Yono and the Celestial Elephants Review


Around a week ago I treated myself to an early Christmas present by purchasing a Switch. Yono and the Celestial Elephants has the distinct honour of being the first game I beat on Nintendo’s console/handheld hybrid. It’s an adorable isometric adventure created by Swedish developer Neckbolt Games. The title plays a lot like classic Zelda, which is fine by me. Give me puzzle filled dungeons over destructible weaponry any day! Man, what were you thinking Breath of the Wild? Just when I was celebrating Fire Emblem’s decision to axe armaments with limited durability, you had to go and adopt that bothersome mechanic.


Yono and the Celestial Elephants stars a pachyderm infant who has descended down from the heavens with the aim of bringing peace to a fantasy world. Over the course of his five-hour adventure, Yono treks across the land quelling tensions that have brought the human, robot and undead kingdoms to the brink of war. Joining him on the journey are a mischievous redhead and an accident-prone monk. Just like in Zelda, the environments are peppered with pottery that can be smashed to acquire health and cash. Funds can be spent on skins to decorate Yono, such as the hilariously named Elephantom of the Opera.

Several of the obstacles impeding Yono’s progress come in the form of block sliding puzzles. Thankfully the brainteasers aren’t difficult so even a complete “Dumbo” can suss them out without too much trouble. Other challenges require that Yono use his trunk, rather than his head, in order to advance. He can for example unlock doors by blowing on a pinwheel or extinguish flames by dousing the fire with water. Later on Yono can strike distant targets by spewing peanuts out of his nose. In some areas he is required to melt ice via the consumption of chilli, which transforms his proboscis into a makeshift flamethrower.


My rating for Yono and the Celestial Elephants is three and a half stars. I think the game will appeal most to younger gamers due to its cute graphics, wholesome storyline and gentle difficulty curve. Legend of Zelda veterans may however find that the level design and combat is too simplistic for their tastes. For the most part enemies are ineffective and just stand there, as Yono stampedes them into oblivion. The bosses are thankfully more stimulating to fight against. Vanquishing the guardians will require that you memorize attack patterns and deduce the best method for breaching their defences.

Once the main campaign has been cleared there isn’t much incentive to revisit Yono. Completionists can tackle a few optional fetch quests and hunt down all the hidden life-bar boosting containers, but that’s about it. Depending on your budget you’ll have to decide if twelve quid for five hours of entertainment is worth it. Be aware that a PC version of Yono exists, so it may be possible to pick up that port on a discount during one of Steam’s sales. I personally am okay with purchasing the Switch release. My time with Yono was both fun and relaxing. I think the cost/length ratio of a title is irrelephant, as long as it makes you happy.

26 thoughts on “Yono and the Celestial Elephants Review

  1. I have seen the Nintendo Switch quite a few times now, and it really looks like a fun console (if you can call it that). This game looks pretty okay and it’s nice to at times also have games that are kind of relaxing. Glad you are enjoying your time with the Switch, and it’s a cool present to get for yourself 😊

    • Merry Christmas! I bought the Switch because over the years I have owned most of Nintendo’s handhelds. You can class the Switch as a console though, as it comes with a dock that allows gamers to play on the TV. I liked Yono because unlike some Zelda clones the puzzles were easy to suss out.

  2. That’s the perfect gift for you! Great review. I swear I’m not going to whine about durability mechanics in BoTW… sigh.

    • Waiting till next year ain’t a bad idea, so the the game library can grow a bit. Right now the store is dominated with indie games that came out on other systems yonks ago. Right now I am having fun with Mario and Fire Emblem Warriors.

      • Welp. I finally got mine. My boss was kind enough to give us bonuses this year, so I was like “Hey, free Switch!” So I can add that platform to the list. 🙂

    • One of the few perks of working is that I have enough cash to buy myself the occasional present from time to time. If you want to see more of this game you could check out this playlist I found :-

  3. Forget the game, I’d rather spend the money on a cute plush of Yono. He can hang out with my large Dumbo plush.

    Again, ğ•¸ğ–Šğ–—ğ–—ğ–ž ğ•®ğ–ğ–—ğ–Žğ–˜ğ–™ğ–’ğ–†ğ–˜!

  4. Glad to see your review on Yono. Sure, the game might be too easy for some gaming veterans but it’s such a cute protagonist!
    I liked it too, which is no surprise since I love cute and colorful. Still, I think the game deserves more attention!

    • I think Yono would be a good first game for players who have never played a Zelda title before. The cute trailer was a big factor in me buying this on Switch. I agree that Yono deserves more attention. Some people have avoided it because they think the game is just for kids. We are living proof that adults can enjoy it too.

    • If you like old school Zelda I imagine you would enjoy Yono too. The game is available on PC too so you can buy it off Steam, in case you don’t want to wait until the time you own a Switch.

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