24. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
First Played: 2019
Times Completed: 1
A new 2D platform game by the developers of DKC? Yes please! This is the newest release on my list, only being out for a couple of months. I think a hypothetical DKC 4 might’ve been like this, with the greater exploration of the overworld, massively building on the minimal expansion in DKC 3. Really it serves as a way to meld the exploration of Banjo Kazooie with the 2D levels of DKC. Throw in the level changing mechanic and the ultimate challenge, the Impossible lair and you have one of my favourite games in the 2D platform genre. Tonics can be equipped to alter abilities, make things easier in various ways or just to give a cosmetic change.
Playing through this gave me the same feeling of joy as Sonic Mania did a couple of years ago, the levels are wonderfully designed and the music is amazingly good, provided by David Wise and Grant Kirkhope. I'll have to see how this game fares over time, but right now it's right up there with my favourites.