Review: Kickback Slug: Cosmic Courier

Review: Kickback Slug: Cosmic Courier

“Firing your weapon in one direction sends Slippy soaring in the opposite direction” | With an abundance of platformers on the market these days, it’s hard to find some games from the genre that stand out. Kickback Slug: Cosmic Courier, however, breaks free from those traditional shackles and delivers a fun, but challenging physics-based platformer-shooter hybrid. The mechanics in this game set it apart from others on the market, and combined with the hand-animated cutscenes, it makes for a very entertaining game filled with memorable characters and witty one-liners that will leave you wanting more each time you play. Take it from me, this one was quite hard to put down.

ℹ️ Reviewed on Nintendo Switch | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!

DeveloperKittens In Timespace
PublisheraPriori Digital

Use your gun to propel yourself forward!

Things I liked!

  • Physics-Based Shooting | Kickback Slug’s main mechanic stands out from most games since it is used not only as a primary action but also directly affects its secondary function. The movement. Firing your weapon in one direction sends Slippy soaring in the opposite direction creating a very unique way of moving. Honestly, it has been a while since I have seen a mechanic used in such a creative way as this. You can also glide Slippy by holding down the B button on the joy-con but shooting is used to increase the speed or slow you down. You can also hold steady by repeatedly shooting downwards and slowly lowering yourself down, or firing downwards to launch yourself into the sky. The shooting is also used as a defensive mechanic. Some obstacles can be shot such as the gassy enemies that come out of the terrain to stop you. Switches can also be shot to unlock the portal when you have acquired your parcel to open up the next level.
  • The Boss Fights | The boss fights in Kickback Slug are well-designed and do pose a decent challenge when playing. What I appreciated most about them though is each boss comes with a checkpoint based on its health. This means, that if you get towards the end of a boss fight and die, when you respawn thankfully the health has only recovered a small amount allowing you to continue from where you left off. Each boss also fits the theme of the area that you play in. My favorite boss was the Mecha Snake since its route of movement was hard to predict and meant it was quite challenging to defeat.

  • Hand Animated Cutscenes | Kickback Slug: Cosmic Courier features fully hand-drawn animations that help tell the story of Slippy and McFly. As delivery drivers for the largest intergalactic trader of goods, they are held to high standards. However, their usual daily shift, and the chance of being named employees of the month, suffer a major blow when a mechanical failure causes their ship to crash land on a planet. There are quite a few cutscenes between each of the many planets you get to experience and these are one of the many highlights of what makes Kickback Slug stand out from the rest.

  • The Music & Audio | The music in Kickback Slug is fun to listen to. It has an upbeat and high-tempo soundtrack that gets you moving, especially the main menu. The voice work for the characters is also really good. Slippy the snail is accompanied by McFly, his co-pilot and delivery mate. The chemistry between the two is hilarious and this is brought to life by the comical voice lines featured in the game. While the story may be simple, the witty one-liners during the game and the cutscenes do make you laugh.

  • Performance | The performance on Kickback Slug is great. At no point did I experience any issues while playing. Both handheld and docked modes operate at a smooth 60fps, which is great considering you will need all the help you can get to ensure you control Slippy safely.

  • The Amount of Content | Kickback Slug has fifty playable levels spanning five zones, such as a dense jungle, icy peak, long-forgotten mines, boiling lava pools, and even space itself. The amount of content here is fantastic. I didn’t expect there to be so many levels, but I appreciate the fact there are many since games are starting to feel a lot shorter these days. Not only can the levels be done normally, but you can also shoot an hourglass at the beginning of each level which activates a timer giving you a short amount of time to move and collect your parcel. You can get additional time by finding stopwatches throughout the level, but if your timer runs out, you have to restart. You can also access the gallery from the main menu and check what it was you have been collecting by opening the parcels.

The obstacles in the game are many, but fun overall!

Neither good nor bad

  • Quite Difficult | The difficulty curve does ramp up as you progress through the game. To the point where there were several times I had to replay certain levels. We can all say “skill issue”, point and laugh in my direction, and you would be right. Because, quite honestly I can’t remember the last time I saw something quite as unique as this on the market. The shooting system does take some getting used to, and as the terrain changes, and the obstacle amount increases, it becomes more difficult encouraging you to adapt and plan as you go. It’s not a criticism, merely a self-reflection of my inability to “get good”. But after that period comes, you are left with a rather satisfying feeling of accomplishment.

Boss fights are fun, challenging & well animated!

Things I disliked!

  • Nothing | Kickback Slug – Cosmic Courier has been a light at the end of a very long AAA tunnel, where games are usually released broken and contain bugs or suffer from poor performance. Kickback Slug manages to avoid this by delivering a clean experience throughout. As a result, I was able to enjoy my time with it, and appreciate the level of work that has gone into making it, meaning there was nothing I disliked about this game.

How long did I play the review before publishing? 12 hours
How long to beat the story? 12-18 hours
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? No achievements on the Nintendo Switch
You’ll love this game if you like these | Geometry Dash, Bopl Battle, Bread & Fred


90/100 ⭐| If you are looking for something new and original I highly recommend checking out Kickback Slug. It’s a challenging game that will leave you feeling rewarded after it has beaten you down, but with such a large variety of levels to experience, and additional content from the gallery to witness, it’s worthy of anyone’s time. Even my kids enjoyed playing it. The hand-animated cutscenes with funny voice work really help sell the game and bring each of the characters to life. You can buy Kickback Slug: Cosmic Courier now on Steam and Nintendo Switch.