When you hear that a four player twin stick shooting platformer is out, it's easy to get excited. However, Yorbie may not quite be what you're looking for. It does have intriguing concepts, but is that enough to make it an enjoyable game?
The story follows a sentinel robot named Yorbie who must save the world from rogue robots. Although this sounds noble, he sure has quite an attitude considering he isn't afraid to spout giggle-worthy one-liners. You control him by using the sticks to run and aim while you shoot, punch, and double-jump your way to victory. Countless enemies will try to stop you, but after unlocking enough weapons and upgrades, they won't stand a chance. There are also plenty of platforming segments that require you to make precision jumps between moving surfaces and push switches in order to open doors. It's all basic stuff that you've seen before.
As you play, you won't have a problem with the graphics getting in your way although they are very generic. Objects of interest are presented distinctly enough, but everything else is metallic and lifeless. That being said, effects such as harmful surfaces can look pretty cool. As you aim, Yorbie doesn't move nor is there any indication that you're aiming. This looks extremely odd as the bullets move out of the gun at angles for no logical reason and Yorbie shoots through himself when he aims backwards. The lack of attention to detail like this makes the overall experience feel unpolished and half-baked. Luckily, you can lock on to enemies by simply pointing in their direction so at least aiming isn't completely frustrating, it's just awkward.
The music fits the robotic nature of the game and adds a layer of depth to the presentation as it plays quietly in the background. As you and your enemies shoot each other, the sound effects almost instantly become tiresome since there is a lot of repetition and very little variation. A redeeming aspect of the audio comes in the form of the voice-overs which consists of characters that both cheer you on and taunt you and of course Yorbie and his cocky remarks.
The gameplay itself is ultimately unsatisfying. Mowing down the countless robots doesn't offer any sort of gratification as they just stand there and shoot mindlessly. The combat is only made more tedious by the fact that failure doesn't appear to have any negative effect on your progression. Even after losing all of your lives, you respawn with all of the enemies that you've defeated remaining deceased. The final stage mixes things up a bit by increasingly jamming your controls. You lose the ability to jump and your directions become reversed. This is actually an interesting way to add some challenge, especially when you're fighting the last boss.
If you have three friends who are interested in taking on hordes of robots with you then you're in luck! Four local players have the option to play together which has the potential to add enjoyment to this otherwise humdrum game. You can also play through the five stages on two difficulty settings, so at least there's an option for the hardcore. Besides these welcome additions, there really isn't that much content to hold your attention. The stages can be completed easily in one or two sessions and once you're done, you would probably be content enough to not go through it again. You can try to pick up some trophies or experiment with friends to see if they like it, but other than that, it'll likely remain untouched in your digital library upon completion.
Yorbie is a game that I personally wanted to enjoy because the idea of a local multiplayer platform-shooter with robots is something that rouses my interest. However, it ends up feeling like a severely lacking experience. I can imagine that if the developers spent more time fine-tuning then they may have had a hit on their hands since they clearly have the vision to create something worthwhile.
- + Up to four players can blast away together
- + Yorbie is one cheeky bot
- - Many graphical and gameplay issues end up making it feel unfinished and untested
- - Short campaign only consists of five stages
- - Quickly becomes repetitive and tedious