Game Review: Yono and the Celestial Elephants

Yono and the Celestial Elephants Cover Art

Yono and the Celestial Elephants is an adorable little puzzler about elephants, and yet it’s so much more, but before we get into that I’ll share some of the important information. Yono and the Celestial Elephants was released on the 12th October 2017 for Microsoft Windows and most recently the Nintendo Switch. I played it on the former but I have a personal tip from the game designer Niklas Hallin that you should play it on the Switch if you can, if you’d like to read more from my interview with the Yono and the Celestial Elephants creator then click here. Yono and the Celestial elephants was developed by Neckbolt and published by Plug in Digital.

In the game you play as the young Yono, who is an elephant, and as such is a celestial guardian born to protect the world around him. While he has the potential to do great things, he is still young and innocent and so it’s your job to help him stay out of trouble. In Yono and the Celestial Elephants our young elephant encounters all sorts of groups including zombies, robots and humans, and of course he has to solve puzzles to progress as well.

Okay now that I’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about the game, first off the graphics are just awesome, they are cute and incredibly pleasing to look at, but pure aesthetics aren’t their only positive, not only do they look nice but everything looks right if you know what I mean, it isn’t just that it’s nice it flows well. Everything fits in well with the established look of the game, and when your trying to match things to a cute little elephant that can be hard to do, but things all work well with each other.

Anyway, on top of the graphics, it’s a friendly game, not just because of the wonderful sprite but also because the fresh faced nature of the character allows you to explore and learn alongside Yono, you can engage with the various encounterable groups and just learn and interact with the rich story and history of the world around you.

While this could easily be a game for children, it’s engaging and thought provoking enough that it has a lot to offer people of all ages, for example I am 24 years old and I was attracted to the sweetness of the game but was genuinely enraptured by the charming and surprisingly heavy subject matter. It’s also a nice well paced challenge, meaning that everything from the puzzles to the boss fights are difficult enough to test your abilities as a gamer, but not so difficult as to be off putting or tedious. It’s just a genuinely nice adventure, set against a cute backdrop that was a lot of rich lore and potential.

I have no real complaints about this game, with the possible exception of the overall playtime being shorter than I’d like but if the biggest complaint is that there wasn’t enough then that should tell you that this is a game worth playing. So if that all sounds good then you can grab it on Steam for £11.39/$14.39.


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