YOLKED – The Egg Game Review (PC) – Not a Poultry Effort
Can anyone remember when ‘I Am Bread’ dominated Youtube, Vine, and pretty much any platform where anyone would have an eye to it? It’s safe to say it is likely in the roster of games where ‘streaming’ was first created. Well, I think we are in eggstremely dangerous territory when it comes to a repeat of history with YOLKED – the egg game.
Thank God It’s Fry-day
YOLKED is a kinetic physics-based platformer almost mimicking the classic mechanics of ‘I Am Bread’ and taking it on a modern day journey. In ‘I Am Bread’, you journey to make toast. In YOLKED, here you are making your great eggscape. Let’s get into it. Also – If you have not already guessed, there will be no apologies for the egg puns. They will stay for eggternity.
YOLKED begins with a small cut scene of a very suspicious-looking man creating many eggs and placing them in a box. One egg attempts to eggscape and your journey starts here. Whenever I think of anthropomorphic, I think Egg would be the last on my list, but here we are.
YOLKED is heavily recommended to be played with a controller. I am sure seasoned veterans of keyboard WASD controls may eggsecute decent runs, but I chose to play it safe to not scrambled. (Honestly, I am not stopping, sue me). Players only need to be aware of minimal controls, grabbing with your left and right hand, using bumper buttons and your d-pad for direction.
Boiled or Fried, I’m Satisfied
Naturally, our escape starts in the Kitchen. You may have egg human arms but you do not have legs, so your aim will be to fling yourself to freedom. Whilst on your journey to the egg-sit, (okay, that was exit, and might have been a stretch), you will need to climb, drop, shimmy, and leap with open arms from platform to platform, dodging obstacles along the way. Letting go of both hands at once will give your egg a little boost. The only eggception is that you musn’t completely crack your egg. Although, the odd chip and hairline crack is fine.
This is actually pretty easy to get a hand of in the beginning, YOLKED starts with a nice pace to get you introduced to physics. Although there were times when I had to pause and think for a second about which button I would need to let go of in order to not splatter all over the counter or scramble myself into the fridge door. Once you have your bearings, YOLKED will introduce obstacles to overcome, dodge, or avoid completely. Some of these will also be timed. YOLKED gives the impression that you’re almost being chased. Shadows of spatulas will get closer to warn you. The pinpoints of darts and garden shears will appear to give you a heads up. There will be some aspects of the game where you actually are chased. Which means time is of the essence.
Something I noticed from dying multiple times is that in certain parts you are able to use different routes of traversal through the level. There were times when I was so fed up with a particular section of the game, I would fling myself in any which direction and it actually still would lead me to a new way to beat the level and reward me with a skin, thus making my journey worth my while of taking a harder route.
Fed up you ask? Why yes! Something I do think YOLKED may be lacking the option to skip a small part of a section. Each campaign level is a decent length, but it’s possible to get stuck on small sections. I was in an Attic when a stationary spider started to chase me through a corkboard. I had to dodge darts on my route because if I was caught, I’m sure he would do his utmost to eggcecute me. I sometimes found that flying at will usually worked a bit better than trying to use precision with your arm grabs and boosts.
YOLKED wouldn’t be half the fun without the collectables. Players can choose to collect as few or as many costumes as they see fit. Skins and particles are also available to collect. There is something special about my garlic egg with pink skin, rainbow zooming visually over a beehive.
Players with a keen eye will spot some really unique and interesting story elements in the background. There is something maniacal about looking at the backgrounds whilst you’re flinging around, seeing eggs locked in cages and banging their head against the bars. Or even in the far distance some sort of mutant egg made out of eggshells. YOLKED has some of the most unique environment story telling I have seen in a long time. It is absolutely over-indulgent in the best way.
It’s worth mentioning the attention to detail evident within the sound too. Your egg will squeal in eggcitement when being thrown through the air, yelp when cracked, and most environmental objects have their own sound effect. The accompanying music is fun and adds to the light-heartedness of the game.
The Yolk’s On You
If you stream, or like speed runs then YOLKED will need to be the next edition in your catalogue. YOLKED has the option for death counts and a timer (but not an egg timer? – missed a trick there!) that keeps track of all the times within each level to both count your overall run in each of the campaign levels, and your overall total. With the addition of a leaderboard, you will be able to beat your own score plus those of other players.
With four campaign levels and an endless mode, this game has oodles of replayability. Endless mode offers a new way to play YOLKED where players will need to get to checkpoints as quickly as they can dodging obstacles. Your perspective largely stays in one area of the map as opposed to traversing directionally as you do in the campaign. Players must try and beat their high score, and you can choose between a Kitchen or a Winter environment that was added in early access around Christmas. For players unfamiliar, or finding it tricky to get a grasp on the controls, this would make a good training ground for quick, sharp movements.
Gravity is only one of the threats in YOLKED, but there were times when gravity felt like it had its own indecisive pull. Sometimes flinging myself would take little to no effort at all, and then other times when for some reason, I must have been the heaviest fattest egg in the level. This would be clever if I was a double yolker, but I am not, I am the same egg throughout. This especially got annoying when there were water or wind mechanics and I needed to fling myself in a certain direction. Frame rate drops are not frequent but were noticed, especially when first loading up the game. This does seem to become more stable the more it is played, however.
Overall, YOLKED is a creative title that has taken inspiration from an old memeable classic. Whilst it is not filled with masses of content just yet, there is enough to keep you going for a few hours of eggcellence. The design is really enjoyable, the gameplay is entertaining and rewarding and the price point matches well to recommend this game full of mis-egg-adventures.
YOLKED is an amusing adventure game filled with fun cartoon design, unique obstacles, and endless collectables to get you out of your shell. It’ll be great for players who love to speedrun games or those who love to challenge themselves with the quirky game physics. Will you egg-scape?
YOLKED is available from April 6th 2023 on PC via Steam (review platform) and Nintendo Switch.
Developer: Hardboiled Studios
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional code from the publisher. For our full review policy, please go here.
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