The Adventures Of Cookie & Cream
Here’s an odd little game you might have missed on the PS2.
The Adventures Of Cookie & Cream, aka Kuri Kuri Mix, was a multiplayer action/puzzle game in which two bunnies, one called Cookie (or Chestnut in some versions), who has a flower pot on his head, and one called Cream, sporting a little umbrella hat, collaborate on beating various goofy yet conveniently designed worlds.
Though there is a Versus Mode in which Cookie and Cream finally come face to face, it’s all about the Story Mode which requires some pretty intricate co-op and should definitely test your patience towards the player helping you out and, ultimately, the game itself.
Each stage has 4 levels plus one boss to beat and although they’re simply named (Jungle World, Arctic World, Magic World) they are challenging to say the least.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering: Water World is not a myth.
I’ve seen it!
Working with the other player is essential in this game as there’s always a time limit and some platforms require perfect synchronisation to traverse. You can pick up clocks, some obvious ones which give you 30 extra seconds and some more hidden ones worth 60 seconds. Annoyingly, those darn bunnies can’t swim and lose loads of time if they get hit. It doesn’t help that if you stand still for a second some flying sprite shows up and lands on your head, sucking the life out of you slowly like a leech and often blocking your view.
It’s like literally everything is against you reaching your goal. Not only do you rely entirely on your co-gamer at all times but you’re constantly faced with moving platforms, traps, nutty mini puzzles, tricky jumps, water and nasty surprises. It’s a madhouse!
And all this because the Moon has gone missing…
What? I didn’t make that up: that’s the plot of the game! The Moon goes missing because… reasons and two bunnies go on a surreal quest to find it.
Controls-wise, they’re purposely awkward as you’re given three main buttons to work with on one side of the controller, though if you prefer you can always change the setup to something you feel more comfortable with.
It’s not too bad when all your bunnies are doing is hopping around but when you’re trying to row a boat or manipulate a giant robot in co-op, it certainly adds another layer of difficulty to the overall challenge.
It seems like The Adventures Of Cookie & Cream was created to ruin friendships as one innocent mistake can jeopardize an entire play and force both of you to restart. Chances are, you’ll either stick together and face the game like a team or you’ll bicker like crazy and slam your controller down whenever one of you misses an all-important jump.
When something works out, however, it is extremely rewarding.
The real strength of the game is its creativity when it comes to the puzzles and the ingenious use of the co-op mode. Sometimes it takes a second to figure out what you’re meant to do but it usually leads to some fun new mechanism you’ll genuinely want to conquer. A misstep sends you back to the beginning of the level, though, so don’t expect any checkpoints.
As random as the game and its aesthetics are, it still looks pretty good and it’s colourful and cartoonish enough to remain visually appealing throughout. I do recommend you check out The Adventures Of Cookie & Cream (or Kuri Kuri Mix, depending on where you are) as it’s very likely it’ll drive you and your friends nuts for countless hours. This is a genuinely clever PS2 co-op game that’s often overlooked but shouldn’t be.
Besides, how many games include penguin whirlpools of death?
Nowhere near enough.
Go on, do yourself a favour: help those bunnies find their Moon.
As silly as that sounds, I assure you it’s a worthy cause.