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Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair PS4 Game Review

Yooka and Laylee return in 2D.

Reviewed by on Oct 03, 2019
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Yooka and Laylee are back in an all-new 2D platformer adventure! How does it hold up compared to the original? Check out Kidzworld’s PS4 review of the new colorful platformer, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair!

After the somewhat disappointing launch of the original Yooka-Laylee back in 2017, the future of the new platforming duo was uncertain. This Summer, a new Yooka game was announced for Xbox One, Playstation 4, Switch and PC that promised to shake things up a bit by ditching the large 3D levels for tight, focused 2.5D platforming challenge. Even though it is such a drastic departure from what the series wanted to be in the first place, a homage to the great 3D platformers of yesterday like Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong/Mario 64, I honestly believe this change to be for the best. The Donkey Kong Country series is as close of comparison I can say for this game, and with the recent Tropical Freeze that is quite a tall order to try and stand toe to toe with one of the best 2D platformers in recent years. How does it stack up?

Each green door has some sort of secret to discoverEach green door has some sort of secret to discover

A Familiar Story

The story in Impossible Lair is nothing too special, but that is to be expected from a game like this. Capital B is up to no good, and Yooka and Laylee gotta put an end to it. With nearly as many bee puns as The Bee Movie and no voiced characters, you might as well just skip the dialogue and get to the gameplay. He captures the royal Queen Phoebee’s Beetallion Guard, and when you rescue them they act as a temporary shield that can block damage in the challenge the game is named after…

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Launch Trailer


The Impossible Lair

The goal of the game is to rescue enough Beetallion guards to be able to survive Capital B’s latest devious creation, The Impossible Lair. You can attempt the Lair level from the very start, but good luck at beating it. The shields given to you at the end of each level increase your chances of winning, but it never feels like you can really win without it. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild you can attempt the final boss battle right from the start and even though it is very, very unlikely you will win it is still possible. The Impossible Lair is designed so that you need those shields to make it, which would be a little annoying if the levels weren’t fun to play. Then again, if you could just beat it right off the bat, there wouldn't be any reason to enjoy the rest of the game. It is a nice touch to shake things up from the usual big-bad boss level at the end of the game, but ultimately ends up feeling like that anyway. 

You can skip difficult sections if they are too challengingYou can skip difficult sections if they are too challenging

The Overworld and Levels

The only 3D sections in the game are in the overworld. This is where you travel across the map, do some light puzzle-solving and enter levels. Each level has five large coins to collect, and a decent amount of platforming challenges with a surprising amount of variety. Yooka has a spin ability that allows him to dash forward and smash through obstacles just like Donkey Kong in the Country games, which when combined with the jump can lead to some really fast and fun gameplay that caught me off guard from the start. It is definitely not the greatest feeling 2D platformer ever, but for a 2D sequel to a 3D game that wasn’t very good, it feels great zipping, crashing and jumping through levels at high speeds.  And, if you get stuck at a certain section, the game allows you to skip those more frustrating moments to keep the fun going. Some abilities can only be performed when Laylee is around. Laylee can be knocked away the first time you take damage without a shield, so there is more reason to play carefully and avoid traps and enemies. There are 20 levels to play through, with a twist. Each level can also be played through again upside down, which adds basically 20 new levels to experience bringing the total to 40. 

The overworld provides a nice break from the platforming sections with puzzle solving and explorationThe overworld provides a nice break from the platforming sections with puzzle solving and exploration


Tonics are unlockable modifiers that can change up the game in many ways. It adds a bit of customization to the experience, you can make it both easier with abilities like super-speed and infinite rolling and more difficult with harder enemies, removing checkpoints or visual changes that make the level harder to navigate. There are over 60 of these to collect and go a long way toward making the game feel like a bigger package.

The graphics shine at times, especially at nightThe graphics shine at times, especially at night

Final Thoughts

I was very pleasantly surprised by this game. I didn’t know what to expect when I heard there was going to be another Yooka-Laylee game that ditched the 3D collectathon type gameplay that the first tried to be without much innovation. Luckily, it is much easier to make a 2D platformer enjoyable with neatly placed collectibles, a high ceiling for skill that makes you want to keep moving and a large overworld with puzzles to solve, and Tonics to collect. It does all of these things well enough, but with it being so similar to Donkey Kong Country, I would say just go play that for the absolute best experience. However, if you already have played Tropical Freeze or maybe those games are a bit too challenging, Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair is a surprisingly decent alternative.


  • Colorful Visuals
  • Fast-Paced Platforming
  • Tonics Change Things Up


  • Repetitive Level Design 

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Game Rating: 4

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair for PlayStation 4Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair for PlayStation 4

Available for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC October 8th

Share Your Thoughts!

What do you think? Is this new Yooka-Laylee worth checking out? Let us know below!


By: Noah Friscopp