Yoku's Island Express - pinball metroidvania platform adventure game!

bethamari

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Hello all!

So as I've mentioned in the Currently Playing thread, I'm actually doing PR for a forthcoming charming pinball platform adventure game, Yoku's Island Express!

I recently took the game on a preview tour, so journalists could play the game, and thought I'd post about it here as there's quite a bit of cross-over with the game and I held all the events in pinball bars :)

First off we headed to Chief Coffee in London which was amazing, such a great range of machines and really friendly and helpful staff.

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From there we headed to Paris, where we held an event the next day at Le Fantôme. This was a cool little cafe that had a few machines there - though they could have done with a little TLC.

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After Paris we flew into Berlin. I really wanted to hold the preview event at the Flipperhalle but this seemed a bit too far out of the center of Berlin. Instead I spoke with Jörg at Flipperhalle who kindly let me hire in some of the machines instead to a more central venue and sorted out delivery and collection of them.

I decided to go for interface, which is a cool esports/gaming bar. The machines fit in there perfectly and looked like they belonged there! I chose to hire in a Flintstones and Theatre of Magic, as I felt these two were fun and colourful and fit well with Yoku's Island Express. The machines were in lovely condition, will definitely need to make a trip to Flipperhalle to see all the others at some point in the future!

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The tour went really well with all the media in London, Paris and Berlin and we've had some great previews so far! Yoku's Island Express will launch on the 29th May on Xbox One, PS4, Switch and PC if anyone is interested in the game :)

Here's a few quotes from the previews:
• "As games go, it feels like pure sunshine," Eurogamer
• "In its opening hours, Yoku’s Island Express is a fun, addictive and original take on the Metroidvania formula with a winning personality to match," Trusted Reviews
• "the entire premise actually works really nicely," Nintendo Life
• "With its lush art style, Ghibli-inspired environments and novel approach to the platform genre, Yoku’s Island Express could be something special," Alphr
• "We had a chance to play the game recently, and enjoyed its endearing blend of characters, conundrums and pinball platforming action," Xbox Achievements
• "It's just really sort of charming, laid back and you know I love pinball so anything that has pinball in it is fine by me," Outside Xbox
• "There are few platformers at present that manage to encapsulate a sense of mastery as much discovery with its world’s very design and structure. From early impressions, Villa Gorilla are on course to deliver something special here," Hardcore Gamer
• "strikingly individual and just plain delightful," TheSixthAxis
• "You can’t help but admire the craft in the design and the effort that Villa Gorilla took to create an uncompromising experience on the Nintendo Switch" & "so much more than a straight-up pinball game," Switch Player
 

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bethamari

bethamari

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Well the game launched earlier this week for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch™and PC:) Bit of a plug as I absolutely adore this game and it's just a team of 3 behind it who have been awesome to work with!

Here are some of the lovely reviews we've had so far:
  • Recommended - "A glorious marriage of pinball and platforming and a wild-spirited adventure to cherish," Eurogamer
  • 10/10 - "the perfect combination of pinball mechanics meets metroidvania, and is not only my favorite indie game so far this year, but my favorite pinball game of all time," CG Mag Online
  • 9/10 - "a delight, plain and simple.It's gorgeous, plays beautifully, and I hope it's the start of a new franchise, because I want to play a lot more of this", Destructoid
  • 9/10 - “a genuine breath of fresh air, combining pinball and Metroidvania mechanics in a way that feels truly inspired," Nintendo Life
  • 9/10 - “a game you'll fall in love with at first sight," EveryEye.it
  • 9/10 - “the open-world pinball adventure you never knew you wanted, but that you desperately need to play ... a new experience unlike anything else out there," PlayStation LifeStyle
  • 4.5/5 - “one of the most delightful games you’re likely to play all year," Hardcore Gamer
  • 90% - “Two very distinct gameplay styles have come together perfectly to create something that anyone can enjoy," GameSpew
  • 9/10 - "I wish that more games could make me feel as happy as Yoku’s Island Express does," Nintendo Insider
  • 8.5/10 - "it’s a journey I urge every pinball and Metroidvania fanatic to play. Villa Gorilla doesn’t just introduce a new concept to gaming – it has full ownership of it, and shows us just how fun it can be," Game Informer
  • 8.5/10 - “not only an original game, but is also very fun to play. The mix of platforms with pinball is very natural and is also very cool," PSX-Sense.nl
  • 8/10 - “novel Metroidvania-pinball hybrid that stands as something wholly unique and incredibly fun” & “has a refreshingly positive attitude that kept me smiling the whole way through," IGN
  • 8/10 - “As bizarre as the concept may seem this is both one of the best pinball games and one of the most entertaining Metroidvanias we’ve played in a long time, and we expressly recommend it to anyone that enjoys either style of game," Metro
  • 8/10 - "A beautiful, summery game with furiously fun puzzles that adults and kids will love," Official Xbox Magazine
  • 8/10 - “one of the most surprising games of 2018," Push Square
 
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bethamari

bethamari

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I’ve pre-ordered a physical switch copy from Amazon but it’s not turning up for a couple of weeks. They seem to be a bit crap on Switch pre-orders at the moment!
That's awesome! Really hope you enjoy it :) The boxed version is releasing a little later than the digital, it'll be out on the 15th June so not too much longer to wait now :)
 
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Spadge

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no Mac version :(
Historically speaking, the Mac has never really been considered a gaming target platform of any major note, other than for the odd title - speaking as a developer and a publisher and thats despite the huge amount of Mac Laptops being sold in recent years.

The iPhone however... I guess there's the argument that if more studios developed and published for Mac, it would eventually take off, but I'm not so sure.
 

Neil McRae

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for the hardcore I guess.

iPhone/mobile gaming I'm out of. its mostly a total scam to extract money for dubious gameplay... fed up of how that market has evolved. In app purchases the worst thing to ever hit the gaming industry. Give me a one-time purchase price and I'm happy to pay it.
 
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Spadge

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for the hardcore I guess.

iPhone/mobile gaming I'm out of. its mostly a total scam to extract money for dubious gameplay... fed up of how that market has evolved. In app purchases the worst thing to ever hit the gaming industry. Give me a one-time purchase price and I'm happy to pay it.
I've worked in games for over 30yrs, much of that in the premium market (pay once) on console & computers.

Mobile is very different in that to compete you have to get it in peoples hands first, which is quite the battle. We make very deep and satisfying games, but they are free to download and subsidised by ads. We're looking at an IAP to effectively make the games premium :) I agree that some games (quite a lot) are all about scamming people for cash I'm afraid. Our last (BAFTA winning) game has been installed over 30million times and around 2% or less actually pay money, but are happy to watch ads. Times are a-changing, just another platform like TV, Radio.


Apologies for the thread hijack. Back to the game :)
 

Neil McRae

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Mobile is very different in that to compete you have to get it in peoples hands first
I've played games for over 30 years :D Best way to get a game into peoples hands - make a great game - the rest will take care of itself.

Cheers,
Neil.
 

Spadge

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I've played games for over 30 years :D Best way to get a game into peoples hands - make a great game - the rest will take care of itself.

Cheers,
Neil.
If only it were that simple! It certainly helps for sure :) You tend to fight games that are backed by unfeasibly huge marketing campaigns acquiring players/users to consume ads - the games are usually very shallow and so they need millions of players in and out. Very very different to core consoles.
 

Spandangler

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Just picked up a switch so will be ordering this. Haven’t picked up a console for about 10 years, got a switch for a bargain and now I’m hooked. Mario Odyssey is so addictive. Love it.
 
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Spandangler

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Cool mate. I’d been considering it since launch but never pulled the trigger. Then one appeared local to me on Facebook. Boxed, with Mario Odyssey and mobile carry case for £180!! Bargain
 

Spadge

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Watch out for “New Star Soccer Manager” when it hits, that’s ours and if you like football/soccer you’ll enjoy that. It’s also super addictive :)
 
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insx

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It's a good game, except that I get a bit lost and don't know where to go next. I must be getting old.
 
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bethamari

bethamari

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So Yoku's Island Express has been nominated as Best Debut Indie Game for this years The Game Awards. They're just a small team of 3 who made the game so if you have played and enjoyed it - please do consider voting for it, it only takes a few minutes :) https://thegameawards.com/awards/

If you've not played it yet and are interested, there's a free demo available on Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and Steam! :)
 
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astyy

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My Black Friday Switch (well second one :cuckoo:) is arriving tomorrow and looking at the vids of gameplay I'll defo check this out.

It sounds like the dev team have done good, but well done you too for bigging up the PR:thumbs:
 
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bethamari

bethamari

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Thanks! It's my job so I'm biased but it's genuinely been one of my favourite games to work on. They're a great time and they've made a fab game.

Enjoy your new Switch!
 
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