If you had a Nintendo 64 back in the day, Banjo-Kazooie was a name that you knew and loved, along with several other properties from Rareware including Donkey Kong 64 and Jet Force Gemini. It was so successful that they managed to create a sequel cleverly titled called Banjo-Tooie, and for a long, long time after Rare split from Nintendo and ended up at Microsoft, it was about as neglected as the rest of their IP.

But after years of teasing, they finally released a new Banjo-Kazooie game, only it probably wasn’t what you were expecting. Instead, they gave us Nuts & Bolts, a game that was quite a departure for the franchise. I liked the game, but unfortunately, well, a lot of people didn’t. The game was met with harsh criticism from Banjo-Kazooie fans for being so different, and even though the game had a lot of personality, they didn’t care.

Sure, it got good reviews, and rightfully so — but that didn’t stop fans from wanting a real Banjo-Kazooie game. Unfortunately, Rare has been quiet about the franchise ever since. That hasn’t stopped a group of former employees who worked on the games from banding together to create a spiritual successor, however. This new company is called Playtonic Games, and they’re hard at work developing a game called Yooka-Laylee which is probably as close as you’ll ever get to the original Banjo-Kazooie.

Of course, as is so common in the industry nowadays, they’ve put together a kickstarter to fund the project. Want a game closer to the original Banjo-Kazooie series? Now is your chance! Don’t have enough scratch to back the project right now? That’s okay, because Playtonic Games have already reached their goal for Yooka-Laylee less than a day after the Kickstarter launched. If that doesn’t say fans are clamoring for a Banjo-Kazooie experience, I don’t know what does.

The goal was originally set at £175,000, but at the time of writing, they’ve already broken that several times over. The current count sits at £475,365 and rising, and there are still 46 days left to go. At this rate, it’s safe to say that Yooka-Laylee is happening. With so much more time left on the clock, it might even exceed £1,000,000. If you’re looking to get one of the limited rewards, you might want to act fast.

As for details on the game, well, it’s got just about everything you’d ever want out of the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, including a number of key staff. One of the great things about Banjo-Kazooie was the music, and of course they’ve brought on some of the people who worked on it. David Wise? Check. Grant Kirkhope? Check. Steve Burke? Check! As a matter of fact, they’ve even got some clips for you to listen to over on the kickstarter page.

In the event that Playtonic Games smashes their goal, which they obviously have since the kickstarter began, they’ve also got stretch goals already planned out. What can you expect if they hit more milestones? Quite a bit, actually. Half of these have already been met, which means they might need to start coming up with more soon!


If you want a more in-depth look to familiarize yourself with the project or possibly back it, check out the kickstarter. With 46 days left and just under half of the stretch goals met, it seems pretty likely that you can expect to see everything above. If you really want a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, don’t sit on this one!

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Adam Capps

About Adam Capps

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Adam Capps is the editor of video games at BentoByte. He spends his days playing video games and his nights writing about them. He's also an avid fan of anime, manga and music.

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