Yoku’s Island Express (2018, PC)

A weird little game where you play as a little beetle who always rolls this ball around with him. A beetle who has to get through a world of lite-Metroidvania adventure platforming mixed with…pinball? You’re also the new mailman of this island for some reason, which is especially weird since this fact has next to nothing to do with the main plot that needs resolving. Oh well.

Anyway, it’s a pretty fun game if you’re into colorful side-scrolling adventures and/or pinball. The visual style is somewhat like Ori and the Blind Forest, though instead of the usual platforming puzzles you’ll be participating in a series of pinball challenges/battles. They aren’t particularly difficult, especially since you can’t really die, you just fall into some spikes that steal a small amount of coins from you and get to immediately jump back into action.

Can you solve the mystery of whatever the hell this thing is that keeps popping up whenever you get and activate ten secret collectibles?

Occasionally it can be a little hard to tell exactly what it is you need to hit to solve a particular puzzle and there are times where you’ll have to pass through the same pinball zone multiple times during your standard adventure platformer backtracking, which can get a little frustrating when you’re trying to get someplace and are stuck sitting there trying to hit the ball through the correct tiny hole from the correct side just to move on again, but these are minor gripes in the overall scheme of things. Most of the time I found that I was having too much fun to care about the flaws. It was just such a fun, beautiful looking world that was filled with treasures, secrets, and excellent pinball.

The music is interesting too. Some of it I really liked, but there were a few tracks, the opening one in particular, that I found to be overly peppy and annoying, though oddly enough I ended up getting that one stuck in my head for a week or two anyway so I guess it wasn’t all that bad.

Boss battle!

You’d think there wouldn’t be a whole lot of content to a seemingly simple game like this, but surprisingly it can last a good 8-12 hours depending on how thorough you are in your secret hunting. It’s a pretty good deal for its price (It’s apparently now available on Switch too) and I’d definitely recommend it to fans of adventure platformers and pinball, even if you’re not typically into cutesy-type games, because it’s just that fun.

One comment on “Yoku’s Island Express (2018, PC)

  1. The spiritual successor to the CLASSIC Sonic Spinball!

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