PS4 Review: Kukoos: Lost Pets

Does this platformer impress or does it drive me Kukoo?

This 3D platformer takes players to a new universe of limitless adventures, join the Kukoos in a corky and upbeat adventure to rescue the brainwashed pets. Enter the Kukoo Tree and its infinite doors that take you to unimaginable words of dangers and wonders.

At a first glance, Kukoos: Lost Pets looks like your standard 3D platformer like Crash Bandicoot or Spyro and while that’s true, there is humour that feels more reminiscent of something like SpongeBob with game mechanics that are quite interesting. You switch between different pets with a tap of a button which gives you other abilities like being able to glide or jump higher than you normally would. The game can also be played with up to 4 players in co-op but it does have its drawbacks.

The performance takes a hit when you play co-op and the game is relatively easy so I’m not entirely sure what extra challenge is made by making it a co-op experience in the first place. Combat is easy enough but the boss battles are more interesting than your standard enemies.

The game has puzzles that are simple while the platforming has some good and low points. Sometimes you’ll get over-eager to make a jump after a cutscene or something and the platforms haven’t been laid out before you so one of the first mistakes I made was right at the beginning where I had been impatient and initially missed because the game hadn’t given me the right circumstances just yet. Also, the load times between deaths are painful for a game of 2022 even if it is on PS4.

The formula is pretty basic, collect as much as you can in a stage, make it to the end and beat the boss at the end of the world. There are 4 worlds and 5 bosses so the game isn’t particularly long, there’s also no Hub World but an old-school level select like you would expect from a 2D Mario game.

As a platformer it handles well for the most part and gets the job done, though it doesn’t quite stand out from the crowd and naturally there are bigger and better platformers out there. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t give this a go, no that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is if you go in with the expectations of “this is a good platformer from a smaller studio than Nintendo or Activision” then you’ll find it a pleasant experience, even if it is a brief one.

The visuals are cute and the framerate is mostly consistent as long as you stick to solo play. Co-op is a nice feature but it doesn’t really add anything to the overall experience. The music and sound effects are also pretty decent, but I do wonder how much the main game itself will improve when next-gen versions of the game launch in 2023. It is curious that they didn’t release them simultaneously in time for the holidays but for a PS4 title it does well.

The Verdict

Kukoos: Lost Pets is a charming, non-offensive platformer that handles well and provides an enjoyable experience, however brief. Just don’t go expecting it to be ground-breaking and you’ll be fine.

Score: 7.5