Milkmaid of the Milky Way is a point-and-click adventure game starring, well, a milkmaid. I fell in love with the main character and her picturesque little home in the mountains, but I was soon whisked away onto an adventure that my little milkmaid could’ve never expected.
When you talk about cows and space, there’s a clear connection there that has come about after years of urban legends: cow abductions. So as you proceed around your house and surrounding fields doing your chores as usual, you also have to deal with a giant spaceship stealing your cows. A milkmaid just can’t catch a break nowadays (or rather, back then in the 20’s since that’s the time period this game was set).
Saying goodbye to your house on the mountains, you take a leap of faith (literally. You’re so worried about your cows that you leap off a cliff to jump onto the spaceship despite your fear of heights). Your best friend, a cow that you had raised since its birth, was abducted along with the rest of your herd, and you’ve made it your mission to get them back.
You’re welcomed aboard the ship by the queen, and she even gives you a tour of the ship. She shows you your cows feeding from the beautiful pasture that exists on board the ship, as well as the milkbeasts—alien giant cow-like animals—grazing nearby. She then shows you an aging machine that can help her milkbeasts gain back youth. All it requires are younger cows to be aged on one side of the machine. She manages to trick you into going into the machine and suddenly, you wake up finding yourself aged. Your golden hair is now grey and your whole body aches. That’s when you realize that the queen is evil.
For years, the queen has been aging her subjects on the ship to maintain her youth. You watch as one of her subjects does something wrong and as a punishment, they’re taken to the aging machine. Her life is drained from her and she’s forced to lay on a bed grasping on to the last thread of her life. Talking to other subjects on the ship, you realize no one really likes the queen. Your new mission becomes clear to you: stop the queen’s rule so your life can get back to normal and you can go home.
There are several things I really liked about the game. Firstly, I liked that although it’s a point-and-click, my milkmaid character walks quite fast when I want her to. By double-clicking on a spot, she’ll respond to my urgency by running. It makes the journey around the various maps to be a lot less tedious, and I really appreciated this.
I also loved the atmosphere of the game that was created through the art and the music. It’s calming and relaxing for the most part. I noticed that the pixel art is less detailed than some of the more recent pixel art games, but it worked perfectly with the game.
The story explores life, age, and death in beautiful ways. You’re a milkmaid in the mountains, stuck there because your parents have thrusted their farm upon you after they both left in their own ways. There’s an attachment there, despite the game not taking too much time to explore your back story. You do have an in-game diary that you can read up on your past. I do wonder if I was put in the milkmaid’s position, would I have continued on the farm after my parents moved on? Or would I have sought new adventures? Perhaps I too would have been too sentimental to move on.
When you age after the queen takes your youth, your character physically moves a lot slower. Just bending over to pick up an item takes longer than when you were in your younger form. The game forces you to realize the consequences of age. It’s not just your appearance that becomes less attractive, but life itself becomes harder.
As a word of reminder, Milkmaid of the Milky Way is very much an exploration of a story. There are a few puzzles sprinkled here and there, but at its core, the game plays a lot like a visual novel. If you’re down to spend two or so hours to play through a good story, this is the game for you.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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