The first Yooka-Laylee was a modern-day take on the classic N64-style platformer. Instead of jumping straight back into the third dimension for sequel Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, Playtonic Games has turned to the Donkey Kong Country series to create a new buddy-based platformer.

It’s far from being the step backwards it may initially seem – Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze hit the Switch just a year ago, lest you forget. Playtonic staff worked on the original DKC, too.

Word has it Playtonic has been able to beat Nintendo (well, Retro Studios) at their own game – it’s one of the finest 2D platformers in years, full of fun and creative ideas and pleasing touches. Sealing the deal, it’s available for around £25.

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince goes back to its 2.5D roots likewise, singlehandedly putting the series back on track – the last Trine game was a step in the wrong direction. Reviewers are utterly smitten by the co-op puzzle platformer, proving there’s plenty of life left in the series and that the developers haven’t lost their touch. Overlooked the previous entries? Worry not, as it’s joined by Trine: Ultimate Collection.

PS4 exclusive Concrete Genie launches for the same price as Yooka-Laylee, being an action platformer based around graffiti, complete with a bonus PSVR mode. Scores for this one are all over the place, varying from PSU’s lofty 9.5 to a miserable 2/5 (40%) from EGM. Some critics found it riveting and memorable, while others found it aimless and underdeveloped. We’ve rounded up reviews below. Hopefully they’ll help with a purchasing decision.

Indivisible’s reviews are far more consistent. The cartoon-like RPG/Metroidvania hybrid has received a mixture of 8s and 9s, skilfully blending many winning elements to create something fun and pleasingly familiar.

Then there’s Codemaster’s GRID, scores for which aren’t quite as high as we expected – a fair few 7/10s are being bandied about. “It looks and sounds amazing, and plays like an arcade game which has aspirations to be a simulator, but with no realistic car damage to penalise reckless driving, it becomes a long drawn out affair,” warned PSU. Again, a smattering of scores are below.

The Switch gets a belated conversion of the detective mystery Call of Cthulhu in time for Halloween, while pirate survival MMO Atlas – from the creators of Ark: Survival Evolved – arrives on Xbox One as a Game Preview release. This means a free trial will be available, giving clear indication of how it performs. The PC version had a bumpy launch.

Indie publisher Sometimes You is back with two titles – the top-down space shooter Stellatum, which we reviewed earlier today, and the £4.99 visual novel A Winter’s Daydream, in which a boy’s elderly grandmother has transformed into a cute young girl. Sounds like an acquired taste if ever there was.

Other releases of note include ice age survival sim Frostpunk: Console Edition, tiny but mighty brawler River City Melee Mach!!, the Geometry Wars alike Debris Infinity on Xbox One, and Jeff Minter’s Minotaur Arcade Vol. 1 on PS4.

Next week is looking equally rammed, with The Witcher 3 and Overwatch going head-to-head on Switch.

New release showcase

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

9.5 – God is a Geek: Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is one of the best 2D platformers available. If you’re looking for something filled with refined gameplay and fun levels, this is it.

9/10 – Nintendo Life: Donkey Kong Country fans rejoice: this is the spiritual successor you’ve been waiting for. The worst thing you could say about it is that the overworld exploration may prove to be too involved for those who are in it purely for the runny-jumpy stuff, but those who are happy to mix platforming with top-down adventuring and don’t mind adapting to the constantly changing pace will find the best of both worlds here.

8.7 – IGN: Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair brings the dynamic duo down to a 2.5D perspective to deliver one of the best platformers we’ve seen in years.

8.5 – PSU: A much more inventive and thoughtful affair than the duo’s previous outing, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is the closest you’ll get to Donkey Kong Country on PS4 and you should embrace it with the accordant warmth.

8/10 – PlayStation Country: Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is an unexpectedly surprising and very welcome addition to the side scrolling platformer genre. What could have been a formulaic, trope-filled throwback has been bolstered with creative and unique ideas that gel together brilliantly. This is definitely one to try if you have had a Kong shaped itch for the past couple of decades.

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

9/10 – PSU: A wizard, a Thief, and a Knight walk into a Prince’s Nightmare and the result is a dream game come true. The fourth installment of the Trine series has gone back to its 2.5D roots after going full-blown 3D in 2015’s The Artifacts Of Power. The clever platform-puzzle adventure offers an enchanting experience for the single player or collaborate with up to four players in co-op which can be played locally or online. Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is an unforgettable adventure that should not be missed.

8.5 – Nintendo World Report: After a decade of seeing the series recommended everywhere, Trine 4 is my first time playing the series, and it’s made me realize just what I’ve been missing all these years.

7/10 – TSA: Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is a lovely return for the series’ 2.5D puzzle platforming. It tinkers with and broadens the gameplay options to be more welcoming, and levels can feel a little stretched out at times, but grab a couple of friends and stick it on Classic mode, and this will delight fans of those first two games.

7/10 – Destructoid: It’s an easy recommendation for platform fans, but it’s also just a plain fun time. It’s not revolutionary or trailblazing, but it does what it needs to prove that Frozenbyte hasn’t lost its touch. I wouldn’t necessarily expect a Trine 5 or anything, but clearly, this series has some life left in it.

Indivisible

9.0 – God is a Geek: Indivisible is a wonderful blend of RPG and Metroidvania that has exciting battles and a world ripe for exploring.

4/5 – US Gamer: Indivisible’s unique blend of platforming and action-heavy monster fights will take some getting used to, but everything feels good once it clicks into place. Indivisible has some problems with its camera and map, but you’ll be too busy marveling at its wonderful graphics to feel much of a sting.

8/10 – TSA: Indivisible is far more than the sum of its parts. The full game lives up to the promise of the early prototype and is a fantastically original take on a mix of familiar genres. Aside from small issues with balancing combat in the later parts of the game and a frustrating end boss, there is very little here to criticise.

7/10 – GameInformer: When Indivisible is good, it reminds me of some of my favorite games. But it hits those heights only rarely, and is usually pulled down by tedium, repetition, and other issues.

GRID

9.5 – God is a Geek: GRID replicates the feeling of motorsport without sacrificing any of the excitement, and it’s the most racing fun I’ve had in ages.

8.0 – IGN: Grid is way too lean on tracks but delivers its hyperbolic brand of Hollywood-style racing with style and confidence.

7/10 – PSU: With absolutely nothing new to bring to the table except the pointless ‘Nemesis’ feature, GRID treads water in spectacular fashion. It looks and sounds amazing, and plays like an arcade game which has aspirations to be a simulator, but with no realistic car damage to penalise reckless driving, it becomes a long drawn out affair.

7/10 – The Metro: Some of the finest simulated driving you can find on PC and console, but with a single-player career mode that’s not as fully fleshed out as you’d expect for the money.

Concrete Genie

9.5 – PSU: Concrete Genie is a unique action adventure game that proves that the brush is mightier than the bully. The game addresses the subject of bullying through the eyes of Ash, a boy who is the latest victim of teenage thugs who destroy Ash’s sketch book and scatter it throughout the now abandoned town of Denska. As you recover the pages you discover that almost every area of the rundown town becomes a blank canvas for Ash’s paintings to come alive…literally.

9.0 – PlayStation Lifestyle: It’s pacing is brilliant, keeping great momentum as it works its way through the narrative, even it it stumbles slightly when it comes to giving certain mechanics room to breathe.

8/10 – Destructoid:  It might not be on a lot of Game of the Year lists, sell as well as other open world games, or even be referred to as a “classic” in the years to come. But I’ll never forget it. Go in with an open mind and a few caveats.

5/10 – The Metro: A peculiarly underdeveloped riff on Jet Set Radio that never manages to find anything interesting to do with any of its many gameplay mechanics and story ideas.

2/5 – EGM: Concrete Genie’s painting tech impresses at first and its heart is certainly in the right place, but the game ultimately proves too aimless to support its already brief running time

Frostpunk: Console Edition

AeternoBlade II

A Knight’s Quest

The Bradwell Conspiracy

New digital multi-format releases

  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair 
  • Indivisible
  • GRID
  • The Bradwell Conspiracy
  • Monochrome Order
  • Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince
  • Trine: Ultimate Collection
  • A Winter’s Daydream
  • Stellatum
  • A Knight’s Quest
  • Frostpunk: Console Edition
  • AeternoBlade II

New on PSN

  • Concrete Genie
  • Worse Than Death
  • The Alliance Alive HD Remastered
  • Interfectorem
  • Super Box Land Demake
  • Minotaur Arcade Volume 1
  • Mountain Rescue Simulator
  • Contraptions
  • Cuisine Royale
  • Beep! Beep! Deliveries
  • Spirit Hunter: NG
  • River City Melee Mach!!
  • MISTOVER

New on Xbox One store

  • Atlas
  • Draw a Stickman: EPIC 2
  • TwinCop
  • Active Soccer 2019
  • Debris Infinity
  • Lost Artifacts: Time Machine
  • Alluris

New Nintendo retail releases

  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
  • Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince
  • Trine: Ultimate Collection
  • The Alliance Alive HD Remastered
  • Yu-No

Next week: Ring Fit Adventure, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, Megaquarium, Return of the Obra Dinn, Children of Morta, Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip, Monkey King: Hero is Back, Felix the Reaper, The Jackbox Party Pack 6, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes – Complete Edition, Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands, Kine, Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure, Digimonstory Cybersleuth Complete Edition, Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition, Planescape: Torment & Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition, Raging Loop, The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Complete Edition, Overwatch Legendary Edition, and Apex Legends Lifeline/Bloodhound Edition. Phew!