Villa Gorilla Games and Team17 released a free demo for Yoku’s Island Express today, letting players from PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch try out this mix of pinball and metroidvania mechanics for free.
If you haven’t heard of Yoku before, it’s easily one of the most charming experiences of the year. Players take control of a beetle who is always tied to a ball, being introduced into a gigantic island as the new postmaster. The journey unfolds like your usual metroidvania (spaces being limited until you obtain a specific ability and so on) but the trick is that everything feels like a giant pinball machine, with carefully crafted tables within.
During my time with the game, I’ve travelled through the islands by swinging and bumping my way across icy mountains, mysterious caves and gorgeous villages. Both the music and the art style are really compelling, but what I enjoyed the most is the general rhythm of the game: accessible, fair and rewarding at all times.
I strongly recommend that you try out the demo, whether you’re pinball aficionado or a big fan of metroidvanias. If, like me, you care about both things dearly, then Yoku’s Island Express might prove to be a huge surprise to you.
The demo is already available on Xbox and PlayStation stores, Nintendo eShop and Steam. Make sure to visit the official site for more information, and don’t forget to follow both Team17 and Villa Gorilla on Twitter.