Yoku's Island Express is a truly unique experience mixing pinball and platforming action in one charming package. The narrative is built around a small critter heading to an island in order to work as the local postal agent. Things are not going well, so you'll have to go around solving the problems of the various inhabitants. It's a large open world that's full of free exploration. There's a strong mix of soft platforming as you take on many pinball situations.
It starts off fairly linear getting you to a key point and then opening up entirely. You're free to do whatever as you venture towards a few key points scattered throughout the world. There are many biomes to work through that are filled with goals and some hidden secrets. Sometimes it requires some extra abilities and you unlock these the more you explore. The puzzles are varied and ever so creative as you pinball around while working towards completing any issues that come your way.
The visuals of Yoku's Island Express are gorgeous, the artwork is quite stunning. The characters merge well into this world feeling like natural inhabitants. It's a lot of fun to just travel around delivering the mail, meeting characters and collecting fruit. The fruit can be held in certain quantities based on what you've unlocked and you use this to purchase new routes. Some of these help you get places quicker whereas many are essential to the next part of the journey.
There are many collectibles to find as well and so many secrets hidden throughout. You constantly get new abilities such as diving for water, sucking up explosive slugs or the magical noisemaker to communicate with others. The pinballing is fun, it's smooth and ever so creative. The way it mixes into the regular game is ever so perfect. It's such a distinct type of game that feels very fresh.
Yoku's Island Express is a great time, it's a charming and enjoyable for any audience. The artwork is stunning, the character is quiet yet charming and it's full of fun little adventures. The pinball elements were creative, always changing and I liked to the evolution of them as you progressed further. It's a vast world to explore full of hidden pathways that require additional abilities and a certain freedom few games offer. I was never sure where I was going, yet I had a blast getting to the key points that were spread out across the open world. There were many biomes, a pile of creatures and a story with a clear goal of just delivering the mail. I was also pleasantly surprised at the mini selection of choices along the way.
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Yoku's Island Express Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Team17