I played the first 30 minutes of Kukoos: Lost Pets‘ 10-hour runtime, and quickly picked up the core of the game. The approachable platforming collect-a-thon is an experience made with younger players in mind, though veterans of the hobby may find some undemanding fun in Kukoos’ visually appealing settings. Before jumping into the first world — a Mesoamerican-themed level — I got a blessedly brief introduction to the game’s narrative justification, wacky tone, and simplistic controls.
Celebrating their pets with a festival involving a series of Fall Guys-esque games, the Kukoos gather on their ocean world’s sole island, which happens to have a tree connecting to other worlds. A pretty handy setup for a platforming game. The story beats don’t flow together terribly smoothly, but the narrative is easy enough to follow. I want to win the competition with my pets — which starts with a very basic tutorial geared towards those who may never have used a jump button before. However, my character quickly loses concentration and falls from the platform which prompts me to turn to a new gadget designed to make pets unstoppable.
But in a twist no one could have seen coming, things go wrong. The device drives the pets wild, and now the creatures are running amuck through all the realms. With the help of an oddly psychedelic potion, I travel to different worlds to collect coins and return everything to normal.
The highlight of Kukoos: Lost Pets for me thus far is the aesthetic design of the levels. The vibrant and whimsical surroundings do a good job of elevating the straightforward gameplay, and little details like rocks that shimmer with rainbow hues before crumbling at your feet are a fun treat.
If the look of this game appeals to you, but you want more challenging action and deeper narrative, put Another Crab’s Treasure on your radar. I got a chance to play the upcoming release last month, and even got some behind-the-scenes details from the developers.