App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Milkmaid of the Milky Way is a cleverly named point-and-click adventure where you play as a milkmaid from the 20th century who suddenly finds herself needing to board a spaceship to save her herd of cattle. The whole game is a strange, but charming, experience, despite being pretty mechanically rote and containing some awkward writing.
At the start of Milkmaid of the Milky Way, very little seems amiss. You are a milkmaid that lives in an idyllic little cottage in rural Norway, and you spend your days tending to your herd and making butter and cheese from their milk. For a good portion of the game's opening, there are not many hints that the game will expand into a more sci-fi experience at all, which is actually kind of neat. Living that simple life in such a gorgeous, pixel art environment is sort of satisfying on its own.
Soon enough though, some things will happen that will put your and your cows on a spaceship where you'll need to do a lot of typical point-and-click adventure puzzle-solving to protect your herd and save the day.
If you've played a classic adventure game like King's Quest or The Secret of Monkey Island, the gameplay in Milkmaid of the Milky Way should seem very familiar. You wander through environments, tapping on items to pick them up or interact with them, and then using other items you've found with people or other pieces of the environment to help you push the story forward.
The problem with a lot of adventure games is that it's not always apparent where items are and how they might relate to a puzzle you're solving. This can leave players doing a lot of pixel-hunting, or otherwise tapping all over the screen to either use random items on things or try to maybe find new items in the environment. The puzzles in Milkmaid of the Milky Way aren't so obtuse that you'll need a FAQ to get through the game, but there are a number of puzzles that have some peculiar solutions that you might just have to brute force the solution to.
The writing is part of the reason why Milkmaid of the Milky Way's puzzles might be hard to understand. For some reason, the entire game is written in rhyming couplets, which results in a lot of awkward phrases and slant rhymes.
If these were pulled off a little better, things might be easier to understand, but it would still seem like an odd stylistic choice. Nothing about the game really makes it seem like couplets are particularly appropriate or necessary.
The bottom line
Milkmaid of the Milky Way isn't the most narratively or mechanically impactful adventure game I've played, but it does make a heck of an aesthetic statement that really stuck with me. Even despite a lot of its clunkiness, I think Milkmaid of the Milky Way is worth checking out.