note 

Yooka-Laylee (previously called Project Ukulele) is a 3D Platformer from the creators of such games as Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie, who have since left Rare and have formed their own company called Playtonic Games. Released on April 11, 2017 for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 and later on the Nintendo Switch on December 14, 2017. A Wii U version was originally planned but scrapped in December of 2016 when the Switch port was announced.

Similarly to Banjo-Kazooie, you play as a duo of anthropomorphic animal buddies. Yooka, a chameleon, and Laylee, a bat. The game is notable in that its collectible Plot Coupon, Pagies, can not only be used to unlock more worlds and thus reach the Final Boss, but also expand the world, making them bigger and adding challenges, which in turn grants access to more collectibles, including other Pagies.

A Kickstarter campaign was launched on 1 May 2015 (with funding far exceeded on the same day) and ended at midnight London time on 17 June 2015 for a (not including PayPal) total of £2,090,084. A teaser Vine can be seen here.

The official website for Playtonic Games is here.


Tropes relating to this game include:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Most worlds' names, as well as Capital B's Boss Subtitles.
  • Adventure Duo: Yooka and Laylee.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Collect all 145 pagies, which means also collecting all 1010 quills, rewards you with some blue "pants" that are purely cosmetic.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Kartos the mine cart is one, which makes the game even more Rare-Like. Others include Planker the sign post, Ollie the shopping cart, and Nimbo the cloud.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you manage to beat Captial Cashinos' minecart section but die to the boss immediately afterwards, the game will let you start off there instead of forcing you to play the entire section again.
    • One of the tonics makes it so being around a collectable or powerup causes a whistling noise, which gets louder the closer you get. It even works if it's not visible and requires a different path.
    • Accessing the final boss merely requires collecting 100 Pagies over the course of the game, rather than spending a set number at once. This exception is likely to prevent the player from not having enough Pagies to unlock or expand every world.
  • Area of Effect: Laylee's "Sonic 'Splosion" ability hits enemies in a moderately wide radius around the duo. It doesn't use much of the Power Meter, but it does have a a significant charge-up time that leaves them vulnerable. Even so, if used carefully, it can be more effective at taking out groups of enemies than regular attacks.
  • Bee Afraid: The Big Bad, Capital B, is a giant bee.
  • Big Bad: Capital B.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In an interview with Steve Mayles, he revealed why Yooka and Laylee are named after the ukelele (in addition to the Theme Naming with Banjo-Kazooie). According to a Hawaiian dictionary, "uku" means "a small brained person" and "lele" means "to fly" or "to get off a vehicle".
  • Black Comedy: How do you initiate Galleon Galaxy's boss fight? By accidentally blowing up an old sentient moon, causing his angry planet widow to seek revenge.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Moodymaze Marsh which is an Expy of the Trope Namer in Banjo-Kazooie.
  • The Cameo: Shovel Knight appears as an NPC.
  • Camera Screw: Unfortunately, it wouldn't be a true Genre Throwback to the old Nintendo 64 days without an antiquated camera that repeatedly fails to provide the best angle for your platforming, which was a frequent subject of criticism in the game's reviews. In response to the criticism, a patch was released with an option to entirely disable the camera's dubious attempts to automatically keep itself pointed in the right direction in favor of purely manual camera control.
  • Casino Park: Capital Cashino.
  • Character Customization: Play Tonics can be collected and used to enhance the duo's skills in any way the player desires.
  • Check-Point Starvation: Zig-zagged. If the duo die or fall into a bottomless pit, they will respawn back at the last entrance/exit they came from. While this is helpful in certain areas and spots, it's far less helpful in long and challenging platforming sections, especially if you were almost extremely close to getting past that section.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Capital B, the game's Big Bad.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Laylee according to the Kickstarter page. Given that she's an Expy of Kazooie (as mentioned below), it's not all that surprising.
  • Deus ex Machina: Blasto showing up out of nowhere after the Capital B boss fight.
  • Downloadable Content: The £2M stretch goal was free DLC for all the backers. The Kickstarter campaign reached that amount on its final day.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Rextro Sixtyfourus, the polygonal Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Expansion Pack World: A literal case, the player can use Pagies to expand preexisting worlds.
  • Expy:
    • Yooka appears to be one for Banjo while Laylee appears to be one for Kazooie.
    • Pagies for Jiggies.
    • Trowzer for Bottles the mole.
    • The Ghost Writers play the same role that Jinjos played. Appearance-wise they greatly resemble the ghosts of Luigi's Mansion.
    • Capital B. and Dr. Puzz are taking the roles of Gruntilda and Mumbo Jumbo, respectively.
    • The Mollycools fulfill the same role as the Mumbo Tokens and Glowbos from Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie, being the item needed to activate the transformations.
  • Fantastic Racism: The flowers in the first world refuse to talk to Yooka and Laylee until they turn into a flower.
  • Fartillery: The Kickstarter page mentioned there may or may not be a move involving a "giant fart bubble", which was ultimately revealed in the Gamescom 2016 trailer. The move sees Yooka farting out an air-tight bubble that fully envelopes himself and Laylee, and gives the duo access to their on-land moveset underwater.
  • Floating Continent: A few bits and pieces of their world appears to be floating.
  • Follow the Money: Quills are often used to direct the player, at one point the pair accidentally stumble into an employee's only area with the excuse that they were just following the Quills.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • Trowzers Worldwide Incredible Traders Co. Ltd.
    • Amazing Rextro's Software Entertainment.
    • Trowzer's Really Ace Software Handbook.
  • Gag Nose: Laylee, whose nose would make most clowns jealous.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Galleon Galaxy is a pirate ship level set in an ocean of space.
  • Genre Throwback: While 3D Platformers have been around in recent years, this is one of the first straight examples of a 'Collect-A-Thon' 3D Platformer since the N64 / PS1 days.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • A snake that wears pants named "Trowzer", coiled through both pant legs? Yup, this game is Rare pedigree after all.
    • Not to mention the main antagonist's name "Capital B" reminds one of a certain phrase, considering that the villain he's based on is a Wicked Witch.
    • Yooka and Laylee's "adopted home" is called "Bat Ship Crazy", one letter off from "Batshit Crazy".
    • The name of Rextro's company that produces his retro arcade games if you shorten it to just the acronym.note 
    • Mr. Duke doesn't want to give up his Pagie, because he needs it for when "nature calls". That is, toilet paper.
    • Nimbo just really wants you to get him to pee. With stimulation.
    • To say nothing of the way Nimbo presents you with your Pagie. He's literally giving you a golden shower.
    • Mr. Blowy's job is blowing. Beats cleaning the streets.
    • The giant Corplet statues in Capital Cashino hold the fire hose and the vase next to their crotch, which looks like they are holding it like a penis. In addition, the vase and the fire hose is expelling water.
    • One of Brrreeze Blok's lines is "You two are a right pain in the icicles!"
    • One of the slot machines in Capital Cashino laments that Capital B. was threatening to turn him into a vending machine, "and not the kind that sells food."
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While Capital B is the Big Bad, he's still subservient to a group of board members headed by the company's chairman of the board.
  • Ground Pound: One of the earliest skills Yooka can learn is slamming into the ground after jumping.
  • Guide Dang It!: Some of the pagies can be really tricky to get. One common thing people get stuck on the Hot Tub Puzzle in Glitterglazier: The hot tub complains about not having any bubbles and that he has a gas problem. There's nothing in the room, nothing related to him in the palace inside that one room, and the ability to create a giant bubble inside the hot tub does nothing either. What you're supposed to do is only half press the bubble button to leave a bunch of bubbles in the tub.
  • Head Pet: Laylee rides on Yooka's head instead of in a backpack.
  • Honest John: Yooka and Laylee treat Trowzer as such.
  • Hub World: Capital B's lair, Hivory Towers, serves as the hub world, just as Grunty's lair served as the hub world in Banjo-Kazooie. Also like the latter game, Capital B taunts the heroes as they explore the hub world.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Yooka may not be Godzilla, but he's larger than Laylee.
  • Idle Animation: One of them has a bored Laylee biting down on Yooka's frills, much to his displeasure.
  • Informed Species: Yooka is supposed to be a chameleon, but it can be hard to tell just by looking at him and the fact that he's mostly called "lizard." His invisibility ability makes it clearer, though.
  • Invisible Wall: They're hard enough to get to that you're not likely to run into any of them until you unlock the flight ability, but invisible walls and ceilings are present in every outdoor area. Also, they are prominently used in the "Icymetric Palace" area as part of its distinctive faux-isometric design.
  • Jungle Japes: The Tribalstack Tropics, which is the first level.
  • Kaizo Trap: It's possible to fall into the poisonous water in the final boss fight after defeating the boss, which still hurts you despite the cutscene starting. Though if you're still alive, you can at least move back to solid land.
  • Last Lousy Point: Unless you equip the tonic that makes a noise when you're near a collectable, good luck finding all of them in the massive, mostly empty worlds.
  • Lizard Folk: Yooka the chameleon appears to be one.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Quack, Capital B's right-hand man (well, disembodied duck head in a jar), and Dr. Puzz, a friendly example who offers Yooka and Laylee transformations through her D.N.Ray.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Laylee has a sonic screech that can stun enemies or wake up totems to reveal invisible objects.
  • Medium Awareness: Everyone knows they're in a videogame.
    Laylee: (on learning to crouch) A tutorial classic!
    Yooka: (on a race with Nimble) Cloud-based gaming! How next-gen!
  • Mine Cart Madness: Included in the game, courtesy of Kartos the mine cart.
  • Mistaken for Servant: In every level, Planker mistakes Yooka and Laylee for some type of hired help that he was expecting: garbage men, gardeners, etc. The pair try to set things straight, but he just interrupts them and tells them to shut up and get to work already.
  • Multi-Platform: In contrast to Rare's tradition of being a single-platform developer, this was an explicit goal of Playtonic. Originally, the plan was for the game to come out on PC operating systems first (Windows, Mac, and Linux) before eventually making its way over to consoles, but raising so much money on Kickstarter will allow them to release the game on all (five!) platforms all at once, adding the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, to the aforementioned PC OSs, with a Nintendo Switch version coming out sometime later. note 
  • Multipurpose Tongue: As a chameleon, Yooka has one. He can use it as a grapple, or to grab objects, anything from butterflies to cannonballs.
  • Name and Name: Just like Banjo-Kazooie, the main characters have their name spelled out and mentioned in the game's title.
  • The '90s: Subtly an homage to the decade. For instance, Trowzer owns a bulky mobile phone from the era.
  • Not Quite Flight: Like Kazooie before her, Laylee has a "glide" capability use her wings to lower Yooka to a soft landing or cross large chasms but not lift him to greater heights. However, an upgrade later in the game also allows actual flight.
  • Obviously Evil: If his pointy nose, large pointy eyebrows, obese physique and hunched posture, complete lack of a dental plan and name hasn't tipped you off already, Capital B is the bad guy.
  • Our Founder: A giant golden statue of Capital B is located in Hivory Towers.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The Ghost Writers are the spirits of the scribes who created the book worlds that Yooka and Laylee inhabit. They are now cursed to endlessly wander their creations in search of salvation.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: Taken to new heights with one of Yooka's moves, an oxygenated underwater fart that fully envelopes himself and Laylee, and gives the duo access to their on-land moveset underwater.
  • Pass Through the Rings: A common task sees the pair having to traverse through a series of rings to get a pagie; with a strict time-limit or resetting if the pair hit the floor.
  • Piranha Problem: The transformation for Moodymaze Marsh is a shoal of piranha.
  • Precursors: The Ghost Writers are the ones who created the various book worlds of Yooka-Laylee.
  • Production Throwback: Overlapping with Stealth Pun. The art design for the keys in Glitterglaze Glacier are inspired by the Ice Key, an item from Banjo-Kazooie's infamous Stop-n-Swop quest.
  • Punny Name: A lot of the characters names are pun related.
    • Just say the title aloud. (It's supposed to sound like "ukulele".) Also see Bilingual Bonus above.
    • Their home is named Bat Ship Crazy.
    • The villain is named Capital B, who is a greedy corporate executive who happens to be a Bee. His lair is called Hivory Towers, a play on the term Ivory Tower.
  • Raygun Gothic: Galleon Galaxy combines a rollicking space adventure and a Gangplank Galleon setting.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Averted. Yooka is the hero and player character, while Trowzer the Snake is on the side of the good guys and teaches the player new moves.
  • Retraux: To quote the Kickstarter page: "Each world hides at least one secret arcade game encasing old-school gaming goodness."
    • The first post-£1M stretch goal of the Kickstarter campaign included an "N64 shader" to give the game some retro flavoring.
    • It's also a throw back to the old Collect-A-Thon platformers of the N64 era of old.
    • A character known as Rextro Sixtyfourus looks like he came straight out of an N64 game.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Both protagonists are pretty adorable, especially Laylee the bat.
  • Scenery Porn: The world of Yooka-Laylee is extremely lush.
  • Sequel Hook: Ignoring the frequent jokes about sequels the characters make, during the final cutscene, Capital B alludes to a group called V.I.L.E who he is working for, but Dr. Quack tells him not to say any more. Then Blasto comes in and accidentally seals the pair of them in a book world, leaving this particular thread unresolved.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • While each "puzzle" is clearly designed to take advantage of one or two unlock-able skills you're not punished for finding creative solutions. Once you unlock the ability to fly, much of the trickier platforming can be ignored too.
    • Even before that, it's possible to get some of the more difficult to get pagies or even just skip sections that otherwise require later abilities through some creative platforming.
  • Shockwave Stomp:
    • Several bosses send out waves of energy when their attacks hit the floor. Taken to the extreme in the later sections of the final boss where you must dodge four waves of energy at the same time.
    • One of Vendi's tonics turns Yooka's Ground Pound into this.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During one level the protagonists come across a talking minecart named "Kartos." Upon hearing his name, Laylee asks "[let] me guess... the god of ore?" Kartos then responds saying he has no idea what she's talking about. The sequence that follows with Kartos is an obvious callback to the minecart sequences seen in Donkey Kong Country, which the same developers worked on over years 20 years prior.
    • The achievement for beating one of Rextro's minigames for the first time is "When I'm 64".
      • The achievement picture also displays Rextro with the famous "A Winner is you" message.
    • The achievement for finding all the Ghost Writers is "Grabbed the Ghouls".
    • The achievement for collecting your first 200 Quills is called "License to Quill".
    • One of the random bits of Capital B's dialogue talks about a Reptile that's obsessed with collecting gems.
    • Some of the books in the Archive read 50 Shades of Gaming and Jet Packs and Butlers.
    • Several notable shout outs to the Banjo series pop up, including:
      • The pre-battle dialogue before Glitterglaze Glacier's boss is more or less the same exchange from Lord Woo Fak Fak's pre-battle dialogue in Banjo-Tooie.
      • Also in Glitterglaze Glacier, after expanding the world, two ice keys appear in the stage. Yooka makes a note of both and how two of them is much better than one.
      • Also in Glitterglaze Glacier, there are several snowmen missing their hats. One of them is a snow witch who speaks in rhyme and wears a very familiar-looking scarf...
      • In Capital Cashino, Capital B appears to give Pagies to the duo under a Paper-Thin Disguise, much like Grunty appeared to tell Banjo and Kazooie's fortune in Witchyworld in Banjo-Tooie.
      • In Shipwreck Creek, you meet Blasto, who is a cannon. After expanding Tribalstack Tropics, you meet his relative, Blastooie.
      • Trev the Tenteyecle, boss of Moodymaze Marsh, will randomly say "Come 'n' 'ave a go if ya think you're 'ard enough!!", a phrase often used in conjunction with Mumbo Jumbo, most notably in the theme tune of Mayahem Temple.
      • The first time you transform in Tribalstack Tropics, Trev remarks she meant to turn you into a T. rex, referencing the morph for Terrydactyland in Banjo-Tooie not to mention Mumbo's attempt at turning you into one in the first game.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Glitterglaze Glacier which has the standard icy cave and palace.
  • Smug Snake: Trowzer, quite literally, described by the developers as a "smug serpent salesman".
  • Sssssnaketalk: Trowzer, but he is obviously a snake.
  • Space Zone: Galleon Galaxy, which combines this with Gangplank Galleon.
  • Speaking Simlish: Being a throwback to old Rare games, the characters speak through subtitled gibberish.
  • Spiritual Successor: Intentionally made to be one for Banjo-Kazooie, down to name similarity. The logo is undoubtedly similar as well.
    • Along with the obvious, considering one of the protagonists is a chameleon that uses his tongue as a grapple, this is the closest we're going to get to Chameleon Twist 3.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Inverted in Galleon Galaxy. It's a Gangplank Galleon-themed level, set on a body of water with a lot of space-themed elements. For example, you can transform into a galleon, but it's called a spaceship. Islands that are a short swim away are treated as separate planets.
  • Stealth Pun: A character that was supposed to be "voiced" by JonTron is encountered trapped in a toilet. As in, the "john".
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • Rextro is not only modeled to look like a character from a Nintendo 64 game, but he's even animated in the same rigid style of the older Rare games for authenticity.
    • The "Yooka-Laylee Rap" is just as intentionally cheesy as its predecessor.
  • Take That!:
    • In the E3 2016 trailer, The Stinger has Laylee complain about the trailer lacking the "brown" level, and Yooka tells them that they still have a few months of work left. Laylee then states that by then there'll probably be "car sections".
    • The Toybox is hosted by a Kinect-like-headed robot named Inept, who also appears in the full game as a type of mook.
      • Also appearing in the full game is a boss fight based off the aforementioned mooks, called I.N.E.P.T. It not only has poor hearing, as it misunderstands innocent comments as insults, but one "insult" mentions its inefficient tracking.
    • "If cartridges were popular, this level would have loaded by now!"
    • As the duo try to get Rextro up to speed with more modern gaming conventions, if they talk to him before finding his token in the casino stage, he'll note how his notes on modern game design suggest replacing the in game token with paying real-world money to access the mini game. Laylee immediately shoots this idea down before he even finishes the sentence.
    • One conversation the duo can have with Rextro is them talking about how the reviewers will likely have a 'fun' time with his games. Rextro responds by noting how he already paid off the important reviewers already.note 
  • Theme Tune Rap: One of the surpassed stretch goals is the "Yooka-Laylee Rap", a rap song/video composed by Grant Kirkhope in the style of the "DK Rap" of Donkey Kong 64.
  • Toppled Statue: Downplayed. The first thing you see upon entering Hivory Towers proper is a massive golden statue of Capital B. It's possible to climb up to the top of it and break off the nose using Buddy Slam. There's an Achievement/Trophy for doing this.
  • Variable Mix: Just like Banjo-Kazooie, as you move through the world the music will go through different arrangements depending on where you are. In the final game, this is also the case with Hub World, Hivory Towers.
  • Video Game Flight: One of the last abilities to be unlocked is "Flappy Flight", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, allowing Laylee to freely fly around, carrying Yooka beneath her. You can take off from anywhere, and its drain on the Power Meter is surprisingly slow. Its main limitation is the fact that having to carry Yooka's weight makes Laylee's flight rather clumsy and slow, limiting its usefulness in certain kinds of challenges. Nonetheless, it's often the fastest and easiest way to move about the levels due to being able to bypass many types of obstacles, and in the case of Pagies where the intended challenge in collecting them is simply a matter of getting to where they are, this can make them effortless to collect.
  • Xylophones for Walking Bones: The living skeleton Clara's Speaking Simlish sounds like a marimba.


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