Kukoos: Lost Pets (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

On a distant planet covered in water, one solitary island exists, and it has magical doors that can whisk you away to different worlds.  Also on this island live the Kukoos.  They’re square shaped, monkey…critter…people…things.  I don’t know what they are, but they live happily with each other and their beloved yet weird pets.  In fact, every year they have a Pet Day competition, and this year a mysterious company is selling special collars that’ll make the pets obey your every command and enhance their powers.  But when a giant robot frog takes control of all the pets, it’s up to you to save them in this fixed camera 3-D platformer.  It’s available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

You’ll first pick your Kukoo character to play as, but they all control the same and you can unlock more later.  You can jump and attack both on ground and in the air.  In each level you’ll be assigned a pet, and can use their powers with the R shoulder buttons.  One winged pet lets you dash in the air, while a firefly pet lights dark places and stuns enemies and activates things with a bright flash.  Another pet is just a block you can stand on to reach higher areas, but you can swing from it also with a leash!  You’ll use these and more pet skills to travel through fixed camera 3D stages.  It kind of reminds me of Pac-Man World.  Each area has coins and flowers to collect.  Not sure what they do but you can try to get them all for a better score.

The game is serviceable. It’s fine, it just didn’t have anything that stood out to me that would keep me interested.  Some other problems I had with the game is that they don’t always tell you how to play.  There are instructions, but they’re rather inconsistent.  You can get hit three times or fall off a pit to go back to a checkpoint.  But the game gets pretty hard fairly quickly, so it gets a little frustrating.  I’d say only get this one if you are a skilled player who needs another 3D platformer to play, although I can think of a lot better ones.

Kid Factor:

Kukoos: Lost Pets is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  You can get squashed or hit by enemies, but everything is very cartoony and you always end up right back at a checkpoint good as new.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text.  Younger gamers may find it too difficult, especially since many of the pets require pretty advanced moves.  Like swinging from a leash from a floating block, that was always tricky.  Probably best for older kid players who are well versed in these types of games.

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