*Disclaimer: Product received for free*
Genre: Twin-stick Shooter
Original Release: September 5, 2019
Developer: Happy Corruption
Publisher: All in! Games
Platform(s): Windows (Steam), Nintendo Switch
Played on: Windows (Steam)
A fart joke, when executed properly, is a beautiful thing. In fact, one of my favorite stand-up routines is George Carlin’s bit on fart jokes.
Enter Space Cows. Before the release date, I hadn’t heard a word of this game. In fact, if it weren’t for this tweet, I might never have found out about it:
The game is a neat twin-stick shooter in the vein of titles like “Nex Machina” of “I Made a Game with Zombies in It!” where the main focus is on movement, dodging attacks either by moving out of the way by dashing (or in this case, propelling yourself forward with a fart), and firing your weapon at the enemies. Space Cows adds a twist to this formula by setting the game in space, simultaneously allowing for some neat movements by propelling yourself with your weapon (a plunger) or farting out of the way of danger and requiring your movements to be a lot more precise since you’ll continue drifting in your last input direction. I found it tricky to get a feel for, but once I had a basic grasp, I had fun with it!
Space Cows’ story is a simple one, but it fits the game’s tone perfectly: You, a dairy farmer by the name of Best Regards, are deliberately kidnapped and taken to space in order to rescue your best friend, a cow named Betsy. Also you’re naked. I assume that’s because Best Regards disguised himself as a cow in order to get kidnapped, but for all I know, Best just enjoys being naked. I can’t blame him, and I’m not going to explain why because I’ve probably given too much information already just by saying that I can’t blame him.
Best defends himself in a few ways: the aforementioned fart dash, throwing a plunger at oncoming Mootants, or, when the rage meter fills, throwing fist-shaped fireballs and shouting “pew” with each shot. I didn’t realize until I was playing a little bit more last night, but each of these rage shots actually pushes Best in the opposite direction of said shot, so while it’s fun to fire wildly, using rage mode does require a little bit of thought. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve already forced myself into a corner, only to die as soon as I came out of a rage. I think my record for dying in a single stage is 39 times at this point. I’m not very good at this kind of game
Space Cows is a very silly game that doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and I like that about it. Twin-stick shooters aren’t typically my thing, but I’m not about to turn down something this wildly absurd just because it’s not in my wheelhouse. And so I think I can safely say that while I haven’t finished it yet (I’m close), I recommend this game. If you’re looking for something silly or weird to snap you out of what I call a “beige mood” where nothing seems appealing for one reason or another, this is up there for me.
As stated above, I was given a code for this game by Happy Corruption and I want to take a moment to thank them for that. As such, here’s the link to the Steam version. Admittedly it feels a little weird to be given a complimentary game and a presskit for information… Am I a games journalist now?