Game: Kukoos: Lost Pets
Genre: Adventure, Platformer, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows), Xbox One/X/S & PS4/5)
Developer | Publisher: Petit Fabrik | Modus Games
Age Rating: US Everyone | EU 3+
Price: US $29.99 | UK £24.99 | EU € 29,99
Release Date: December 6th, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Dead Good Media.
Kukoos: Lost Pets is a colourful 3D platforming adventure. Jump and dash your way around various worlds to find your faithful pets, free the brainwashed creatures and restore peace to the tiny island of the Kukoo Tree.
Will Kukoos: Lost Pets make me jump for joy, or will it be a dash to disaster?
Be Careful What You Wish For!
The opening level cleverly combines introducing the story and teaching you the controls. It’s the annual festival for pets on Kukoo Tree Island – a day of celebration and competition. However, whilst trying to complete the obstacle course (aka tutorial), your faithful pets are distracted. Rather than fly you gracefully to the finishing post, they drop you unceremoniously to the ground. If only they were more obedient!
King Kooktopus, king of the entire watery planet (except for Kukoo Tree Island), arrives to compete in the games. He impresses all the Kukoos with his amazing pet, Frog. They complete the course with ease, speed and accuracy. How was he so successful? It’s because he’s using the latest technology, the Kukoomand – a pet collar designed to make pets obey your every command. All the Kukoos rush to buy these collars, and soon all the pets on Kukoo Tree Island are wearing them.
However, at the Happy Pet Day award ceremony, something goes wrong. Frog turns berserk, and so do all the other creatures soon after. The Kukoomand isn’t making the pets behave; it’s turning them wild!
It’s up to you to find and free your own pets and rescue all the others. Can you win the ultimate battle against Frog and save the day?
Kukoo Tree Doors
There are four doors in the Kukoo Tree, each leading to a unique world. Within each world, there are five missions to complete, including a boss battle arena.
Complete the main missions sequentially within each world to get to the boss. Collecting enough coins will unlock a bonus level, and completing all the boss battles will reveal another additional level.
As well as jumping around and dashing into possessed creatures to free them, there are some puzzles to solve in order to progress. Nothing overly complicated, but it makes for a nice change in pace.
You even get to drive a monorail train, fly a helicopter and steer a galleon! Or you can cover yourself in cheese and stick to a rotating wheel. It’s these kinds of things which make Kukoos: Lost Pets more than just a platformer.
Find Those Lost Pets
During the first stage in each world, you find a creature to help you on your adventure. Each world has a different creature with its own unique ability.
My favourite creature was the Aztuc which you find behind the second door. Not only can you swing beneath it, but you can also use it as an extra platform or even a squashing machine. Within the first world, you encounter Lightbulb, a firefly-type creature which will light up areas, dazzle opponents and activate platforms. Behind the third is Kurabo, a shield-like creature which can absorb energy bolts and fire them back. Aghostinni, in the fourth world, turns you into a ghost, allowing you to pass through fences, stand on spikes and see other ghosts. In the fourth world, you eventually rescue Petri, your faithful pets.
Collectables and Achievements
Obviously, the main objective is to get the level key to move on to the next mission. If this is your style of gaming, then expect to complete the game in around 5 hours.
However, for the perfectionists amongst us, as well as a coin target for each level, there are Fwendly flowers to find and a certain number of creatures to free from the Kukoomand. What’s great is that there are more than enough creatures and coins in the level to help get (and pass) those targets.
At the start of the game, you choose one of 4 characters to play as. More characters unlock on completion and by opening the hidden cage within the levels. The key to unlocking the cage is not necessarily on the same level, though, so it might take several attempts to find it.
Not only can Kukoos: Lost Pets be played in solo mode, but you can also play with up to three others locally. What’s nice about the multiplayer mode is that there is no split screen – although that means you need to stay close together within the game screen to see what is happening. Unlike other games, there wasn’t a split of duties/abilities, each player still had to complete everything, but at least you could share the task of collecting coins and defeating enemies.
The multiplayer seemed more of a hindrance for my gaming buddy and me. My lack of platforming prowess but desire to collect everything didn’t work well with the acrobatic skills and speed running needed of my companion. However, we both agreed the game was great fun to play and certainly made some of the bosses easier to defeat.
During the tutorial and encountering new places/creatures, there is on-screen guidance. There were a couple of times I could have done with a little more help, but it didn’t stop me from completing the game.
The controls are good, although it can be a little tricky to master the sequence of jump, dash and creature ability activation. The game generally lets you experience a new mechanic (without dying) prior to needing it in earnest.
Restarting a level takes a little time to load, but I was probably seeing it more than most because of my distinct lack of parkour ability. Luckily, throughout the levels, there are plenty of checkpoints, so I didn’t have to redo too much when I plummeted down a gap. However, you need to finish the whole stage in order for an overall game progress save.
Most of the gameplay was smooth, there was the odd judder in movement or flicker of the scenery, but nothing to spoil the overall appeal of the play and graphics. There were a couple of occasions when I got stuck in a revolving door or couldn’t get the boss to attack, so I had to restart from the last checkpoint. Hopefully, the day-one patch will resolve these small issues.
One of my criteria for a good game is the desire to replay it, and the need for more – and Kukoos: Lost Pets is a really good game.
The four worlds are so different and creative, and the creature’s abilities are refreshingly varied. It was an absolute delight to play and watch. I’m looking forward to replaying the levels and finding all those secret spots.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up
Hello Lynne. Humberto Rodrigues here, director of the game. Thanks a lot, it was great to read this. We have a patch on the way with tons of improvement all around, including reducing many load times to zero. Best!
Hello Humberto. Thank you for visiting LadiesGamers.com and for your comments. I look forward to the patch – I’m still playing, aiming for 100%, so a zero load time will be much appreciated, especially in the Breakdancing level! Kind regards Lynne