Released in 1998 as a Nintendo 64 exclusive, Banjo the Bear and his friend Kazooie set off on an adventure to rescue Banjo's sister, Tooty, from Gruntilda the witch. Gruntilda's motive was that she was jealous of Tooty's beauty and intended to switch her looks.
This classic platform adventure game paired the unlikely duo where they traversed 9 worlds, collecting a variety of objects; and interacting with the numerous quirky and charming personalities that littered the game world.
The levels were large and non-linear where players explored and collected musical notes and 'jiggies' in order to progress.
There is little doubt that the legendary Mario 64 influenced this game, but Banjo-Kazooie does stand on its own for creating a colourful and memorable game universe, with lovely sound-effects and catchy cheerful music - composed by Grant Kirkhope who composed many of the memorable notes for the Rare Ltd. games at the time.
A fun mechanic of the game was to collect Mumbo tokens which allow the sorcerer Mumbo Jumbo to transform Banjo into a variety of animals such as a Bee, Ant, Sea Lion, Termite and more. The game tended to encourage exploration over platforming action and rewarded players for finding the multitude of collectables in the game world.
Completing the game with all 100 puzzle pieces and 900 earned the player an alternative ending to the game; with Mumbo also revealing a few secrets about the follow up sequel, Banjo-Tooie. The game was estimated to take around 40-50 hours to fully complete.
In 1999, Banjo-Kazooie received 2 awards from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences: Console Action Game of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Art/Graphics. It is also frequently cited as one of the greatest video games of all time.
It is a wonderful addition to the already beautiful, varied and colourful history of video games. It is a true collector's piece - it is still fresh, fun and playable today. If you can give it a little bit of lee-way for its (slightly) dated graphics, you'll surely enjoy a timeless, charming and fun world to get lost in all over again.