By Chris Picone, 30 October 2023
Kickback Slug: Cosmic Courier's a fun 2d platformer about a cute slug travelling around a dangerouns planet trying to recover lost parcels. I enjoyed it but did find the game fairly easy - probably perfect for a slightly younger audience.
Cosmic Slug has a nice cartoony-style look, with a wide-ranging pallette as you progress through the levels. All the usual tropes are featured here - jungle, ice, mines, lava, space... there's a nice variety, and of course each "world" has its own enemies, traps, obstacles, and mechanics. While the graphics are relatively minimal, all the lovely little value-add details are present, and it's super polished.
Your primary mission on each level is just to reach the end. However, there is also a time challenge and a parcel to collect on each level for perfectionists. This also means more experienced players have a bit of a tougher time trying to nail each level while younger or less experienced players can still progress. The levels are all short, making for a delightfully fast-paced game. The crux of the game revolves around the "kickback" movement mechanics; your slug can't move normally, all movement is conducted using his gun. There's a "constant movement" trigger, which acts basically like a jackpack and is arguably your main form of transport, and a "cannon" mode which launches you across the screen at high speed, and finally whenever you "shoot" (used to kill enemies, break barriers, or trigger levers). Of course, trying to fly in one direction while trying to shoot in another can be tricky, and is what makes such a simple game so fun - especially when you're racing against the clock! The other challenges come in the form of whatever each level throws at you; spikes in the jungle level, dynamite and rail carts in the mine level, and so on. Oh, and there are bosses to fight! They're surprisingly tough.
For such a simple game, it's very fun! I really love the movement mechanics and I found the ice level in particular, with its slipper slopes and short clocks, particularly fun. I also enjoyed the boss fights. In all, it's a great platformer I'm very happy to recommend to anyone, although I suspect the younger crowd will enjoy it even more.