Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Apr 4, 2017
    This time around, Kickstarter actually did come to the rescue, delivering a game that is very much worthy of being called the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie. Yooka-Laylee is a game for fans who miss the N64 days of running around a huge, open map, collecting a bunch of stuff and having a bit of a laugh. It's cute, it's funny, and a few minor technical issues aside, it's exactly what it promised to deliver.
  2. Apr 9, 2017
    Yooka-Laylee encompasses some modern design sensibilities and lots of nostalgia vibes, reminiscent of carefree, bygone eras. Some drawbacks hold it back from being a classic, but nevertheless its rich content and high fun factor will ring true to fans of the genre.
  3. May 1, 2017
    The graphics in Yooka-Laylee are not bleeding edge, but it is incredibly close to what they call 'artistic perfection', and it brings nothing but joy.
  4. 85
    Yooka-Laylee is an excellent homage to the best works of Rare on Nintendo 64 (with the notable exception of GoldenEye 007). It's challenging, fun, albeit a little heavy on the hardware requirements. If you still love the old-school platforming, you should definitely consider it.
  5. Apr 7, 2017
    Yooka-Laylee is a great experience, and well worth playing if you are a long-time fan of the work that Rare did. This is a game for veterans and newcomers alike though, and there is plenty here to hook a new player or new generation. A lot of the mechanics are a throwback to how things were before, and I don’t necessarily mind that. Some people however may find it slow and tedious at times. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Yooka-Laylee and would recommend you give it a try if you are even the least bit curious about it.
  6. Apr 5, 2017
    Some of my most precious memories regarding video games are in some manner connected to the two Banjo-Kazooie games from developer Rare. Yooka-Laylee manages to tap into those exact memories, by embodying the very essence of games like the aforementioned Banjo-Kazooie. Enjoyable gameplay, an ingenious soundtrack and the happy-go-lucky attitude of the game are just some of the things that make Yooka-Laylee a great experience. Though for some reason I don’t quite feel the same enjoyment, I had with those games in my childhood. Maybe it’s my age or some of the questionable design decisions by the developers. Nonetheless, Yooka-Laylee is a really good game.
  7. Apr 24, 2017
    Yooka-Laylee is an unabashedly old-school platformer with modern presentation. It is challenging and occasionally infuriating, but it’s also extremely rewarding. Playtonic have proven that just because something is old, that doesn’t mean it should die.
  8. Apr 17, 2017
    A spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, Yooka-Laylee is exactly what it is trying to be. It suffers from few flaws like poor camera and very unstable frame-rate, and it doesn’t add anything new to the platformer genre. But a lot of gameplay mechanics, good graphics, and amazing sound make it enjoyable.
  9. Apr 6, 2017
    When it comes down to it, Yooka-Laylee just feels good to play. It’s great to control, it’s fun to explore, and it scratched the collectible itch in me in a way that few games have managed to properly accomplish nowadays. If you’re a fan of wide open 3D platformers, or are wanting to take a nostalgia laden trip through one, Yooka-Laylee is certainly the game for you.
  10. Apr 6, 2017
    Yooka-Laylee is built on a foundation of tried-and-tested gameplay, and it’s packed with content, considering it’s priced at $40 rather than $60. Anyone that’s eager to revisit the 3D platformer genre will be well served by this game. However, those that don’t enjoy a sense of nostalgia for jump-and-runs of days gone by might not find much to enjoy among its rough edges and throwback atmosphere.
  11. Apr 6, 2017
    Yooka-Laylee is an amazing arcade playground with free gameplay and many hours of addictive fun. Shines like a rainbow, though a lot of those colors were "borrowed" from the older games. Non-originality is, however, a bearable price to pay for such great experiences.
  12. Apr 4, 2017
    At its best, Yooka-Laylee reminds me why I fell in love with colourful platformers, it's a love letter to childhood nostalgia. At its worst, Yooka-Laylee reminds me why we moved away from platforming games: odd design choices and occasional bugs sour the experience.
  13. Apr 4, 2017
    I found it a ton of fun and terribly addicting to the point where I just consumed it in about 2 days.
  14. Apr 4, 2017
    They simply don’t make games like this anymore. But Yooka-Laylee isn’t just that one that “takes us back”; it fondly remembers the good-old days with a modern flare.
  15. Apr 4, 2017
    Yooka-Laylee is basically the Banjo-Kazooie game players have been waiting well over a decade for. No matter your age, Yooka-Laylee has something for everyone, be it the colorful characters and worlds that youngsters are sure to love, or the crude humor sprinkled throughout to appeal to the older audiences. While the game certainly has its flaws, its charming worlds, delightful soundtracks, and throwback to the good ol’ days of gaming make for one heck of a trip down memory lane.
  16. Apr 4, 2017
    Playtonic promised a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, and that’s what we got. It might not suit everyone’s needs, but it suits mine and likely suits the needs of those who’d want a Banjo-Kazooie successor in the first place. That’s an important caveat—but then, that’s why reviews are a subjective process.
  17. Apr 4, 2017
    Though camera problems and outdated level design are present at times, the moments of exhilaration, discovery, and satisfaction far outweigh those pitfalls. It feels like ages since I've played something like Yooka-Laylee. This is a game that was built for those who look back with fondness on the classics that spawned it, and in that regard, it delivers completely.
  18. Apr 4, 2017
    Yooka-Laylee is the real evolution of Banjoo-Kazooie: the coloured and funny 3D platforms are back!
  19. Apr 5, 2017
    Yooka-Laylee is a funny adventure platform game with the essence of the classics of Nintendo 64. With a plenty of content and a great couple of heroes, the video game of Playtonic has everything Banjo & Kazooie fans love, but sadly, is not at the same level of quality.
  20. Apr 4, 2017
    If you grew up playing 3D platformer collect-a-thon games like Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, Jak & Daxter, Spyro, and others, then there is a good chance that you’ll find a lot to love in Yooka-Laylee. It’s a faithful recreation of the formula that made games of the late 90s and early 2000s both so special and so frustrating.
  21. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Apr 25, 2017
    Level design also feels dated: there are a lot of ways to attract player’s attention where it’s needed, but Yooka-Laylee ignores them all: you can spend dozen minutes platform-jumping to reach a door – only to find out it won’t open because you missed something. Sure, it could be called “fair” or “realistic” – but how fun is it to run in circles? [Issue#219, p.80]
  22. Apr 26, 2017
    You can't remake the charm of Banjo-Kazooie while disguising it as another game. Yooka-Laylee is a package of nostalgia that aged badly. There is a lot to love here but at the same time, there is a lot to be outraged about. Nonetheless, it is a recommendation you should tread carefully on.
  23. Apr 4, 2017
    Yooka-Laylee contains all the pieces needed for a fun, enjoyable throwback to the 3D collectathons of the 64-bit era. The characters are charming and funny, your set of abilities is vast and entertaining, and four out of five of the worlds are fun playgrounds to explore. While it lacks the heart and polish of some of its incredible predecessors, it’s a good reminder that this genre, once thought to be dead, still has some life left in it.
  24. Apr 4, 2017
    A decent revival of the N64-era 3D platformer, but with all the flaws that carries, as well as some new ones of its own.
  25. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    May 15, 2017
    Likeable and (sometimes) funny 3D platformer in an open world does not even try to keep up with time. The acknowledged spiritual successor of the first Banjo-Kazooie is precised up to the last detail to give the same gameplay as its 1998 ”original”. [Issue#274]
  26. Apr 8, 2017
    What it manages to faithfully recreate from the past is merely a facade that quickly shatters as you dig deeper into the game and stumble through its numerous faults. All that’s left is a platformer that fails to rise above mediocrity, in this day and age or any other.
  27. Apr 4, 2017
    The luster wears off as the game wears on; and boy does it wear in those latter stages as the level design peters out and the global Pagie population diminishes. For several hours, Yooka-Laylee gave me the kind of thrills that I’d long been looking to rediscover, but that initial warm blast of nostalgia quickly fades, revealing this to be a mirage of the 3D platforming golden years, rather than their long-desired comeback.
  28. May 9, 2017
    I recently revisited the original Banjo-Kazooie as part of the Rare Replay compilation and still found it to be the best of its genre, and I’m not one of those people who believes that a mascot platformer has no place in the modern gaming scene. I was ready to celebrate the return of this genre, but Yooka-Laylee is simply a chore to play. The folks at Playtonic have demonstrated that they can recreate the spirit of old-school 3D platformers. Now, critically, they need to recreate the quality.
  29. Apr 4, 2017
    Yooka-Laylee looks the part of an updated platformer, but some of its mechanics should have stayed back in the era it came from. There was a reason we haven’t seen more games like Banjo Kazooie on modern platforms, and it wasn’t just because Rare as we knew it was gone; its ideas were very specific to a gameplay era that we’ve evolved past. Fourth-wall breaking dialog, shiny characters and lush graphics can’t save Yooka-Laylee from the dated framework that it’s built on.
  30. 50
    Ultimately, nostalgia has never been, nor will ever be, the reason behind a purchase of mine; nor should it ever overshadow gameplay and mechanics so much that care about how the release plays falls by the wayside. It definitely brings the 1990s era to the modern day, but some things just should be left in the past.
  31. 35
    Sure it looks visually nicer, and the ability to play it with a dual analogue controller fixes some of the control issues Banjo had on N64, but that’s far from enough to redeem this game...I don’t know what else to say. Yooka Laylee, you’re just a poor facsimile of something I used to love. You really didn’t impress me.
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  1. Apr 4, 2017
    Tearing away all of the bloat, Yooka-Laylee is a challenging and satisfying platformer. When it focuses on the basics, it succeeds with considerable flair. Yet, these moments arrive in short bursts that are padded out by confusing and hostile design. They point towards a far more enjoyable game than the complete package. The parts are significantly greater than the whole. There’s fun to be had but it doesn’t come easily. And if I never have to collect another shiny again, it’ll be far too soon.
  2. Yooka-Laylee is bright, it’s positive, it’s daft and it wants to play with you. And that’s lovely.
  3. Apr 12, 2017
    While it’s tempting to blame the game’s lackluster final state on its nostalgia-chasing Kickstarter or the inherently dated nature of its genre, Yooka-Laylee shouldn’t be used as evidence to condemn either. The fault lies squarely with Playtonic, who, by merit of the game’s better half, has shown that this singular style can work just fine in 2017, but whose spotty execution and lack of vision will undoubtedly lead many to shout otherwise.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 333 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Apr 11, 2017
    This genre of gaming is what I grew up playing as a kid and what made me love video games. The camera is some what of a problem but I got usedThis genre of gaming is what I grew up playing as a kid and what made me love video games. The camera is some what of a problem but I got used to it fast and it never prevented me from enjoying this game. I firmly believe Playtonic came through with all the promises they made with their kickstarter and if anyone says the game play is "outdated" then they truly where never fans of the Banjo series. Full Review »
  2. Apr 11, 2017
    If you loved banjo back in 1998 you'll love yooka laylee. its like a retro game with prettier graphics.
    it will definitely brings your
    If you loved banjo back in 1998 you'll love yooka laylee. its like a retro game with prettier graphics.
    it will definitely brings your childhood memories back.

    Sure the game design feels a bit outdating and the "voice over" as well (if u can call that voice) but i think there were no other intention from playtonic than create a game like banjo and it sure is like a 3rd game of banjo.

    the soundtrack from david wise, grant kirkhope and steve burk is top notch though.

    i love it.

    i'd give a 9/10 but since there are idiots who can't give a realisitc view/ rating of the game i'll make it 10.

    ratings under 6 or even 5/10 are ridicoulus. i mean come on, did you even play the game?
    if so: what did you expect? it was clearly advertised as a spiritual sucessor to banjo first time they put their kickstarter site online
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 11, 2017
    Absolutely what one would expect from this game. Whilst not reinventing the platforming genre, they did deliver on their promise; aAbsolutely what one would expect from this game. Whilst not reinventing the platforming genre, they did deliver on their promise; a resurrection of Banjo Kazooie. Full Review »