Kukoos: Lost Pets (Review)

Dec 18, 2022

Kukoos: Lost Pets is a charming 3D platformer from the small Brazilian studio Petit Fabrik. Kukoos wears its’ platformer inspiration proudly with camera angles and movement that recall Mario 3D World and Crash Bandicoot. However, it provides a few new ideas into the genre that make a unique offering for platformer fans.

Published by: Maximum Games
Released: December 6, 2022 (Playstation, Switch, Xbox)

Improving on Early Access

GWW reviewed an early PC build of the game back at the start of 2022. At the time, we said, “At times I love everything about it, and other times I want to rage quit and uninstall it. For everything the developers did great, they had something equally bad done to counter it.”

Now, with the game’s full release on consoles we are returning to the final build. Thankfully, many of the early concerns are addressed. While boss battles create some difficulty spikes, their patterns are easier to recognize. Additionally, the camera angle is greatly improved. Navigating the world was enjoyable. The fixed camera angle hints at secret pathways. Sometimes that led to item discoveries and sometimes that led to death. 

Cartoon Charm

Fortunately, Kukoos provides incentive to explore. With various different collectibles scattered throughout each stage, finding everything on the first pass is difficult. As the game progresses, different pets are unlocked. Pets that provide light, platforms, armor, or moving through objects are added in each world. Additionally, the flight pets from the tutorial return toward the end of the game. These provide access to collectibles in earlier worlds not previously accessible. 

With only four main worlds, Kukoos may seem thin on paper. However, the majority of stages are significantly longer than a traditional Mario 3D level. The frequent checkouts help when restarting after failing a timed jump. While I died frequently, I could always understand where I was trying to get to. Despite the cute nature of the characters, Kukoos contains some tight platforming to find some hidden collectibles. 

The movement in Kukoos feels closer to the loose momentum of Fall Guys or Sackboy, than the tighter physics of Mario or Crash. Consequently, players may need to adjust expectations or take time to learn. The cartoony characters and colorful world make exploration enjoyable. I often double backed through an area to explore alternate routes and was rewarded with more collectibles. 

Multiplayer Limitations

The small team of Petit Fabrik unfortunately results in some limitations to Kukoos. While up to four players can play simultaneously, player additions only occur upon starting a new file. Having a family member or friend jump in for couch co-op required starting a separate playthrough. This lack of drop-in, drop-out co-op is disappointing for such a family friendly experience. Player death in co-op mode requires a checkpoint to respawn. There is a bubble mechanic, but it only seems to trigger if a player gets too far off screen.

Conclusion

Collectively, Kukoos is a solid mid-tier 3D platformer. For players who have finished Mario 3D World, Sackboy Adventures, or Crash 4 it is worth a look. While there are other platformers that surpass Kukoos in scope, the charm and $30 price point make the game easy to recommend for platformer fans looking for something new to play.

Score: 8.0

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