When the Yooka-Laylee trailer dropped at E3, people were absolutely thrilled to explore a new platforming adventure from the same team that worked on the Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country games. It’s being released on practically every platform and it looks stunning.
While it has been made clear that—despite the naming convention—Yooka-Laylee is no extension of the Banjo-Kazooie series, it will have its similarities. That’s great news for anyone who loves platformers, because Banjo-Kazooie is unquestionably one of (if not the) best platformers that we’ve ever been graced with.
That being said, here are five worlds from the classic N64 platformer that Yooka-Laylee would be a better game for having!
Treasure Trove Cove
Everyone who played Banjo-Kazooie remembers this level — even the quitters! That’s because it’s the second world in the game after the game’s very vanilla opener, Mumbo’s Mountain.
Treasure Trove Cove is when you first discover what an enthusiastic, vibrant, and fun game Banjo-Kazooie is going to be. It isn’t until you hear this world music and get thrown onto this beach that it hits you that you’re playing a really special game.
This world also brings us Nipper’s Private Beach and Sharkfood Island, two of the earliest side locations that put you on edge and has you fearful of losing your precious Honeycombs. Although it’s the second world, it’s the first world that really gives you the full Banjo experience.
Banjo-Kazooie took us from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, following up Treasure Trove Cove with Clanker’s Cavern. Here, we’re taken from strolling through a sunny beach to passing through a drainage pipe.
Clanker’s Cavern is the first world with lots of significant things to do underwater. The level wraps around a huge mechanical fish that has been trapped there by the game’s antagonist, Gruntilda. That fish is Clanker, and you can hop through the blowhole on the top of his head or go through his gills for some very dark encounters.
While Banjo-Kazooie has this very cheerful and bright aura to it, Clanker’s Cavern pivots completely and shows some versatility. You thought you knew the game you were playing, and then they drop something like this on you. I really hope Yooka-Laylee brings us something like this early on in the game!
I’ll be honest. I hated this world as a kid, but I’ve really developed an appreciation for it on my most recent playthrough.
This world follows the darker atmosphere that came with Clanker’s Cavern, but the upbeat tune of it doesn’t leave you feeling down in the dumps. Bubblegoop Swamp features some of the best parkour-style platforming gameplay in Banjo-Kazooie, and The Tiptup Choir is one of my favorite minigames.
Bubblegoop Swamp shows that you can put a flavorful spin on a cliché platforming theme, like a swamp, that doesn’t leave it feeling dull and expected.
Click Clock Wood
The last main world of Banjo-Kazooie has a lot to offer in terms of content. Part of that content is some of the best and most memorable music in the game — and that’s saying a lot, because Banjo-Kazooie has one of the best OSTs that Nintendo has ever put together.
Click Clock Wood is a world with four seasonal stages, all that come with unique world experiences and tunes. It’s atmospheric and beautiful in all four of its seasons. There are too many notable things to visit in this world: The Large Tree, Gnawty’s House, The Bramble Field, The Zubba’s Nest, Click Clock Wood Pond, and so much more.
Climbing through that monstrous tree at Click Clock Wood in each of the four seasonal levels is a joy. I really hope Yooka-Laylee manages to pull something off that plays into the way Banjo-Kazooie was able to effectively cram four worlds into one, because it’s really the cherry on top of an amazing game.
Grunty’s Furnace Fun
This is not technically a world, but it is a part of the game so large and interactive that it could be treated like one.
Grunty’s Furnace Fun is a trivia game show hosted by Gruntilda, the witch you’ve been chasing through the entire game. The rules are very simple. Gruntilda asks you a series of questions related to Banjo-Kazooie and the many worlds you play through. Answering correctly will let you advance one square and answer another question, and answering incorrectly will lose you a Honeycomb. Answer incorrectly on one of the skull spaces and you’re hurled into a pit of lava and have to start over.
I love that the game wrapped up like this. It’s a refresher course that allows you to reminisce on the how you’ve just played through one of the best titles in Nintendo history. Yooka-Laylee, watch and learn. I’d really love to see something like this top of one more great platformer.
What are you expecting out of Yooka-Laylee? While it’s certainly a game with a very different look and feel to it, I’m expecting they go in the right direction and either revisit or touch up on similar themes that we’ve seen in the original Banjo-Kazooie and maybe even Banjo-Tooie.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re looking for in Yooka-Laylee and which Banjo-Kazooie world was your favorite!