Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a great platformer that entices any player to keep coming back for more.
Boy am I glad I did because the game is a joy to play, listen to, and bounce through!
Yooka and Laylee may not be the most fleshed-out characters but the world they live in sure is!
Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair Time Stamps
- An introduction to Yooka Laylee (0:00)
- All These Frantic Fountains Are Now Frozen (0:45)
- Running Around the OverWorld (5:32)
- Saw Blades for Day (10:43)
- Vendi and the Menus of Wonder (18:22)
- Is Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair Amazing? (20:15)
Let’s grab a good book and meet some crazy characters on a wild adventure!
An introduction to Yooka Laylee
The first thing that strikes me is the visual and gameplay quality of Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair on the Xbox Series X.
My first initial feel of the game after a handful of levels was that it was just a run of the mill side-scrolling platformer.
However, that all changed when the game introduced the frozen berry.
This is something I’ve never seen a game do; the basic idea is that you can change the level from the world map.
By throwing the frozen berry on the level, you change the level to a frozen variation–an interesting way to handle replay value.
Essentially there are two levels wrapped into one since you can use the overworld to change them up for more of a challenge.
It’s clever and a unique take on gameplay. I’m surprised I haven’t seen any other games take on this idea.
All These Frantic Fountains Are Now Frozen
The level starts by taking a look at the multipliers you can attach to modify the game.
These are cool because you can either make the game harder or easier depending on your skill level.
However, if you make it easier you earn fewer quills while making it harder reaps higher quill rewards.
It’s all about how you want to engage with the game and system. It is a nice addition that makes you consider your options before diving into the level.
I decided to have Laylee stay around longer if I take damage to not lose coins if I die. Yes… I did die a lot. Thanks for asking.
The name of the game for this level is to try not to become an icicle; essentially our top priority as we scroll to the goal.
It’s cool (bah-dum-tss) that the entire level has now taken on a frozen variation; staying close to the same level as before, just frozen over with different paths, new challenges, and some tough platforming.
I start by going the wrong way but we recuperate and grab the first T.W.I.T coin of the level–keep that in your mind for a bit because I’ll touch on it later on.
Jumping up frozen water jets, grabbing quills, and some good solid platforming is the bread and butter of Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair.
I run into a roadblock which makes me think that maybe a double jump skill will be coming our way soon. I believe that mechanic will inflate the replay value.
Moving forward we ring a bell and gather more quills, finding some hidden secrets in the walls that are nicely hidden as well.
The quills are currency to purchase those multipliers that can change the game up, it’s a nice risk-reward style of gameplay.
Taking damage in Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair is just like Yoshi’s Island where Baby Mario would float around and you have to catch him in time, except Laylee is in Mario’s shoes… err? Diaper?
We run into a T.W.I.T coin I can’t reach again and then take a fun ice ramp down to the end of the level.
At the end of the level review, we save Waspinson and gather 2 of the 5 T.W.I.T coins with a total of 169 quills!
All in all, a pretty good job for a fun alternate level!
Running Around the OverWorld
The overall goal of Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair is to beat the impossible lair. Go figure, right?
The game does something pretty clever where you can beat the game right from the start. However, you have to have the skills to do it, which I do not possess.
So, to make the impossible lair more possible you go through all these levels saving bees that act as shields to help you survive.
They act as a source of protection to give you extra hits throughout, which you are going to need to survive.
The bee queen gives us access to a scorch berry to allow us to turn the level back to normal.
After a short comparison to Banjo Kazooie, which Yooka Laylee inspiration wears on its sleeve, we head right into a bonus stage.
Nothing fancy in this bonus, just take out all the enemies! Once they are all down, Pagie opens up the next section of the map.
We run into a water berry that can be used to water the flowers scattered around so we can make our way forward.
Opening up the next section. we run into Trowzer and easily one of the best jokes in the game.
Trowzer uses pay-walls to gate off parts of the overworld, which you need T.W.I.T coins to open the world.
They are worth collecting so you can open more pay-walls and get more levels.
We can now move forward to the next level to dodge some sawblades!
Saw Blades for Day
To start, we go through a big green door and gather some of the quills inside.
Grabbing a shell, we break through some boxes to grab a key and unlock the door to progress.
The sawblades in this level are killer and tough to traverse as we go room to room by dodging appropriately.
Crashing through doors and taking down baddies is the name of the game in this round.
Taking a secret way, we secure the first T.W.I.T coin and continue the efforts of dodging saw blades.
The gameplay is a bit floaty as Yooka tends to slide a bit, although the controls are really good.
Yooka doesn’t stop on a dime but rather slides to a stop, which takes a bit to get used to.
We run into a bomb that has various uses but you want to throw it at a crab within the level to get the T.W.I.T coin it is protecting.
After a close call with a saw blade, we make it to the next door to move forward.
Then we hit some platforming that forces us to go up through the level collecting quills along the way.
A bit further and we rescue Willicomb Pugh, the next bee to add to our ever-growing shield to help get through the impossible lair!
Let’s take a quick trip back to the overworld and call this an episode.
Vendi and the Menus of Wonder
A quick trip to Vendi showcases how you purchase Vendi. I quickly discover that you do this all through a menu.
So Vendi just exists but can’t help you, so you go into the menu and can change up your multipliers, check achievements, see all the bees you’ve gotten (each with a unique bio), and change settings.
Games back in the day used to have all of the Achievements laid out in the game’s menu and I appreciate that it is in Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair.
Is Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair Amazing?
Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a solid platformer in an age where there are not that many anymore.
It goes above and beyond with its unique take on changing levels with a super fun cast of characters.
Everything feels alive and the world creates an ambiance that it is lived in as you explore every corner and collect anything you can get your hands on.
I enjoy that if you’re good enough you can beat the game within the first ten minutes. I find it to be a really interesting take.
I had a fantastic time with Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair and if you’re interested, I can’t recommend it enough!