Fully loaded with cow and milk based puns, this unusual indie Mootroidvania (those puns are infectious, clearly – though I can’t take credit for that particular groanworthy pun) brings a lot of neat ideas and a backdrop to the action that makes it unique amongst its peers.

Once upon a time, the Metroidvania genre wasn’t a particularly busy one, but after the success of countless indie titles, it’s very much in vogue. Moo Lander doesn’t feature the expected platform-based action for most of its duration, however – with the player instead in control of a milk-seeking flying saucer. Inside your saucer – or ‘Lander’ – is the last hero of a dying race, whose task is to locate milk on a planet populated by alien cows.

There’s lots of environmental and physics-based puzzles, cow bosses and even RPG-style advancement, with plenty of new abilities and ship modules to unlock.

Moo Lander plays really nicely and has a few stylistic touches that I thought were really clever; it’s presented cheerfully with the look of hand drawn animation in its cutscenes and during general play too, which gives the game a really handcrafted feel. Though it can be a little frustrating, with control of the Lander taking some getting used to and some puzzles being a bit fussy and reliant on physics to complete, generally it’s straightforward enough that pretty much anyone can enjoy it. Multiple levels of difficulty certainly help in this regard too.

A lovely bonus comes in the form of the local multiplayer modes, in which up to four players can take part in a number of co-operative or competitive stages (even playing as a cow!).

Available now on PS4, Xbox One (and Series S/X) and PC, Moo Lander is a unique take on a genre that’s increasingly crowded, with robust and fun multiplayer modes as a neat extra to further set it apart from other games of its type.

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