Yoku's Island Express

A glorious marriage of pinball and platforming and a wild-spirited adventure to cherish.

Yoku's Island Express review - a pinball/platforming hybrid that works brilliantly well

You could probably build a fairly tedious argument around the premise that video games have two key parental figures. There's pen-and-paper RPGs on one side, with all the stats, the loot, the character sheets and the narrative choices. And then there's pinball on the other, a sticky bar-room game that favours reaction-time and dexterity and intricate layout design, that rewards you - and draws you in - with glorious sounds and lights. Pen-and-paper RPGs gave us Baldur's Gate and Deus Ex; pinball gave us Mario and GTA (the original GTA actually started out as an explicit riff on pinball, I gather; a little of this survived via the in-game text that aped the wonderfully garish displays of pinball machines). Or, you could forget all that and play Yoku's Island Express, a platformer with more than a little RPG to it, in which you control a dung beetle postman who hops around an island not using a jump button and a dash move, but by bouncing from one point to another while being whacked with flippers.

Yoku's Island Express

Developer: Villa Gorilla

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Yoku's Island Express already has a bunch of genres attached to it - it's been called a pinball game, a platformer, an adventure. After an hour with the game's final version, I'd like to helpfully add a few more - it's a bit of a Metroidvania, a bit of a puzzler. It's consistently charming and often wonderfully surprising. I can't really think of a lot else like it.

The hugely charming Yoku's Island Express has a release date

Yoku's Island Express will launch for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 29th May, publisher Team17 has announced.

If you've not heard of Yoku before, well, it's a pinball-based platformer where you play as a dung beetle postman solving problems and delivering mail. It's even better than it sounds.

It's an odd pitch, but there's plenty of depth to the game - a large world to explore, missions to solve, and special abilities to equip. Here's a new trailer, so you can see it all in action.

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FeatureEGX 2017: Ten of the best games from the show floor

Eurogamer's highlights from a brilliant selection of indies and big-hitters.

We've been having a lovely old time here at EGX. Andy Serkis turned up, Doug Cockle came and did the Geralt voice for Bertie (whether he liked it or not), Chris Bratt had some very Chris Bratt conversations with X-COM and XCOM maestros Julian Gollop and Jake Solomon, and then as well as all that other stuff going on, there are the games.