Yoku’s Island Express by Villa Gorilla was a game I’ve always heard was amazing, but for some reason, I put off playing – despite owning a physical copy on the Nintendo Switch. It’s not that I thought the game wasn’t for me – from all the praise I heard, I knew it would be my style, but I honestly still had no idea what I was getting into. Yoku’s Island Express is an adventure, puzzle, pinball game, yes, you read that right – it sounds like too many genres, but trust me, it works in this case. In Yoku’s Island Express, you take control of Yoku, a postmaster (mailbug) on Mokumana Island – tasked with saving the whole island’s inhabitants by restoring the Mokumana God to full power again as an evil sickness had stuck it down. As I said before, this mix of genre’s shouldn’t work, but it does, and it works so well that It kept me hooked for hours at a time. It’s honestly hard to explain, but the main campaign has you walking as you normally would, carrying around a ball that you’re tethered to (you are a dung beetle after all) solving puzzles and completing fetch quests as you solve the mysteries on the island.
The main sections of the puzzles require you to use your pinball skills to hit certain targets or travel to certain rails, seamlessly transitioning in and out of normal walking and pinball. The closest comparison I can give is Sonic Spinball, but with a lot more on foot segments. I really enjoyed my time with Yoku’s Island Express – The pinball physicals were decent, with me having little to no issue controlling the ball fairly, and the puzzles and adventure portions gave my brain a good workout as I solved every issue problem the locals had for me. I spent about ten hours in this game going for the full 100% completion, with the main story line being wrapped up in about half that time. I highly recommend giving this game a go if you love pinball or adventure type games such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, it’s really that good, even if it’s premise is rather hard to explain. Yoku’s Island Express is available right now for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and Steam.