A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a 2D side-scrolling action game for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, PC, and Mac. This is the latest installment in the Yooka-Laylee franchise, which has previously seen two friends facing off against seemingly impossible odds to save others. In this title, players are tasked with preventing an evil character from enslaving bees. While characters do knock their enemies down by jumping on their heads, throwing things at them, and rolling into them, there's no blood or gore. There's also no inappropriate content included in the game.
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What's it about?
In YOOKA-LAYLEE AND THE IMPOSSIBLE LAIR, Capital B has built a bee mind control device called Hive Mind. It's up to you — as a lizard named Yooka and a purple bat named Laylee — to stop him before he enslaves all the bees in the Royal Stingdom. But since Capital B is much stronger than you, you have to first rescue members of Queen Pheobee's beetalion so they can help you become much stronger. Doing this won't be easy, though, and will require you to run, jump, and roll your way through obstacle course-like areas full of traps, secret rooms, and Capital B's loyal henchmen. Players will explore 2D and 3D environments, fighting through Capital B's enemies and saving members of the Royal Beetalion before eventually confronting the mastermind of this trouble.
Is it any good?
While it's clever and challenging, a lack of originality keeps this from being a classic. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a 2D side-scrolling platformer in the vein of the Donkey Kong Country series and the Crash Bandicoot games. In it, a lizard called Yooka and his purple bat best friend Laylee have to save the world from Capital B, who wants to use his Hive Mind device to enslave all the bees. Though to do this, Yooka and Laylee are going to need some help, which they'll get by rescuing some bees who are trapped in obstacle course-like areas that are fiendish with the traps and hazards scattered across each location. It's a good thing our heroes are good at running, jumping, bopping enemies on the head by jumping on them, and doing forward rolls that knock enemies and less sturdy objects out of the way.
While this game clearly owes a lot of debt to the earlier released platforming games, it's oddly fans of those titles who will get bored of this quickest. While some levels are clever, and challenging, Yooka and Laylee don't do anything here we haven't done before (though, admittedly, not always in the same game). Laylee can help Yooka do a short hover move like Donkey Kong Country's Dixie Kong to get over obstacles, while Yooka's forward roll takes out wooden boxes in the same way as Crash Bandicoot's patented spin cycle. Even though veterans of similar games will feel this loses steam after a while, people who've never played those games, or not played them recently, will have fun rolling through Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair affected by the lack of blood and gore? Would the violence be intensified if the violence was more realistic? Would that even work in this kind of game?
Your motivation in this game is to stop Capital B from enslaving all the bees, but why is it important to stand up to evil people? Can you think of a time when people stood up to evil, and a time when they didn't?
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