Dung beetles aren’t generally considered the most charming of insects. They push around balls of poop, after all, but Yoku has traded up for a significantly-more-hygenic egg-like pinball. After arriving on the lovely tropical Mokumana Island the cheerful dung beetle takes up the mantle of post-bug, providing the vital service of delivering packages for the inhabitants, but a crisis is brewing in paradise that only Yoku and his pinball can solve. It’s a mess, but one that fuses pinball and platforming into a beautiful 2D island adventure.
The game world is explored by a combination of two very different gameplay styles, with Yoku doing the run & jump when necessary but getting dragged along by a tether when the pinball gets batted around the island paths. When directly controlling Yoku the adventure trundles along at a decent enough pace, but once the pinball starts moving and the flippers, plungers, and bumpers come into play the giant clouded map of the island gets filled in much more quickly as the bug bounces through the side-view landscape. The map is relatively open, with mini-arenas and hidden paths dotting the landscape and secrets hiding for those who like to poke into every nook and cranny. Basically, it’s exactly what you’d want from an open-world platformer, except most of the time you’re batting around a ball while grabbing as many fruit pick-ups as possible.
Yoku’s Island Express has been coming along in bits and pieces for a while and as of today it’s got a release date of May 29. Rather than do the standard trailer, though, the team put together a new development diary talking about the creation of the game, making for a nice change from usual sizzle reel. Check it out below and get ready to bat a bug around a lush island paradise when the game lands on PC, Switch, Xbox One, and PS4.