Kukoos Lost Pets Review – The Pet Whisperer

Kukoos Lost Pets Review

Deep in the vastness of space exists a planet covered entirely in water. A single, solitary island serves as a home to the Kukoos. These bipedal creatures love using a magic tree on their island to send them to faraway places. What they love even more, however, is their pets. The Kukoos share a connection with their fuzzy friends and love showing them off during Pet Day celebrations. Little do they know that their idyllic life is about to turn upside down! Developed by Petit Fabrik, Kukoos Lost Pets is a cartoony platformer reminiscent of classic, genre-defining PlayStation 2-era adventures. 


It’s Pet Day on the island of…Island! Pet Day is an annual celebration where Kukoos show off their pets in competitive races and challenges. This isn’t the National Dog Show. The Kukoos’ pets are very unique creatures! They serve their owners through their special biology that allows them to perform astounding feats, like flight, lighting up rooms, and turning Kukoos into ghosts. This Pet Day is unlike any other as the Kukoos learn about special collars designed to make their pets more obedient. However, the collars go haywire and put the animals in a violent frenzy.  

A Classic Formula

Almost immediately, Kukoos Lost Pets reminds me of platforming classics like Spyro the Dragon, Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot, and Ratchet and Clank. Those would go on to create sequels that found ways to push the genre forward. It is not untoward to suggest that Kukoos Lost Pets is stuck in the past. It doesn’t try to reinvent or put its own spin on the formula. I wouldn’t be surprised if the game was made in the 2000s, lost behind a file cabinet, found during an office cleanup, and released to the world as is. The game’s design isn’t inherently bad, though. It just feels dated from the start. 

Kukoos Lost Pets doesn’t quite break the mold so much as it nestles comfortably in the grooves left behind by the greats. The game consists of four, non-connected worlds designed around a visual theme. As a Kukoo, who looks like they fell out of a Fall Guys match, you hop, skip, and jump your way across a series of stages that have the usual suspects of the genre: pitfalls, shifting platforms, fall away floors, and environmental dangers. There are also coins and “Fwendly Flowers” that serve as collectibles to unlock bonus levels and earn a three-star level completion score.   

The real threat in each level is the crazed pets that attack Kukoos on sight. Only by bopping them on the head can you break the control collars and restore their normal, more docile state. Some pets require a little extra effort to disable as their collars have given them unique defense mechanisms, like armored carapaces and spikes. The final stage is reserved for a boss fight against a massive sea creature and can only be taken out by using your pet’s abilities. In true platforming fashion, learning the boss’ patterns and knowing when to strike three times is the key to victory. 

Wonder Pets

The real stars in the game are the pets, specifically those that escaped the effects of the collars. You won’t find these creatures in nature because they can change their bodies to give Kukoos a boon. Each world has a pet the Kukoos take all the way through to the boss fight. The pets provide a specific function and stages are designed with that in mind. The first world, for example, features a creature that can light up darkened areas and stun evil pets. World three is a sugary, war torn hellscape that is home to a pet that shields a Kukoo from fired projectiles. You’re given one of these pets in the first level of each world but you can’t take them with you to the next world. In a way, this is great. There’s no confusion or frantically trying to choose the right pet for the situation. 

Lights, Camera, Action

The pets make Kukoos Lost Pets’ gameplay interesting but on the whole, I found the game to be as fun as cleaning my cat’s litter box. The pet gimmick wears out pretty quickly. As sprawling as the levels can be, your ability to interact with them is limited to one pet. You can go back and revisit levels with different pets once the story ends but why make me wait? Why not add some exciting variation to traversal and combat? 

I can’t be too mad at the pets, though. Again, they are the more interesting parts of the game. What I really didn’t like was the camera. I felt like I was fighting against it every step of the way. The camera is locked and cannot be trusted to give you the best view. A free-form camera would have worked much better because I could operate it in such a way to provide the best view. Instead, I had to content with the camera passing through the environment, obscuring my view of the area. This is especially a problem during platforming sequences that require a measure of dexterity to avoid hazards. When the view is blocked, the only thing you see is a yellow aura highlighting your position but nothing else. The end result is a lot of cheap deaths and tedious trial and error. 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Kukoos Lost Pets is playable solo or with three other people. Players can work together to save pets, collect coins, and find the Fwendly Flowers. Except for the coins needed to unlock bonus levels, the items are largely meaningless to anyone but PSN trophy hunters. The inclusion of a four-player mode is novel and a good way to spend an afternoon with friends. However, for a chaotic as parts of the game can be for solo players, doing them with three other people at the same time has the potential to be sheer lunacy.

Needs Improvement

Kukoos Lost Pets is a short platforming adventure that harkens back to the old days. There isn’t a whole lot of content. In fact, you can easily finish the game in an afternoon. Maybe two afternoons if you’re intent on collecting every coin, flower, and rescuing a pet. A few extra features would have gone a long way to build on the game’s foundation. Using coins to unlock cosmetic options for your character and pets would have been nice. But then again, there’s no real value in sticking around after the story is over unless you’re looking for that Platinum trophy. 

***Kukoos Lost Pets PS5 game key provided by the publisher***


The Good

  • Colorful, Expressive Levels
  • Co-Op Capabilities
  • Harkens Back To Classic Platformers

The Bad

  • Lack of Camera Control
  • Buggy Audio
  • Not Very Long