Review — Kukoos: Lost Pets

Coocoo Crazy Caretaker Captured by Chaotic Critters

Overview

Developer Petit Fabrik
Publisher Modus Games
Genre Action Adventure
Platforms PS4 (reviewed), XBOX, Switch, Steam,
Release Date December 14, 2021

A while back, there was an interesting demo I came across involving sea monkeys, and an impressive trailer. I was so impressed, that I made a preview article, hoping for the best. Now, I get to see if the wait has brought more to the table.

Content Guide:

Kukoo is a clean game with no negative ratings.

Review:

The story is of a community of sea monkey creatures celebrating life with their pets. These pets have unique abilities, and provide a world of possibilities for the Kukoos. As the tutorial-esque obstacle course shows, some can let them fly, but before players can know more, a mechanical frog interrupts their festivities and kidnaps grandma Kukoo. 

Players choose between various Kukoos to play through four different worlds, each with a long map of levels. In each world there’s one pet the players use, and here the game shines at its best. For world one, this metaphor is literal! The pet activates in the darkness, but it’s more than a light source. Its light can flash moving sentient platforms stunning them. It also activates other walls and flips objects. But the world contains plants that turn spiky in sunlight, so the Kukoo must turn the pet off to pass over the vines. This gets thoroughly explored and layered with traditional platforming challenges to provide fresh and intriguing gameplay. Along with great controls and a beautiful coat of fidelity nearly on par with “that Nintendo polish”, when you play through Kukoos, you feel like you’re playing through an impressive first indie title.

And it’s true, for a 3D action-adventure game as a studio first, Kukoos really came out the gate strong. I even thought that for the demo—the work put in is highly noticeable. Although I would say the job shows great effort, but no strong finish.

Kukoos adds a little more finesse to the final product but still contains a number of minor issues that hold it back from pure excellence. It arrives at the gates of heaven and settles just outside. Things like object clipping through characters at cutscenes, freezing hiccups, typos, and a lackluster character design all would be dismissible by themselves. Cumulatively, it appears that only a small amount of quality assurance was utilized.

Ultimately, the game is playable, and most of the time, enjoyable. If I weren’t a critic, I might have even missed the bad things. The presentation, sound, and gimmicks far out-way all troubles. Kukoos is worth its place in any kid’s library.

The Bottom Line

 

Great family friendly game that's a leg up from the average indie game, and room to improve.

 

8

Johnathan Floyd

Writer, Editor, President, and overall complete goofball.

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