Go on a snarky sci-fi adventure in Milkmaid of the Milky Way

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job.
So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat
from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us
to help by regularly selecting a game You Should
Play
.

I love point-and-tap adventure games—they remind me of those
old-school text-based adventure games of my youth. (Hey, they
were still pretty retro when I was a kid, because, come on
guys, I’m only 30.)
Milkmaid of the Milky Way
is a charming, whimsical
point-and-tap adventure that perfectly captures what I loved so
much about those games—the simple gameplay, the
mildly-challenging puzzles, and the witty (and sometimes
confusingly odd) snarkiness.

duck machineboy

This game is charming and snarky—a great combination.

In Milkmaid of the Milky Way, you play as Ruth, a blonde Nordic
milkmaid whose only friends are her cows. Ruth lives on a small
farm in the middle of nowhere (aka 1920s Norway) and spends her
days doing milkmaid things: Milking cows, making cheese and
butter, and never going into town because it’s a three-hour
hike from her house. You spend the first part of the game
figuring out how to do these things by walking around,
collecting objects, and dragging those objects onto other
objects to see what will work.

cow machineboy

Ruth loves her cows. So naturally she’s not pleased when
they’re abducted.

But Ruth’s ultra-boring life changes one night when an alien
spaceship comes by her little farm and abducts all her cows.
Naturally, Ruth goes after her cows (they are her only friends,
after all), and then a whole weird, sci-fi story unravels while
Ruth tries desperately to get back to her boring milkmaid life.

Milkmaid of the Milky Way is one of those games that’s just
well-made all around—from the quirky, captivating storyline to
the pretty, whimsical landscapes. It’s definitely worth your
$4, and here’s why: 

Smooth, speedy gameplay: You might think it’s
impossible to mess up the gameplay mechanics of a point-and-tap
game (the mechanics are literally just point…and
tap
)—but you’d be wrong. Many point-and-tap games have
surprisingly frustrating mechanics, such as inaccurate tapping
and ridiculously slow-moving characters.

I’m happy to say that Milkmaid of the Milky Way has excellent
mechanics. When you tap an area on the screen, Ruth moves at a
surprisingly brisk pace—even if the point you’re trying to get
to is up an obviously lengthy mountain path, she’ll book it and
get to your endpoint in seconds. And if her naturally speedy
pace is too slow for you, you can also double tap and hold to
have her run (and it’s not a survival game, so she doesn’t get
tired from running around). This might seem like a
super-trivial feature, but it’s not—I can’t tell you how many
otherwise interesting point-and-tap adventure games I’ve put
down out of frustration at how slow my character moves. Ruth’s
speediness also makes retracing your steps much more
palatable—there’s not a ton of retracing, but there is some
(especially as you work your way around certain puzzles).

The gameplay mechanics aren’t perfect—there are some tap-points
that are too close to other tap-points, and there are some
cut-scenes you can’t speed through—but at least Ruth’s speedy
movement will keep any frustration from inaccurate taps at bay.

Perfect puzzle-narrative balance: Like most
point-and-tap adventure games, Milkmaid of the Milky Way has
puzzles along the way. For the most part, the puzzles aren’t
very difficult—they usually involve picking up objects from
your environment (it’s fairly obvious which objects can be
picked up and which can’t) and using them in conjunction with
other (static) objects. The narrative, which, by the way, is
written completely in rhyme, usually gives you good hints at
how puzzles can be solved.

maze machineboy

There are a few different types of puzzles.

What’s nice about this game is that the puzzles and the
narrative work very well together, and each puzzle makes sense
in the game’s storyline. The puzzles are just tricky enough
that you won’t feel like you’re simply tapping your way through
an interactive story, but they’re not so difficult that you’ll
get frustrated because the story’s not moving forward. If
you’re looking for a serious challenge, this is probably not
the game for you—but if you’re looking for an interesting
adventure that uses puzzles to move the story along, you should
definitely check it out.

Everything about this game is beautiful:
Everything about Milkmaid of the Milky Way has clearly been
carefully designed, and the result is gorgeous. The game uses a
mix of artistic styles—the backdrops and landscapes are done in
a watercolor style, while the characters and objects are mostly
pixel art—and the overall aesthetic is very retro-charming and
whimsical.

fjord Machineboy

I can definitely see why Ruth wants to get back to her boring
life on the fjord.

The fjord, where you begin Ruth’s journey, is absolutely
breathtaking, with clouds that scoot across the sky and
sunlight that dapples here and there. The soundtrack—relaxing
piano notes with some film noir intro bits thrown in—is simple
and unobtrusive and adds in atmosphere without overwhelming the
game. I wouldn’t mind spending all of my gameplay time here—in
this game, or any other game.

Developer: Machineboy
Platform: iOS (Universal)
Price: $4

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