There aren’t many games set in the mountains of rural Norway. But it’s this stunning setting that makes Milkmaid of the Milky Way, an old-school point-and-click adventure game, so enticing.
High above the fjord below, our milkmaid hero Ruth lives in her one-room mountain home, tending to her cows and grieving for the loss of her parents. The solitude of the setting is rendered in beautiful pastel 16-bit, with shades of blue and green depicting the whole of her isolated windswept world.
At night, the stars come out and the northern lights dance – and the game perfectly showcases this angled craggy world through intelligent use of perspective-switching. Ruth dwindles and disappears as she climbs away up the hillside.
The gameplay involves problem solving but is mostly pure narrative, a storybook game which forces your attention through the gathering of items and figuring out where to use them.
The plot is narrated entirely through the use of whimsically novel rhyming couplets. And despite occasionally making you laugh with surprise at a shoe-horned rhyme, it’s well told and cleverly deceptive, sprinkling false leads across your way so that you are kept guessing even as you follow the set path of the story.
Milkmaid of the Milky Way makes an old game format feel incredibly fresh. This is a game with hidden depths to ford.