Yoku’s Island Express – Pinball Platforming

Don’t mind me, I’m just a dung beetle doing my best. It’s a little hard to see with this big ball of poop in front of me, but I just roll with it. Life is all about perspective, and I take things with a side-on view. Getting from one place to another can be difficult, but life is all about the journey itself and I’m having a lot of fun.

Phew, this is quite a workout. There’s a lot to do on this island. After the Posterodactyl quit, I have taken over their job to deliver mail. I can’t fly or get around quite as easily as a giant bird, but someone’s got to do it. This island is packed with people to help, and secrets to find. So how do I get around?

I can move my little legs to the left or right, but I can’t jump. Luckily there seems to be some force guiding me when I roll onto these special yellow and blue pads. I can launch straight up with the tap of ZL or ZR and fly through the many tunnels and platforms of the land. It’s like a giant organic pinball table. Rumour has it that other beetles knew this day would come, that the Pterodactyl would one day stop delivering the mail. All these tunnels and pathways were designed for the chosen one to continue providing for the people. I guess that’s me. I didn’t ask for any of it, I was just in the right place at the right time.

Sometimes I get lost. With such an unconventional form of movement, progression can sometimes be a puzzle itself. Where will this flipper take me? Can I get back? What happens if I roll down, or go back to the left? A bit of experimentation is required, but everything slowly unravels in a satisfying way. It’s always worth the struggle just to see all the different environments on this island. It’s full of lush flora, windy caves, flowing waterfalls, colourful meadows and snowy peaks. The weather changes and everything responds with lively animations and a tangible sense of nature and peace. It’s so detailed and beautiful. Trust me, I’d know. The foreground and background is all I can see with this ball in my face.

Certain areas act like set-pieces, which either involve getting a certain pinball combo, collecting key items, or fighting bosses. The boss fights can be scary but as long as I hold my nerve and get my angles right, there’s nothing to worry about. There can be several steps involved in setting up a hit on the boss, opening it up, flipping a switch, or getting the dung ball ready. It really allows me to show my creativity as a dung beetle and it’s an absolute joy when everything comes together. Some angles are really specific, but there’s a lot of time to practice. It helps that that flipper sounds are nice and pleasant, without the obnoxious sounds and flashing lights of a human pinball table. Everything here is organic and wholesome.

Well, that’s today’s mail delivered. I’ve brought peace to a few island residents, unblocked some passageways and rescued some key items, but a dung beetle’s journey is never over. I don’t have a home, but this cave is where I’ll sleep tonight. It’s nice and cosy and I’m safe from explosive slugs. It’s not like anybody would ever send me mail, anyway. People appreciate their mail being delivered, but they never really think too hard about it. It just makes me happy that everyone can continue their day without worry. Good night to everybody reading this.

Love and peace, Yoku

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