“Milkmaid of the Milky Way” could be one of the best new adventure games to hit the App Store this year. Check out iDigitalTimes’ review of this stunning new puzzle adventure game plus an interview with its creator, Mattis Folkstad.
On Thursday, Norwegian developer Mattis Folkestad released a stunning new point-and-click adventure game, Milkmaid of the Milky Way, to Steam and Apple’s App Store. We’ve spent a couple hours with the game and can easily say Milkmaid of the Milky Way is already a strong contender for one of the best mobile games of 2017. With its engaging storyline, beautiful graphics and clever gameplay, this title is sure to pull players in from the moment they begin.
The game opens by introducing the heroine of the adventure, Ruth, a young woman living on a dairy farm in in the mountains of Norway. Though Ruth longs for a different life, she finds herself tied to the farm, which she’s become solely responsible for after the mysterious disappearance of her mother and untimely death of her father.
Having not seen the trailer ahead of playing Milkmaid of the Milky Way, we had no idea what a treat we were in for, as the game seemed to follow a predictable course, initially. However, just when we thought we knew what was ahead, the game took a bizarre turn which flopped all our expectations on their head and left us hungry to find out what would happen next. During the first half hour or so, players explore various locations in the game, receiving background on Ruth as the challenges ahead begin to unfold. The game includes the typical elements of a point-and-click adventure such as an in-depth story thread and challenges or puzzles to solve before players can move forward. In the game’s first day, players must figure out how to do a number of tasks like milking cows, patching the roof, making cheese and rescuing a lost cow. The tasks are not as straightforward as they appear and many require thinking outside the box or using unconventional methods and tools to get the job done. As the first day draws to a close, however, the real story prepares to reveal itself.
On day two, Milkmaid of the Milky Way begins shaking things up as the developer throws in a surprising twist that transforms the rural Norwegian survival story into a full-blown sci-fi adventure, complete with age machines, dying alien civilizations and bovine sacrifices. The combination of a riveting storyline and challenging puzzles throughout make the game the most exciting mobile offering we’ve played in a while.
But beyond the structure of the game, Milkmaid of the Milky Way also includes artistic nuances that make gameplay truly delightful. The one-man project designed, developed and produced entirely by Folkestad himself, shows thoughtful choices about every aspect of the design from music to graphics and scripting.
In designing the graphics and animation, Folkestad intentionally chose the simplicity of pixelated art as it “leaves a bit to the player’s imagination.” The visuals achieve the perfect blend of retro charm and sophistication all at once. Throughout the game, Folkestad inserts beautifully animated video clips that move the storyline along. The artwork and execution of these clips are absolutely breathtaking.
Folkestad’s attention to detail also shines in the development of the plot, as the script for the tale is written entirely in rhyme with wit and humor to boot. Though Folkestad began writing the storyline in regular prose, he soon found that using rhyme gave the text a more “whimsical, adventurous style,” and so he opted to rework it all in rhyme.
“It some ways it was quite painful,” Folkstad told iDigitalTimes, “but in other ways, having a stricter rule on how to write also made it easier, somehow.”
Folkstad’s work on the project spanned two years as the artist’s full-time development job left only nights and weekends to work on Milkmaid of the Milky Way. Though the task was daunting at times, being in charge of all parts of the production, said Folkestad, helped to keep his interest alive.
“I’ve always enjoyed doing lots of different stuff, and with game development, you can apply yourself to all these creative fields at once … there were times with Milkmaid of the Milky Way when I thought, ‘God, when will this ever end,’ but by working on it alone, I could switch over to background design when puzzle building got frustrating or switch to making music, so it never got too repetitive.”
Milkmaid of the Milky Way released Thursday for Mac and PC on the Steam store but has also been made available to iOS gamers on the Apple App Store for $3.99. While we’ve only just begun our adventure with the Milkmaid of the Milky Way, we can confidently say this game is worth every cent, and we give it a full five stars for its skilled and thoughtful execution.
For more information about the developer and creator of Milkmaid of the Milky Way, you can visit the MachineBoy Facebook page, or see the creator’s progress while developing the game on his Milkmaid of the Milky Way Tumblr. You can also check out our walkthrough and puzzle guide for the game, here.