- Released: 2018
- Played on: Switch
- Also available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4
- Time to get into: 10 Minutes
- Time to complete: 8 Hours
- Multiplayer: No
Yoku’s Island Express is a fun 2D puzzle-based exploration game. At the start of the game you are installed as the new postman of an island called Mokumana and it’s this premise that gives you reason to traverse all over the place getting involved in folks’ lives. The main dynamic that is unique to Yoku‘s adventure is the pinball-style way of getting around. Yoku can move left and right and interact with objects and other characters as you might expect in this kind of game. To go up or down however, you use bumpers that bounce you about and there are regular sections that are very much like pinball machines. These both enable to you gain collectibles and also advance the story. Here’s an example:
What’s good about it?
- The pinball concept is interesting in that you are exploring by moving the game world (ie the bumpers), rather than yourself.
- The world is beautifully formed with so many different kinds of areas and characters. It encourages you to want to explore it all.
- The way you open up access to different areas and go back through places with new abilities is pitched very nicely – I never felt bored or annoyed about re-tracing my steps.
- The pinball-machine bits manage to feel both important to your progression through the game and a brief distraction – I was always pleased when Yoku dropped into one of those areas.
What’s bad about it?
- The story is very basic indeed.
- Trying to get to a specific area can be confusing – the map is great for exploring but getting to a particular place can be a real undertaking.
- The difficulty level is very low. This is not a significant problem – the level of fun keeps you playing – but it means it can never achieve greatness.
- There are one or two road blocks in the game where a bumper-hit had to be made perfectly multiple times. This went against the general low level of challenge.
It may not be game-changing as a whole piece, but the unique aspects of Yoku’s Island Express make it worth playing through regardless. It won’t hold you up too much but it will put a smile on your face!