All Articles: Yooka-Laylee

Insert Quarter: Why Are Indie Developers Embracing the Boxed Retail Release?


Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Steam has completely taken over the game-buying experience on the PC, and digital storefronts from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are threatening to do the same thing to console players. So why have so many indie developers decided to work with publishers and distributors to launch their games as boxed retail releases?’s Christopher Dring has several theories. For starters, he believes there’s still a lot of money to be made with physical game discs. But many developers also love the idea of seeing their small labor of love sharing shelf space with the big boys.

Last week, Stardew Valley was released in a box, as was Yooka-Laylee. In the coming weeks, Tequila Works is preparing two boxed products for Rime and The Sexy Brutale. There are several businesses that are set up to help indie studios release their games in places like GameStop and GAME, such as U&I, 505 Games, Sold Out and Badland Games. Other publishers include physical distribution as part of their key selling points, such as Bandai Namco, Koch Media, GameTrust (GameStop’s publishing arm) and a stream of others.

Yet it’s a risky area to invest in. Boxed products are costly and lack the flexibility of the digital marketplace. Going through retail also loses some of that direct contact with the customer. So why bother?

Dring spoke to indie developers like Psyonix (Rocket League) and Sold Out (Overcooked) to learn about their experiences with launching a boxed retail release, and he makes his case that more indie developers should explore the practice at

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Xbox Store Today: Yooka-Laylee, MX Vs ATV 2017, The Sexy Brutale, more

Relive the late 90s with today’s Xbox Games Store update, as Playtonic Games has released Yooka-Laylee for the Xbox One. Most of Playtonic’s employees are veterans of Rare, and they’ve brought the same “collectathan” style of platforming to their latest game. In Yooka-Laylee, players will guide a giant chameleon and a wisecracking bat through the jungle as they hop on floating platforms and attempt to stop the nefarious Capital B from destroying the world’s books.

Also available to download for the Xbox One today is MX Vs ATV 2017 Official Track Edition, an update to MX Vs ATV Supercross Encore that includes all 16 official tracks from the 2017 Supercross Championship Season. Why don’t more sports games do this?

Finally today, Cavalier Game Studios and Tequila Works teamed up to bring the mysterious and intriguing The Sexy Brutale to the Xbox One. Players will waltz through the titular casino mansion as they attempt to solve a murder… and escape the neverending time loop they’ve found themselves trapped in.

More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)

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Yooka-Laylee, Cosmic Star Heroine, Kero Blaster, more added to PS Store

Retro-inspired games once again rule the roost in this week’s PlayStation Store update.

In Yooka-Laylee, the king of the jungle isn’t a great ape or a ferocious bear, but rather, a chameleon named Yooka and a bat that goes by Laylee. Both characters will head out on an N64-style platforming adventure this week to find collectibles and stop the nefarious Capital B and Dr. Quack. Developed by Playtonic, Yooka-Laylee is now available to download for the PS4.

Also available this week is the latest addition to Sony’s Play Collective promotion… Cosmic Star Heroine. The PS4 RPG was developed by Zeboyd Games, and it features a gameplay style inspired by 16-bit RPGs like Chrono Trigger. Players will guide Alyssa L’Salle, an intergalactic superspy, across the galaxy as she’s forced to turn against her superiors at at the Agency of Peace and Intelligence to uncover the evildoers behind a horrible conspiracy.

Finally this week, the creator of Cave Story, Studio Pixel, is back with Kero Blaster, a new side-scrolling platformer for the PS4.

You can learn more about all of these titles (and the rest of this week’s additions to the PlayStation Store) after the break. (more…)

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New Retail Releases: Yooka-Laylee, Stardew Valley Collector’s Edition, StarBlood Arena

The past, the present, and the future collide in this week’s New Retail Release report.

Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee is a throwback to the 3D platformers of the Donkey Kong 64/Banjo-Kazooie era. In fact, a majority of the developers from Playtonic originally worked on both of those games at Rare. With Yooka-Laylee, which will be available for the PS4 and Xbox One, the team has gone back to what they’re good at and created a game where there’s platforms to jump on, collectibles to find, and bosses to fight.

Last year, ConcernedApe’s Stardew Valley became a huge hit by combining a sprawling RPG with a farming simulation. This week, it’ll be available on retail shelves in a Collector’s Edition for the PS4 and Xbox One.

Finally this week, StarBlood Arena is a space shooter from Sony that’s launching exclusively for PlayStation VR. Players will be able to compete in single-player, co-op, and multiplayer matches as they attempt to survive in the futuristic Arena.

That’s all for now, but we’ll be back later this week with an expanded look at the latest additions to the PlayStation Store, Xbox Games Store, and Nintendo eShop.

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More than 60 “Nindies” are in development for Nintendo Switch including SteamWorld Dig 2, Runner 3, Yooka-Laylee, and more

Nintendo presented their first-ever Nindies Showcase for the Nintendo Switch today, and promised that more than 60 games from independent developers will be available for the console in 2017. This includes a staggering number of exclusives and timed exclusives such as…

  • Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig 2, which will be available first on the Switch this Summer.
  • Choice Provisions’s Runner 3, which is in development exclusively for the Switch, and will be released this Fall.
  • Vertex Pop’s Graceful Explosion Machine, a side-scrolling shooter that’ll be released for the Switch first this April.
  • Team Shifty’s Mr. Shifty, an overhead action game that’ll also be available first for the Switch this April.
  • Cardboard Robot’s Pocket Rumble, a retro-styled fighting game that’ll only be available to console owners on the Switch this March.

Other highlights from the Nindies Showcase include confirmation that Yooka-Laylee will be available for the Switch “soon” and that Blaster Master Zero will be released simultaneously for the 3DS and Switch on March 9.

Nintendo’s complete Nindies Showcase presentation has been embedded above, and you can learn more about all the games featured in the video after the break. (more…)

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Yooka-Laylee will be released on April 11; Switch release planned for later in 2017 after Playtonic cancels Wii U version

Playtonic Games has announced that Yooka-Laylee will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on April 11. Yes, you read that right, the Wii U version of the colorful 3D platformer has been canceled. According to the developer’s official website, the Wii U version was dropped due to “unforeseen technical issues.”

However, Playtonic revealed that they’re working closely with Nintendo to bring Yooka-Laylee to the upcoming Nintendo Switch. More details about the Switch release of Yooka-Laylee will be revealed next year, likely during Nintendo’s livestream presentation on January 12.

In other Yooka-Laylee news, Playtonic also unveiled a gameplay trailer for the game that focuses on a brand new locale, the “Capital Cashino”:

This glamorous, marble-floored playground has our buddy-duo navigating the casino floor, discotheques and oversized roulette tables in search of delicious golden bounty. But there’s a twist; players must now compete to win casino tokens, and exchange them with the banker for the pivotal Pagies!

Finally, Playtonic announced that everyone who pre-orders a copy of Yooka-Laylee will instantly receive the Toybox Demo, “which offers a taste of the platforming mechanics set to appear in the full game in a self-contained, spoiler free sandbox.”

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Playtonic digs up a cameo for Shovel Knight in Yooka-Laylee

Playtonic plans to pack their upcoming 3D platformer, Yooka-Laylee, with a ton of quirky and colorful characters. In addition to the original characters Playtonic is creating for the game, Yooka-Laylee will also feature a guest appearance by the one and only Shovel Knight! You can get your first peek at the chivalrous character in Yooka-Laylee’s latest trailer, which has been embedded above. It’ll also give fans a chance to reintroduce themselves to the villainous Capital B, the cunning Trowzer, and many others…

  • Capital B – Cunning bizzness executive Capital B is the CEO of diabolical corporation Hivory towers, which has recently joined forces with ingenious tech firm Quack Corp. Together, they’re about to launch their most devious scheme yet: To absorb all of the world’s books and take over the world!
  • Trowzer – The serpent salesman claims to be the most skilled and knowledgeable character in the game, though Laylee suspects he’s little more than a dodgy dealer. During their adventure, Yooka and Laylee can purchase advanced manoeuvres from Trowzer’s travelling moves shop.
  • Dr. Quack – The former partner of Dr. Puzz, Quack’s increasingly wild experiments lead him down the path of corruption. Now fully clad in a not-so-hi-tech “biosuit,” the “good” doctor uses his scientific expertise to power up Hivory Towers’ Corplet employees
  • Dr. Puzz – A hapless scientist who’s experience more than her share of tentacle – erm “technical” issues, Dr. Puzz will use her D.N.Ray to transform Yooka and Laylee into a plethora of crazy critters and help them on their adventure.

Yooka-Laylee will be released for the PC, PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One in Early 2017.

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Here’s an E3 2016 trailer for Yooka-Laylee… but Playtonic pushed it back to Early 2017

Playtonic Games is hard at work on Yooka-Laylee, their loving tribute to the “Collect-Em-Ups” of the late 90s/early 2000s like Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64. But it looks like that hard work is going to take a little more time, as Playtonic has confirmed Yooka-Laylee won’t be released this October as originally planned. Instead, the developer revealed (on their official website) that it’ll be released for the PC, PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One early next year:

While we felt confident we could ship the game in October as originally projected in our Kickstarter, the Playtonic team has decided that it would prefer to add a few extra months’ polish to the game schedule.

Ultimately, this will allow us to deliver a better game to the tens-of-thousands of you who’ve supported us throughout development. And that’s what we all want, right?

While Yooka-Laylee is a bit further away now than it was before, Playtonic plans to bring their work-in-progress game to next week’s E3 Expo, so we should learn more about it soon. In the meantime, you can check out the game’s E3 trailer, which has been embedded above.

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