Playtonic’s Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming 3D adventure platform game, Yooka-Laylee, has been an overall smashing success. The game destroyed its original pledge goal of $270,000. In less than a day, the campaign raced past its maximum stretch goal of $1.2 million. Currently, Playtonic’s campaign has raised close to $2 million to develop the game, which is scheduled for a 2016 release. This campaign really shows the power of Kickstarter, and how a small company of talented individuals can bring fans together for an exciting game project. Looka-Laylee looks like an exciting throwback to the classic 3D action-adventure platformers of the late 90’s. It looks like Playtonic might fill a void that has been missing as of late.
Playtonic did a great job of pitching the game as a throwback platformer made by the developers of games like Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country. The game has a very nostalgic and familiar look and feel. In major triple-A game releases as of late, there is definitely a look and style missing that Rare as a developer brought to the table with their adventure games. Yooka-Laylee definitely looks like it could be the heir-apparent to the Banjo-Kazooie franchise. The original Banjo-Kazooie was definitely one of my favorite games of the old Nintendo 64. If Playtonic can make a similar game with comparable gameplay and mechanics for a modern audience, that would be truly fantastic.
Recent games have gotten away from some of the excellence and innovation that Banjo-Kazooie, Super Mario 64 and Conkur’s Bad Fur Day brought to the table. There was a lot to do and try. The environments were fun to explore. The mechanics were clever. It was exciting to see games translate platform adventure games into the 3D format in a such a satisfying manner. Recent adventure games have sort of lost some of that magic and gone back to even 2D platforming because of the struggles in making new 3D adventure classics.
I hope Playtonic is up to the challenge here. The early materials look great. The campaign overwhelmingly crushed all of its goals, so there should be no excuses here. If games like Mighty No. 9 and Yooka-Laylee become big hits, it could really put the bigger publishers and developers on notice. Kickstarter campaigns for projects like this could definitely change the game in bringing new games to the table. If it can produce some great-looking games as Mighty No. 9 and Yooka-Laylee appear to be, I am completely on board.