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Yoku's Island Express Review

Game image Yokus Island Express
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Posted: 8 weeks ago, last updated 5 weeks ago.

Author: @EamonGaudio and @GeekDadGamer.

OverviewOverview

Yoku's Island Express combines pinball and running and jumping games. You run, bounce and collect special items, engage in battles with fantasy enemies and explore a large open-world. Just like a classic pinball machine you use paddles and bumpers placed around the world to launch Yoku into new areas, unlock secret areas, and battle bosses.

You play Yoku, a beetle attached to a ball who has a new job as a postal worker for Mokumana Island. When you start work you discover that the locals need more than their mail delivered. The island god has fallen into a restless sleep with nightmares causing quakes and storms for the islanders. You explore the island making deliveries all while trying to help the islanders by awakening the island god.

As you progress you use the pinball paddles and bumpers to get around the world. As you explore each screen is a distinct area that is just like a mini pinball table. They have their own obstacles to avoid, lanes to fire down, and skill shots to unlock secret areas and items.

The joy of the game is how these elements come together to tell an endearing story. You may only be pinging Yoku around with the flippers, but in doing this you are saving the day for the island folk you meet.

DetailsGame Details

Rating:

Release Date: 29/05/2018

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @YokuGame

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 6 hours and 12 hours to complete.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

You can try this game in a free demo. Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 7 because of depictions of non-realistic violence towards fantasy characters.

Rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for engaging in battles with fantastical enemies (e.g., giant eels, spiders). Battles are depicted in a pinball-machine-style layout, in which players bounce and shoot Yoku at the creatures. Enemy bosses and monsters cry out in pain when struck, and one boss emits splashes of yellow when hit/defeated. One scene depicts Yoku rolling a ball of dung, and another shows a brown “poo coil” surrounded by flies.

AccessibilityAccessibility

The paddles are colour-coded blue for the left paddle and yellow for the right but there are no symbols or any other visual distinction to differentiate right from left paddles. Hitting Yuko into the desired pinball lane sometimes requires precise timing.

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Low Pressure: Game tasks aren’t time-limited or with a high emphasis on performance. Or there is a low pressure play-mode available.

View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Reading Level

No Reading: No reading is required.

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Single Stick: Can play with multiple buttons and a stick.

No Simultaneous Buttons: Only one button or key required at a time, in addition to direction.

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Visual Distractions

No Flashes: No flashing strobe effects or you can disable them.

No Screen Shake: No screen shake effect or this can be disabled.

Clear Interface: The game navigation, maps and information are clear to read, large or adjustable.

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

Visual Cues for Audio Events: Text or other visual indicators of audio events.

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well

System Settings

Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). PlayStation 5 has a range of system-wide accessibility settings. Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games. Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @EamonGaudio


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