Yooka-Laylee Will Make 3D Platformers Popular Again

There’s something wonderful about the simplicity of a platforming game. You run, jump, fight enemies, solves puzzles and collect items; all while in a colorful and unique world.

Most people who were old enough to be playing video games in the N64 era will typically think of Super Mario 64 as the most iconic 3D platformer, as it introduced players to a new fun way of playing the traditional side-scrolling game. From Spyro to Sly Cooper, these games were appealing to a wide audience, there were so many that it seemed everyone was making them. In the modern wave of gaming, however, they just haven’t been as popular as they once were.

Then, as if out of nowhere, Yooka-Laylee appeared. Bringing with it the same bright colorful and joyful appearance of the old 3D platformers with a nice HD shine to it, Yooka-Laylee was a phenomenal hit at once on Kickstarter. It helped that the new company making it, Playtonic, had members from Rare, who had a hand in making a variety of games including the N64 classic Banjo-Kazooie.


Now over a year since then, Yooka-Laylee has received incredibly positive feedback from those who have gotten to play it. But it had people sitting back and wondering; will Yooka-Laylee make a big enough impact to cause more 3D platformers to appear? We’ve had a few notable 3D platformers recently, the Ratchet and Clank reboot and even Super Mario 3D World being prime examples. While they’ve certainly drawn in some interest, Yooka-Laylee is taking the old-school style and making it even more endearing.

If it’s as much like Banzo-Kazooie as the appearance has us believing, Yooka-Laylee will have you revisiting the in-game worlds time and time again, gaining new abilities to collect more items throughout. The non-linear aspect of these games were enjoyable, it felt less like backtracking and more like finally being able to explore the entirety the world had to offer.


Yooka-Laylee has left an impression on people who haven’t even played it yet; its reminded us of that style of game we’ve been missing. Sure, you could go play the older 3D platformers, especially since most of them still hold up well–but now that we’ve been given a look at what modern 3D platformers in this style can be, we want more.

I believe Yooka-Laylee is the gateway key for 3D platformers, welcoming the genre back from its long departed vacation. We might see even more from Playtonic following Yooka-Laylee’s release. Not only has this game attracted the older audience who have memories of playing 3D platformers when they were younger, but also the newer generation who might not have experienced a game quite like this.

If you need any other hint that there’s more to come for 3D platformers, just look at the Crash Bandicoot remaster announced at E3 this year. That’s one classic platformer making a comeback after not receiving anything new for the series in years. Perhaps before long we’ll see a new game for the series, and even more new 3D platformers following behind. Until then, though, at least we have Yooka-Laylee to look forward to and enjoy.