Playtonic Games is an indie video game developer composed of several Rareware veterans. Inspired by their previous projects, Playtonic is currently working on the successfully crowdfunded Yooka-Laylee, a 3D “collectathon” platformer that will satisfy fans of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie.
The Banjo series was one of the more emblematic properties that hailed from the Nintendo 64’s era. In the first two titles, Banjo and Kazooie explored the landscapes presented to them to discover hidden objects needed to progress (hence the name “collectathon”), and they tolerated a large, colorful cast of characters.
The duo learned new techniques as they proceeded through their adventures, which granted them new ways to attack enemies and travel. Both games also provided them with temporary transformations, allowing them additional means of collecting.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, the most recent Banjo game, was released for the Xbox 360 in 2008. It became a polarizing title among fans due to its focus on building vehicles rather than Banjo’s and Kazooie’s innate abilities. Regardless of where you stand on Nuts & Bolts‘ quality, it didn’t entirely work as the fabled “Banjo-Threeie” we were promised at Tooie‘s conclusion.
Yooka-Laylee is meant to fill in that gap. It’s slated for a 2017 release, and it’ll arrive on the Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and your own personal computer. I’m unsure if this style of platforming will measure up in my estimation to the focused obstacle courses found in more recent Super Mario titles, but I’m looking forward to Yooka-Laylee and I expect it to be a quality entry in its genre.
Thankfully, new media pertaining to Yooka-Laylee has been plentiful: Playtonic Games attended this year’s EGX Rezzed, where visitors were permitted to play a demo. Finally, on Sunday, a new trailer was aired showcasing the game’s eponymous duo and their supporting cast. Considering Playtonic’s commitment to establishing a shared universe, it’s fun to think about who could star in their next game.
However, the trailer ended with a surprise…
Shovel Knight will make a guest appearance! While his exact role remains unspecified, Laylee was certainly pleased to see him.
Shovel Knight, another indie project that found success on Kickstarter, was developed by Yacht Club Games. Whereas Yooka-Laylee is harkening back to the Nintendo 64, Shovel Knight went further back in history for its inspiration; if you’re a fan of old school NES side-scrollers, then Shovel Knight should appeal to you.
Shovel Knight was subjected to critical acclaim, and, since its initial launch in 2014, it has been released on several gaming platforms. Yacht Club Games continues to support Shovel Knight with new downloadable expansions. Most notably, two of the game’s boss characters, Specter Knight and King Knight, will receive their own crusades, which is an honor Plague Knight was bestowed with last year.
Owing to his game’s success, Shovel Knight‘s titular hero has begun making guest appearances in several other games. Shovel Knight is an unlockable character in 13AM Games’ Runbow, and he’s scheduled cameos for several other titles, too. A Shovel Knight amiibo was produced as well, as if anyone could deny his charming design.
Did you enjoy Shovel Knight? Are you excited for Yooka-Laylee?