If you were anywhere near the Nintendo 64 growing up, prepare for excitement. Banjo-Kazooie, one of the consoles most loved titles, is getting a spiritual successor and it looks awesome. Yooka-Laylee is a platforming collect-a-thon being developed by Playtonic Games, a team mainly composed of veterans from the developer Rare, who are responsible for a slew of popular Nintendo 64 titles, including Donkey Kong Country, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and GoldenEye 007. Playtonic are opting to crowdfund Yooka-Laylee through Kickstarter, and the response has been astounding.
Playtonic asked a humble £175,000 when they launched May 2. Forty minutes in the game was funded. About a dozen stretch goals were originally posted, the top-most being simultaneous WiiU, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases unlocked at £1,000,000. Two days later the highest stretch goal had already been unlocked. Although the initial wave of funding enthusiasm seems to be slowing to a steadier flow, the remaining forty-three days of the Kickstarter will likely see support continue to increase.
Playtonic are not bashful in expressing their goal to make Yooka-Laylee a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie – the name says it all. Under a tag line reading ‘Let’s Rare-surrect the buddy-duo platformer,’ the Kickstarter description proudly proclaims:
“Yooka-Laylee is an all-new 3D platformer from the creative talent behind the Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country games. We’ve come together to form Playtonic Games and create a spiritual successor to our most cherished work from the past!”
Although cynics may attribute Playtonic’s success purely to the nostalgia factor, the quality of early gameplay footage is impressive, as are the sleek character and environment designs, and the two sample tracks provided on the page. Many will be drawn to the project thanks to nostalgia, but many more will actually pledge because of the impressive quality the project already exhibits. And the quality, it seems fair to say, comes as a result of the passion behind the project. This looks to be the game Playtonic’s developers have wanted to make for a long time.