YOLKED is a light physics-based platformer, that has you take control of an egg, with arms, as you explore different levels, attempting to escape in one piece.
This is another example of an extremely shallow concept game, made mostly for streamers to play for entertaining others, than for providing a good experience on its own. Having only four campaign levels and an unlockable endless mode, there is little to really keep you engaged for long.
Between the lack of content, the frustrating difficulty, and basic physics gameplay it can be a real chore to play in the average player’s home gaming situation, but add to that an endlessly irritating sense of humor that just feels a bit try hard obnoxious, causing the game to come across as trying too hard to be the next meme game, and this game becomes an experience that I found extremely hard to get through.
With a campaign, and I use that term very loosely, that in the nicest terms could be described as brief, there really is not much content to speak of. The game takes you on the egg’s journey, trying to escape from its creator’s house.
This short jaunt takes us across the kitchen, an attic, his garden, and finally a “Tree” which is the most interesting of the four, feeling different enough from the rest to provide a slightly more unique experience, but still doing little to redeem the overall feel.
Outside of that there’s little story to speak of, the game instead being filled with minor background world building elements and jokes, through things like news broadcasts while riding up a balloon in the attic, to background images in the kitchen level, we find out a few bits of lore, yet I did not find any of it particularly interesting, and because the gameplay does require a good amount of focus, I found it hard to pay attention to the background elements to begin with.
I think environmental storytelling can be a vital element in most games, but here its needless at best, shoddy at worst. When you are also making a game centered around difficult gameplay, those elements only distract and detract from the experience.
Speaking of the gameplay, if you have played a physics-based platformer before like QWOP or Mount Your Friends then you should know what to expect here. The controls are simple, with the bumpers on a controller being used to grab and release with your left and right hands respectively, your egg scaling the world and avoiding damage, while using the analog sticks to swing in either direction as you climb throughout each level.
Mouse and keyboard can be used to play this game, but the game itself recommends using a controller, and I agree that is the better way to go. You can tell that the developers had speed running and streaming in mind when crafting this game, but not really the experience outside of that, with the gameplay never feeling good or fun enough to want to constantly revisiting it to better my previous times. All I kept thinking as I played it was how much I wanted it to be over.
Something that didn’t help with this with was the previously mentioned humor. While other games in this genre have made attempts at humor to make an impression, this time around the humor completely falls flat for me.
It came across as a bit try hard, just an attempt to get attention online. None of the jokes, which were mostly part of the background environment, or the quips that you get on screen when a new costume gets unlocked, ever landed.
To unlock the additional costumes, you must explore more of the levels, usually going to corners or bottoms that are hard to reach. I really did not feel like the game gave me any incentive to go after these unlocks, none of them really felt special or worth the extra effort and frustration that it caused.
This game really feels like it fell out of a lost Newgrounds flash game.
The lack of actual content within the game, with the main campaign only having four levels, really harms it, leaving it feeling like a basic tech demo for something greater, instead of a fully formed idea.
The gameplay is supposed to feel loose and be something that the player struggles with, but unlike other games in the physics platformer genre, I did not feel like I was improving and just became more frustrated. Combining all those issues makes a game that I actively wanted to finish just so I did not have to play it anymore. If you are a fan of physics platformers, I think YOLKED leaves a lot to be desired, and I really can not recommend you play it.
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