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Developer Playtonic Games used their reputation as ex-Rare employees to fund the creation of Yooka-Laylee, their unabashed homage to the Nintendo 64’s biggest platformers. While Yooka-Laylee already played like an N64 title, Playtonic is taking that one step closer by making the game look like it was from 1998. Called the “64-Bit tonic,” Playtonic teased the upcoming Yooka-Laylee N64 filter for the game. While they did not reveal its release date, the studio said that this is just part of the upcoming content they have planned for the game.
The above picture from their website looks blurry, flat, full of bloom, and noticeably low-res. It’s undeniably janky, although the amount of bloom wasn’t quite a signature feature of the N64. While it may change in motion and when the patch is finished, it looks more like it’s running on a very, very weak PC.
Like its name implies, this visual downgrade is going to be a tonic in the game. Tonics are perks you can equip in the menu that range from new abilities to cosmetic changes. For example, one can give Yooka more health while another gives characters a high-pitched voice.
Playtonic stated that they are working on this Yooka-Laylee N64 filter while also making more content. They’re still fulfilling Kickstarter stretch goals, which includes a dev commentary series as well as other “additional content.” The 64-Bit tonic was part of their £1,100,000 stretch goal. The £2,000,000 stretch goal, which they also hit, promised more free DLC after the game’s launch.
The studio has been quiet for some time. After releasing to middling reviews in April 2017, Playtonic kept busy updating the game and fixing is various issues. However, after the Switch version’s release in December 2017, the studio scurried out of public eye. They acknowledged this silence and assured players that they were hard at work.
“You may have noticed that we’re continuing to be mysterious and quiet here in the Playtonic dev bunker,” the studio stated on their website. “That’s simply because we’re all heads down, buzzing like union worker bees, spawning some of the cool stuff we hope to get into your hands in the near future.”