Kukoos: Lost Pets from Modus Games (and developer Petit Fabrik) is a brand new 3D platformer that was previously available on Steam’s early access program but is now out for PlayStation and the Nintendo Switch as well. We checked out the PlayStation 4 version.
A brand new and original IP, the world of the Kukoos is a water-covered planet where our titular protagonists live on an island that’s home to the magical Kukoo tree. On Pet Day, a day where the Kukoos gather and compete in activities with their pets, things get completely out of hand when the evil King of the Sea decides to crash the party and all of the pets suddenly turn on their owners due to a strange headband that the villain introduces.
After Gramma infuses you with magical powers through a special potion, it’s up to you to save the day by defeating the Sea King’s monsters and retrieving the lost pets – the starting premise for a 3D platformer with characters (the Kukoos) who look quite a bit like Fall Guys with their bean-shaped bodies. And while that looks like a visual source of inspiration, the gameplay of Kukoos: Lost Pets is reminiscent of other classic 3D platformers, especially the ones we were playing twenty year ago, like Banjo-Kazooie.
This gives Kukoos: Lost Pets a nice old school feel, with a wide appeal in terms of its target audience. The game also offers up plenty of diversity, as your magical powers allow you to travel to remote worlds that are all quite distinct in their look and feel. A nice touch is that this also translates to the gameplay, both through level design and by pairing you up to different pets at different times. This gives you interesting abilities and regularly mixes up the game, sometimes giving you light in the darkness and as other times a bit of help with traversal.
With the help of these friendly pets, you can get through the levels and find more of these little friends, eventually moving past all of the game’s boss fights as well. Levels include collectibles and grabbing them all presents you with a decent amount of challenge, but combat feels a bit flawed in places – with controls that can feel a bit too sluggish for their own good, especially in boss battles. We also encountered a few combat-related bugs, so hopefully these will get fixed post-launch.
Over the course of its impressively long 16+ hour campaign, Kukoos: Lost Pets ticks a lot of familiar boxes for fans of the 3D platforming genre, and includes the occasional puzzle to tackle. If they iron out a bit of a rough edges, then this might be a tad formulaic but it’s a fun and affordable platformers that’s easy to recommend.