Review: Yoku’s Island Express – A description of a new game can ensure that the consumer is immediately interested. Play as a god trying to escape his past? Sign me up! Experience adventures in a world where mechanical dinosaurs are in service? Yes, please! If you compare the description of Yoku’s Island Express, you will not be triggered. In this game you play a beetle who has to deliver the mail. To get gamers interested for this title, the description is not enough, so it’s important to impress with the gameplay. Has this developer Villa Gorilla succeeded?
A round bag
As you have already read, you play in Yoku’s Island Express a beetle who is a postman. To take the mail with you, you obviously need a good bag to transport it. A beetle is not that big, so Yoku uses a ball that is bigger than himself, but that he can easily roll. He is fastened to him with a strong piece of rope so that he can never lose it. This special bag is not only an ideal solution for Yoku to transport letters, it is also a great way to get around the different environments. The island where the beetle landed on contains several obstacles where the mailbag offers a solution.
Old with some news
Villa Gorilla actually manages to score positive points, because the developer throws in originality high eyes. The studio knows how to add something new to the old platform genre: pinball. During the adventure you will see many bumpers and shooters in the area with which you can shoot your ball. Since it is attached to the beetle, Yoku automatically joins. This addition offers a unique experience, which is also very nice. The mix of both genres also feels very natural and flows well into each other. Sometimes a combination of genres can cause a game to consist of two separate parts, but that is absolutely not the case with Yoku’s Island Express. It really feels like a whole and that is very nice.
What’s also great is that an open world has been chosen. So you can go wherever you want. Now you need objects or upgrades at a number of moments to get further, but in which order you get them you can decide for yourself. Now the map itself is not super big, but you can not expect that from a game of less than twenty euros. However, the world is big enough for the money that you have deposited for the game. You will also have to backtrack regularly, because you have to fulfill an assignment for someone. You come across different characters that you can chat with and some can help you in your adventure. Only they often ask for a return service there.
Not special, but very nice
Now the assignments you have to do are not very common, but because of the combination of genres it is more fun than you would expect. Coming from point A to B is often a very nice experience. You walk with your ball, shoot it with a shooter to get to a bumper, which you move again to a new part, and then end up in a rollercoaster like course. It is really fun to do and it makes backtracking more fun than it is. Even gamers who have a blood riddle with this mechanism will now experience less negative.
There are also sections on the map that are purely aimed at the pinball machine principle. These are environments that also look like a pinball machine, including the flippers. Here, for example, you have to try to shoot Yoku in certain corridors or break up objects in order to continue. You may also encounter bosses in these parts. This provides some variation in the gameplay and these areas are also very fun to play. Only it is a pity that the pinball sections are not extended during the adventure. Now it often happens that the action continues to play on one screen and you can easily place the ball wherever you want. If this gradually became more extensive and complex, this would certainly have done the game well.
It is not correct
What also needs improvement is that the physics are not always right during the pinball section. You only use flippers here and that’s where things go wrong. By slowly rolling the ball away from a flipper and then throwing it away at a certain point, you can place the ball a little bit. Only occasionally does it happen that the ball goes in a direction that does not fit with the moment you shoot it. Now nine out of ten times just goes well, but that is why the moments where the physics are not correct really stand out.
Nothing to complain
What also immediately catches the eye, but has a positive influence, is the graphic style of the game. It looks like everything is painted and that gives the game a nice appearance. This is also supported by cheerful tunes. Also the content of Yoku’s Island Express can not be complained. Outside the main story there are also side missions that you can do and collectibles can be found. There are also a number of secret rooms, where you have to meet a number of conditions to enter them. So there is quite a lot of content for a game that you do not have to touch too deeply in your pouch.