Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Jun 21, 2018
    Yoku's Island Express is out on basically everything, and wherever you can grab it, I heavily recommend it. The game is just an absolute treat from top to bottom, perfect even for people who aren't particularly interested in pinball. It puts these two genres together extremely well, making them both feel fresh and fun in a way I haven't seen in a good bit. The kind of imagination and design on display is always great to see, and you'll find yourself wishing for more as soon as the credits roll.
  2. Jul 6, 2018
    As has become tradition on Nintendo consoles, Yoku’s is an indie title that stands on level footing with some premium offerings in the eShop. Don’t let this one roll past you as you scroll through the different games on offer for Switch, as it’s a genuine delight.
  3. Jul 18, 2018
    If a pinball ball is a piece of dung in disguise that postman rolls over a mysterious island in order to save a divine guardian from a godslayer, and it's NOT a dream... Then it's Yoku's Island Express! An excellent and gorgeous game you should not miss for a world.
  4. May 31, 2018
    Yoku's Island Express is a delight, plain and simple. It's gorgeous, plays beautifully, and I hope it's the start of a new franchise, because I want to play a lot more of this.
  5. May 29, 2018
    Its charming story and characters keep you smiling as the game continues to challenge you while its hidden areas and collectibles will keep you coming back for more. Whether you’re a fan of pinball machines, metroidvania or puzzle games, Yoku’s Island Express delivers class in every area for every type of player.
  6. May 29, 2018
    As you watch Yoku’s ball fling the dung beetle helplessly across Mokumana Island for the hundredth time, it’s hard not to come to the realisation that Yoku’s Island Express is a rare and special treat. This part-open world pinball adventure game, part-Metroidvania likely baffled when the idea was discussed early on but has been created with such careful precision that the end result is nothing short of sensational.
  7. May 29, 2018
    Yoku's Island Express is a genuine breath of fresh air, combining pinball and Metroidvania mechanics in a way that feels truly inspired. Add in one of the most appealing fantasy worlds you'll find on the eShop, and you have yourself an instant left-field classic.
  8. May 29, 2018
    Yoku’s Island Express is a delightful adventure filled with charming characters, an innovative blend of platforming and pinballing action, and a wonderful treat for the eyes and ears. It’s the sort of wholesome game that makes me feel like a proud parent of all of the people who worked so hard on this beautiful piece of escapism.
  9. May 29, 2018
    With its charming and unique pinball mechanics that get subtly, cleverly more complex and elaborate the further you progress — as well as a charming art-style present in its environments and characters alike — what it lacks in some grandiose narrative or punctuating tone, Villa Gorilla more than make up for with a gameplay loop that excels on its originality — garnering a wide smile to one’s face in the process.
  10. Jun 25, 2018
    5 years of development have lead to the creation of this beautiful and imaginative platformer which combines pinball mechanics with a metroidvania structure, sprinkled with charming characters, colorful environments and an island that feels alive.
  11. May 29, 2018
    Yoku's Island Express brilliantly combines two genres that a priori seemed difficult to go hand in hand: Pinball and Metroidvania games. And it does it so well that time flies while one has fun exploring the island, mastering the use of the levers, learning new moves and retracing our steps to get extras.
  12. May 29, 2018
    Like a unique cocktail, Yoku's Island Express mixes with taste, and in intelligent way, the typical elements from metroidvania adventures with pinball's game mechanics, yielding as a result a very enjoyable and addictive game that feels unique and is very fun. A game that those who are tired from the same formulas will enjoy the most.
  13. Aug 27, 2018
    Yoku’s Island Express is kind of a testament to the power of positivity. Sure, it’ll leave you frustrated at times. But it’s frustration borne out of wanting to experience more of this delightful world, and that’s more than enough to keep me pushing through those brief moments of annoyance.
  14. Jul 17, 2018
    Who said Metroidvania and pinball can’t exist in the same game? Yoku’s Island Express shows the opposite by being a great game, thanks to very uncommon and never frustrating gameplay.
  15. Jul 5, 2018
    Yoku's Island Express combines pinball with exploration in an irresistibly charming and gorgeous adventure game.
  16. Jun 29, 2018
    Featuring a fun and simple pinball mechanic that sits perfectly on its 2D platform qualities, Yoku's Island Express is a simple but fun addition to the Nintendo Switch catalogue that is certain to bring some hours of fun to its players, even if its lifespan could use some extension. Not a game to disregard as another Metroidvania type.
  17. Edge Magazine
    Jun 21, 2018
    It's almost tempting to say that this feels like the combination of pinball and platforming that Sonic The Hedgehog wishes it was. [Aug 2018, p.108]
  18. Jun 8, 2018
    This is a strange concept that works great. This “pinballvania” offers a unique experience for those who are looking for a different platformer.
  19. 80
    Yoku’s Island Express is a great game. Combining Metroidvania exploration with pinball gameplay was an interesting decision that paid off big time. Despite its short length, Yoku’s Island Express is still a complete adventure, one that is relaxing and an absolute pleasure to take in. Anyone seeking a more laid back Metroidvania title with beautiful sights and sounds should play Yoku’s Island Express.
  20. May 29, 2018
    A strangely successful mix of genres that plays both a mean pinball and a highly competent game of Metroidvania, and all wrapped up in some utterly charming presentation.
  21. May 29, 2018
    Yoku's Island Express is wholly unique - a seamless blend of platformer, pinball, and puzzle game that never outstays its welcome our wears out its charming visual style. Highly recommended. NOTE: Our copy was provided by Team17 for review purposes.
  22. May 29, 2018
    Beyond its colorful and cartoonesque visuals, Yoku's Island Express delivers a strong Metroidvania experience mixed with flipper mechanics. This generous and smart adventure keeps a balanced challenge from start to finish, and mixes typical flipper challenges with deep exploration gameplay. Despite a binary system of flippers and few bosses, Yoku's Island Express is a good ride with a fresh tone.
  23. May 29, 2018
    Retreading completed areas while hunting for secrets can occasionally get stale, but Yoku’s Island Express has a refreshingly positive attitude that kept me smiling the whole way through.
  24. Yoku's Island combines an old genre with a new gameplay. if you like metroidvania style games, you should try that one too.
  25. Games Master UK
    Jun 17, 2018
    With its pinball mechanics, it's a novel, albeit short-lived, twist on the Metroidvania. [July 2018, p.81]
  26. 75
    Yoku’s Island Express has a lot of fantastic ideas. It plays with its pinball formula enough to keep what could’ve been repetitive endlessly new and engaging, and it wraps all that up in its beautiful and unexpectedly deep world. Unfortunately, every good idea is slightly undermined by its glaring lack of real challenge, turning its otherwise fantastic design into more of a chore than it really should have been. It’s a nice change of pace from the likes of Hollow Knight and Steamworld Dig 2, but I don’t think Yoku quite has what it takes to stand up as equals alongside them.
  27. 74
    Yoku’s Island Express is far from bad. It has great ideas, a very good soundtrack, and competent gameplay. But while there’s not too much actively wrong with it, it doesn’t do anything exceptionally well either. It’ll do.
  28. 70
    For the most part though, Yoku’s Island Express is a lot of wholesome, whimsical fun. It manages to make the hybrid of two disparate genres work in some inspired ways, and the result is a unique game full of surprises that is sure to delight players. The only flaw is when the mechanics outweigh their welcome and stop feeling unique – the moments where Yoku is just a pinball game, or just a Metroidvania, are generally the weakest.
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This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
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  1. May 29, 2018
    A glorious marriage of pinball and platforming and a wild-spirited adventure to cherish. [Recommended]
  2. Jun 1, 2018
    If Yoku’s Island Express is not only a terrific Metroid-inspired pinball game but also a game about biting moral choices—shit, man. I didn't need another reason to keep playing, but there you go.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 51
  2. Negative: 5 out of 51
  1. May 29, 2018
    Yoku’s Island Express
    A Metroidpinballvania
    Yoku’s Island express is a 7 hour long Metroidvania game where you play as a postmaster beetle
    Yoku’s Island Express
    A Metroidpinballvania
    Yoku’s Island express is a 7 hour long Metroidvania game where you play as a postmaster beetle named yoku you’re here to deliver some mail, but this sets you on a quest of gathering the three chiefs of the island to perform a ritual to save makuma, the life blood of this island…
    and in Metroid vania fashion this means going as far as you can on this one giant connected map completing quests to get new items to reach new areas rinse and repeat until credits role…
    this isn’t an ordinary metroidvania game though,,
    The entire map is one giant pinball machine..
    you have full control of yokuyoure rolling along this ball, but often you’ll find yourself in a mini pinball area where you lose full control and are just focused on the flippers.. hitting targets, collecting fruit so you can unlock other targets and fast travel bee line posts.. even working towards larger fruit carrying capacity
    for probably the first half of the game, the fruit feels worth collecting and looking out for..
    it feels scarce despite seemingly being all over the place due to how pricey unlocking bumpers and new items is..
    this encourages exploration, and youll soon find collectables insinuating there are a few secrets to uncover on this island, adding more intrigue….
    Everything about this game is so charming and well designed..
    As a metroidvania, I naturally felt overwhelmed at times…
    this game is very unlinear, you have a map you can keep referring to to the area you need to get to.. but until you’ve explored an area its clouded.. so finding the route to get there is completely up to you..
    youll constantly run into for the time being dead ends as you might not yet have the ability to get past a certain point..
    though if you stop and talk to the characters of this world, the game does a great job of giving you hints on where to go to next, or which area to investigate a little..
    As a giant pinball game, traversing upwards can feel a bit frustrating at times… as you are relying on timing od the ball and the triggers and you can feel a little out of control, but yokus island express is also super forgiving..
    you cant really die in this game.. you can only lose fruit and traversal progress…
    but none of it is ever too painful..
    Its just enough to keep you engaged and putting in a decent amount of effort…
    there are also side quests here on top of the collectables..
    tons to do to keep you exploring and hooked in this polished pinball world..
    This is a really unique experience worth checking out..
    theres nothing out there like it.
    I give Yokus Island Express
    a 7.5/10
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 23, 2018
    The Idea is absolutely ridiculous, essentially a Metroidvania game crossed with pinball. That description at once tells you exactly what theThe Idea is absolutely ridiculous, essentially a Metroidvania game crossed with pinball. That description at once tells you exactly what the game is but doesn't really do justice to how well it actually works in practice. The bizarreness of the games concept is equally matched in it's story as a dung beetle attempts to heal the wounds of cthulu esque island monster, but as strange as this sounds it actually presents a very charming, colorful world with some quirky characters. The music is lovely and catchy, and the sound effects are perfectly chosen. This already makes the game worthy of a few hours, but just how well pinball works in a metroidvania template is surprising. The tables start off rather small and lead up to more elaborate interconnected ones. However the whole world is stitched together in a wonderfully seamless way, and even when you are reduced to just pushing the ball it doesn't feel like a chore.

    There are a few niggles here and there, the central quest line is a bit brief (although there is lots to explore after this finishes), some routes are frustrating to get to, and the world map isn't the easiest to read, but these niggles do little to diminish the overall experience. You could write paragraph after paragraph trying to describe how pinball works with Metroidvania, but surprisingly it not only works it excels in doing so.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 2, 2018
    The most fun I can remember having with an indie game. It is delightful and addictive, with fun new mechanics introduced throughout. IngeniousThe most fun I can remember having with an indie game. It is delightful and addictive, with fun new mechanics introduced throughout. Ingenious combination of pinball and platformer. Full Review »