If I have one criticism of Sonic Spinball, it's that it never spawned a sequel. At seven-and-a-half years old, the off-beat platformer/pinball hybrid blew my mind and was the first game I remember ditching primary school homework for. I regret nothing.
Announced last year (I somehow missed it at the time), and due at some point in the first half of this year, Villa Gorilla's Yoku's Island Express echoes Sonic Spinball while adding a splash self-professed Studio Ghibli influence.
"Yoku’s Island Express is inspired by the joy of exploration of a young child, having just found the entrance to a secret garden, or unlocked the door to an attic full of wonderful and interesting things to discover," said the brilliantly named developer in 2017. "It takes some of its direction from Studio Ghibli films, where nature is infused with spirit and life, but combined with a strong focus on painterly, hand-made visuals where all the locations are unique and hand-made."
The game's latest trailer explores its abilities, which include the Noisemaker, the Slug Vacuum, the Dive Fish and more:
And if, like me, you missed it last year, here's Yoku's Island Express' reveal trailer:
Nice. Yoku's Island Express is due at some stage in "Q2, 2018".