Yono and the Celestial Elephants Review
By Gary Gray
Straight away Yono is a full bag of charm, from the cute main character to the sheer beauty of its graphical style, something about Yono can just pull you in straight in.
Set in a world filled with a diverse species from human and robots to the undead, Yono gets sent from the heavens like other celestial elephants before him, to basically save the different species and sort out their problems. Yono is pretty clueless on what he has to do, but gets reminded about that the great elephants before him have done. An interesting twist on a story, a story that’s actually skimming on adult themes and slightly political (within its own worlds and characters of course).
Yono might be fairly simple in terms of controls, whatever you learn at the start of the game is what you will have at the end, there’s no upgrades and no inventory, something that I actually enjoyed as many games can rely too heavily on trying to find collectibles rather than concentrating on the puzzles.
The majority of the game play in Yono is built around puzzles, some are quite simple push block puzzles, but later the evolve to be a bit more challenging creating times where you’ll have to step back and really think about what the next step is. As I explained earlier there's no skill upgrades so puzzles literally just rely on pure thought.
Combat is also present in Yono although in a simple form, as a brave little elephant you have the ability to use your trunk to blow enemy’s back and the ability to charge. A target selector is also present however doesn’t really lock on as well as I feel it should, and charging at the enemy can be disastrous if you haven’t given yourself room for a run up, leaving the enemy with perfect opportunities to hit you. Combat is the main part of Yono that could do with a little bit of a spruce up, however combat doesn’t crop up very often so it won’t leave you frustrated.
Yono is best digested when you can relax and stroll through casually and smell the flowers, with its tiny details such as wildlife, and dialogue that is both charming and diverse you’ll never feel the pressure and frustrations of being pushed forwards before you're ready.
One thing I Really love about Yono is the ability to buy new skins for your elephant, some of which are nods to other franchises you may recognise! You can also upgrade your health by collecting rare items and then taking them to a shop that will convert them into an extra life slot, so you're rewarded for going out of your way to collect everything.
All in all Yono is a fantastic game that really shouldn’t be missed if you’re a fan of Zelda like puzzles. With its beautiful graphics, simple mechanics and all out charm, yono can be played by any member of the family. Because of this I give Yono and the celestial Elephants a silver award! I’m hoping we'll be seeing more of the little elephant in the future.