Yoku’s Island Express – Review

Versions played: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Given my love for pinball in general – and a soft spot for Metroidvania games – it’s absolutely criminal that it’s taken me this long to feature the pinball/platform game hybrid, Yoku’s Island Express.

It’s such a charming, gorgeous, good-natured game. The story, which sees little dung beetle Postman Yoku washed up on the island of Mokumana, and is instantly put to work completing various tasks around the island.

At first glance, it would seem to be a 2D, classic Metroidvania – and it can feel like that at times. However, even though little Yoku can move around the island from left to right as you’d expect in a 2D platformer, he cannot jump – to properly traverse the island and access all of the necessary areas you’ll need to reach to progress, you’ll need to learn to use the bumpers and flippers that are dotted around the landscape. Blue flippers are activated with the left trigger and yellow flippers with the right; some have an element of both colours and can be activated with either button.

It’s a short, relatively straightforward and easy game, but the visual style is incredibly charming; it’s a very satisfying and compelling experience. Not wishing to spoil the joy of discovery as you make your way around the island, I won’t go into any story details – suffice to say that it remains an absolutely lovely experience throughout.

It’s an absolutely wonderful little game and it’s available on pretty much every platform you can think of right now. If you haven’t played it, you really should – for those of you with Game Pass for Xbox One and/or PC have no excuse for passing this one up; it’s available as part of your package already. For the rest of you, just know that Yoku’s Island Express, while short, is absolutely worth the price of entry, with a hugely successful melding of genres that’s not quite like anything you will have played before. Lovely stuff.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this – or any of my other content – it’d be much appreciated if you’re able to share this article via social media. I’d also be forever grateful if you’re able to support me via: Ko-Fi.com/geekmid – which would assist me in writing even more content just like this. Above all else though, thanks for reading – I truly appreciate it!

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8 thoughts on “Yoku’s Island Express – Review

    1. There’s little of the usual pinball frustration that can see you losing a game almost at random, thankfully – it’s more that the pinball elements appear as part of the environment. Well worth your time, it’s a lovely little game.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s an absolutely glorious indie gem, I highly recommend it. I have zero interest in pinball but it’s a really life-affirming treat. Obviously inspired a great deal by Ori and the Blind Forest, which is coming to the Switch next month!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Yeah, I absolutely love this. It’s a wonderfult thing, I saw the preview a few years back and immediately bookmarked it in my memory. Sometimes you just can tell a game is going to be fantabulous.

    Like

  2. Really, really liking the look of this one buddy, think a wee download is in order and hopefully another great recommendation by yersell mate, I’m still loving that horizon chase turbo game, getting no bad at it lol thanks for this review mate

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love that you enjoyed Horizon Chase Turbo so much! And yes, Yoku is a lovely game. Very family friendly too, which is another selling point for you I’d imagine 😊

      Like

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