Kukoos: Lost Pets is a 3D co-op action platformer by PetitFabrik. After attempting to make their naughty pets more obedient, the Kukoos lose control of their beloved friends and must now go on an adventure to save their pets and bring them back home.

The plot is simple but very strange with heavily cinematic sequences at the game’s beginning and end that try to justify the platformer’s setting. Unfortunately, these often left me with more questions than answers. Why is the robot mech frog chasing me? Why did the tutorial need a cutscene in the middle that made me forget what my controls do? Why is Gramma drugging me? It was all a little bit weird without elevating or explaining the high-level gameplay concepts  meaningfully.

The moment-to-moment action offers a unique mechanic in each area set based upon the skills of a specific Lost Pet. The early levels offered minimal challenge, involving light-based puzzles and platform creation to complete. The later levels that involved shielding- and ghosting-based problem-solving are where the game turned around for me. The solid design of those specific mechanics kept me highly engaged and actually thinking about how I needed to utilize the mechanic.

Unfortunately, all of these mechanics exist separately and are only combined during the very last level. I would have loved to see additional levels that integrated all of the mechanics so that I could swap between them to solve problems in a fun, dynamic way.

The boss fights at the end of each stage are lovely spectacles but can be a tad finicky in their controls. Some of them feel slightly out of place and all of them are rather repetitive, but overall, they add more to the game then they detract.

The experience leans heavily on the nostalgia of iconic platforming adventure games, including an overworld map that lets you see all of the goodies you can collect in a level. The first set of levels on the map left an awkward impression. I had collected enough of the coin item type in the first level to unlock a secret level — but there was little player feedback to convey that it was something special and exciting. Plus, completing that level let me skip ahead and progress straight to a later chapter in the area, which left me deeply confused.

Visually, Kukoos: Lost Pets is gorgeous. The cutesy look of the Kukoos and their strange pets is bizarrely endearing, and each of the world themes are hyper-detailed to sell their concepts. Of particular note are the sumptuous pink candy world and the ghastly pirate docks.

With all of that said, as the game went on, I did have some moments of fun — they were just sandwiched between a very cumbersome opening and finale. I made it through the whole game in under three hours, but for a 100% completionist ending, you are looking at closer to 8-12 hours. It’s a decent enough platformer if you enjoy the genre, but it just might be worth waiting for a good deal before grabbing it.

Kukoos: Lost Pets is available now for $29.99 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Switch with releases for PlayStation 5 and Xbox in the new year.

Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Kukoos Lost Pets.

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