What each of us considers valuable depends on our circumstances. If we are safe and secure, we usually crave possessions and expensive goods. However, when our survival is on the line, food and water are all we desire. This is the central plot behind Moo Lander, an amusing but occasionally frustrating sci-fi game.
Developed and published by The Sixth Hammer, this is a 2D action-adventure RPG with hints of Metroidvania. Furthermore, it has some classic hero dialogue, fast-paced action, and many claustrophobic tunnels. You’ll pilot a spaceship while being assisted by a sassy AI as you complete many essential missions. If you love an unusual, colourful, and loud game, then this should be on your radar.
Moo Lander is a crazy tale of deceit.
The epic stories of the past all have something in common…they each have an unexpected twist in the plot. Moreover, they have an interesting protagonist and an evil villain. Moo Lander attempts to replicate this with its fun tale that explores betrayal, heroic acts, and some clichéd one-liners. Consequently, you’ll enjoy the whacky journey, the strange creatures, and the fascinating environments.
You control an elite soldier of the Lander people. Teamed with Hamilton, his sassy AI, he must find an ancient milk source to save his people. A long-standing friendship between the Landers and the Anunnaki ended in a great war when the latter became greedy. This awful battle destroyed both civilisation’s milk supply and doomed them to extinction. Mysteriously, the Anunnaki disappeared and the Milk Sages of the Landers devised a plan. They sent their greatest warriors to scour the universe to find milk and save the day.
It’s a bit of a crazy plot, but it works perfectly with the theme. Furthermore, it allows for creative license and is bizarre as hell. You’ll encounter many strange creatures, unlock plenty of weapons, and meet cows, an awful lot of cows.
Milk makes the world go round.
Who’d have thought that milk would be a future energy source? I certainly didn’t, but in Moo Lander it is essential. Subsequently, everything in this game revolves around this white liquid gold. Your ship is powered by it, your people are reliant on it, and the cows that produce it are mental. These angry bovines do not like you capturing them! However, your people need them and you must find every last one of them.
The vast exploration elements of the gameplay are punctuated by cow encounters, chases, and many basic puzzles. What’s more, each cow you capture enables you to upgrade your ship. Therefore, it’s a win-win! Your people survive another day, and you get new equipment. You can unlock three different categories that comprise an array of tools. There is defence, attack, and stun. You’ll equip shields or drones, lasers, machine guns, burst fire, and more. Each item can be upgraded and they all require milk and a different experience level.
Your ship is levelled up during every combat situation. It is painfully easy to do and will not challenge you. This was a little disappointing, but it was counteracted by multiple difficulty settings. My advice, play it on the moderate or the hardest option to get the most out of it.
Endless combat and wonderful aliens.
The Metroidvania exploration was excellent! You’ll easily get lost in the claustrophobic caverns and this was great. Your progress is halted by massive locked doors that were opened by easy puzzles. Luckily, though, in the later stages of the game, this becomes more complicated. Moreover, it never becomes overwhelming, and this prevents it from becoming tedious.
What can be tough, however, is the endless amounts of combat. No matter where you go, there is a stream of pissed off aliens wanting to kill you. Whether it’s poisonous spores, kamikaze nutcases, or giant worms, you must destroy them all. Fortunately, though, your weapons make light work of them. Subsequently, they are a mild inconvenience as you complete your mission.
This brings me nicely back to the crux of the gameplay…insane and angry cows. God damn these annoying milk-producing asshats. You’ll have to stun and capture some weird and wonderful beasts on your journey. Forget about the beautiful “Laughing Cow,” as these creatures aren’t happy. Every one of them is unique and you’ll have a different approach to stopping them. I adored the madness that ensued and each bizarre moment.
Whether it was battling magnets, poison, twin beasts, one that was heavily armoured, or more, it never gets old. You must use the environment to your advantage, highlight your foes’ weaknesses, and stun them into submission. On the tougher settings, this is no mean feat, and it will challenge the best players throughout.
Moo Lander looks great.
Not all indie games are synonymous with excellent aesthetics. In fact, most are pretty understated. Fortunately, Moo Lander looks great and runs smoothly. I experienced one minor glitch where I was shoved into a wall and couldn’t move. Luckily, checkpoints were in abundance, so it had little impact on my progress. Anyway, back to the graphics. The colour palette is bright, varied, and great to look at. What’s more, the aliens are unique and have an array of skins. Furthermore, their animations are different and this makes the action hectic. Alongside this, the stages comprise individual themes to keep things fresh.
The audio is just as good as the visuals. There is a bizarre mixture of tunes to listen to, but these fade into insignificance. Most of the time, you’ll be chuckling at the dialogue or listening to loud sci-fi noises. Consequently, it was energetic, amusing, and great fun to play. Further to this, each stage has unique sounds, and this prevents boredom.
The lack of accuracy is concerning and annoying.
There was much to love about the control system for Moo Lander. First, the UI is excellent and selecting each tool was simple and quick. Furthermore, the buttons are responsive and this makes the combat elements much easier. However, this is held back by a serious lack of accuracy. Though the right analogue stick is used for aiming, it lacks fluidity. If this was improved, the game would be much better.
With many cows to hunt, plenty of upgrades, multiplayer options, and skins to unlock, this will keep you going. I was unable to try multiplayer, but there are many modes to explore. What’s more, it looks like it’ll use familiar mechanics from the story mode. Unfortunately, you can miss cows as you explore! Subsequently, you’ll need an eye for detail to ensure you don’t miss any. As you kill each alien species, you’ll unlock their skins and special abilities. This added a tactical element to the gameplay and depth to each cow battle.
Moo Lander is a brilliant game.
Though it wasn’t perfect, there is no denying that I loved Moo Lander. Its blend of exploration, combat and RPG elements was fantastic. Sadly, the controls weren’t as accurate as I’d have liked, but this is a minor thing. If you love multiplayer games, you’ll adore what is on offer. Alongside this, the story mode is excellent thanks to its amusing plot, badass cows, and eclectic blend of aliens. Unsurprisingly, I recommend you to buy it here! Will you save your species, or will every cow escape? Upgrade your ship, kill the aliens, and beam up every bovine you encounter.