Embracing the cliche of aliens and giving them a silly story as to their supposed obsession with abducting cows, The Sixth Hammer has created Moo Lander. While this is still a game that is in progress, their latest free demo showed enough of what they have to offer and it is certainly interesting. Both good and bad things to be noted, but the overall experience has me wanting to see where they plan on taking this game.
After giving an intense tutorial of the controls by controlling a crash landing onto a strange planet, you are thrown into a platforming area where you get to navigate your ship for the first time. The first note about the game is that it is a platformer, but you are flying the whole time, so the challenges are a little bit different. From flying through tight corridors to avoiding dangerous plant life that function like traps, you will be faced with a different kind of tactical platforming than usual.
There are some aspects of puzzles thrown into the mix of the gameplay. While most areas are simply “go there, move the rock to flip a switch and open a door” type of puzzles, there are some that require actual thinking to be done. This is the kind of puzzles I would like to see expanded on more than that use of switches, or possibly even a good mix of the two different types.
Cows are your main objective as you need to abduct them in order to send them back to your home planet where they could harvest the milk out of them to power their world. So, obviously, this must be the fight sequence and battling cows are sure to become harder the further we go along. However, the first fight was a lot harder than I had expected, but at least they gave us a “milk geyser” to recharge our attacks and a “health pod” to collect more health during this fight. It was very helpful during this fight as the unexpected challenge when facing off with the cow was something I simply wasn’t ready for!
The puzzles seem to just be getting started, but also are heavily based on hitting a switch. While it is interesting to move a rock with your ship and put it on a specific marker in order to open a gate, I would like to see this become less of a focus while other puzzle styles are introduced. With a flying saucer for a character, the options for some unique puzzles are right there and I hope they decide to take them.
Combat with the cow was a bit tedious once you figure out you only have one attack and the cow has multiple. I hope to see more attack types and upgrades to my ship that increase my speed, velocity, shot direction, weapon style, and other aspects to improving my ship.
I hope they decide to update or change the voice acting for the game however. This was by far the worst thing in the game. While the simplistic art matched the overall game style and silly plot, the voice they chose to go with just didn’t fit at all. This may have just been me, but in my opinion, the voice needs to be changed for the main character.
Moo Lander is taking off in ship-shape! I like where they are headed and the silly story is as entertaining as making my way through the tactical puzzles and platforms. Hopefully they take some notes, make some changes, and utilize the opportunities a game like this holds. As it stands, it is a fun free demo and worth playing through if you are a puzzle, platformer, or general alien games fan.