I tried as hard as I could to find fault with Villa Gorilla and Team 17's Yoku's Island Express, but I just couldn't. It's absolutely perfect on every front: from its charm to its inspired level-design, this little dung beetle pinball/platformer mashup is the sort game-design dreams are made of.
Don't believe us? Here's a snippet from our review:
Yoku’s Island Express, in everything it presents to the player, couldn’t be more perfect. Its art, its silly premise, its characters, its progression system, its modes mashup, its level design… Science, that level-design -- everything is perfect. Describing the game is a bit difficult, but imagine a side-scrolling platformer-adventure game with quests, friendly characters and fewer bosses. Now, throw in physics and pinball, specifically in how you not only traverse the game-world, but also tackle ‘dungeons’, and you’re kind of on the right track. From an art perspective, and taking nothing away from the team that did this, the traditional Nintendo-era Rare influence is plainly obvious. But also charming to a fault.
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Fault. I can’t find a bad thing to say about Yoku’s Island Express. It’s a layered experience with charm coming out the wazoo. It’s short, but given the type of game it is, that’s not really an issue. That charm oozes from the basic setup: you’re a dung beetle named Yoku heading to Mokumana Island to become their new postmaster. Posterodactyl, the current postmaster, has just had enough and needs a change of scenery. He’s been so fed up, he’s even been sitting on undelivered packages alongside the regular mail. But he doesn’t care because you’re here now to take over, and this deceptively large game-world is full of little critters who need both their mail and, invariably, the sort of help only you can give.