Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Review

"That 2D Charm"


October 14, 2019 at 3:47am
By Jason Stettner

Yooka-Laylee return for another adventure, this time in the style of a 2D platformer. This is actually somewhat, entirely different from their previous venture in a 3D platforming situation. It works really well, and this is one of the best in the genre. It does some unique things with a formula and general genre that’s really saturated these days. Narrative wise our heroes are off meeting Queen Phoebee, they need to free her Royal Beettalion.

They achieve this by breaking the little buzzing troopers out that are at the end of the levels. This is needed to tackle the “Impossible Lair”, and to stop the dangerous nemesis Capital B. This is a literal end-game dungeon that you need to complete, and you can tackle it at any point. That being said, you’re going to need those friendly buzzers to get through it alive. What’s truly unique about this title is how you interact with it. You’ll move through an open world map area to solve puzzles, find secrets and then enter levels.

The levels are all very well done, and this can be quite a challenging time. That aside, it is somewhat friendly too if you need a hand checkpoint wise. When you do work through a level, you may also be able to play it again. Not in terms of just going back for those collectibles, but in an entirely different style. Certain actions in the open map area will alter the levels.

Some levels might become frozen, others sticky and it’s just an amazingly simple, yet cool way to mix the action up in this one. There is a good selection of levels, and many puzzles to take part in whether that’s within those very levels or while exploring the way to enter them. I did have a minor issue with the blocking style they used in this, at times you do need to have special collectibles in order to open doors to progress, I don’t like that in games.


This is a gorgeous 2D platformer with bright, and vibrant colors used throughout. The worlds are filled with depth, unique enemies and many puzzles to face off along the way. You’ll get a serious challenge, and be able to push that forward as you discover secrets hidden throughout the various levels that are present.

They’re creative in this one, and it gets a little neater with Tonics. These Tonics are extras to find that can be bought in-game to tweak how the experience is. Some are silly, some are helpful. Keep in mind that these Tonics might lower your options for currency bonuses at the end of a level. Everything handles quite well in this, the characters look great and they’re ever so charming to see in action once again.

I really do enjoy this duo and hope we get to see additional adventures from them. They brought some neat mechanics in this one, it’s rare to come across something with so many little tweaks that make this game stand out from its genre entirely.
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a great 2D platformer that provides some neat ways to mix-up the experience, and it felt like such a breath of fresh air in a crowded genre. I really did enjoy this one, lots of fun with some challenging yet fair situations to work through.

There is a good selection of levels, and the replay style is very unique in this one. I believe my absolute favorite part was the overall map world area though. The puzzles and setup there really encouraged me to explore, and see where I could head to if I poked around the right way. The two lead characters are excellent here, and the narrative was well done.

I also liked the overall goal, a dungeon to tackle that’s always available. It’s neat to try it occasionally and go further as you collect additional bee assistants to protect your journey. It’s also a very hard challenge, so be prepared for that as you won’t expect what you face in there and it will take some tries to accomplish.

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Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Team17

Rating Overall: 8.4

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner