Have Blaster - Will Deliver

All the ethics courses I have taken say we shouldn’t take kickbacks, but I guess the rules are different if you are a slug…and a space courier. Kickback Slug: Cosmic Courier sees our main slug on a mission to collect and deliver all the parcels possible. You have some help in the form of a rather large fly. You may want to weigh McFly’s advice carefully, as he doesn’t seem to be too keen on actually dealing with the parcels.

As you can tell by now, Kickback Slug doesn’t take itself very seriously, and that is one of its strengths. This game falls into the fun bucket of a little challenge wrapped in a lot of levity.

The visuals are rather cartoon-like. There is a pleasant use of color and form, and the graphics are smoothly rendered. There is enough detail to provide all the context you need, but not so much that it takes your attention away from your goal. Don’t forget, you are a space slug, so it should come as no surprise that the rest of the elements in the game are just as whimsical. There are some floating beach ball creatures with eyes all over you can shoot. I’d liken them to a beholder, but they are far too silly for that.

There are caves and trees and all sorts of other terrain and obstacles you need to navigate as well.

Speaking of navigating, this is an important part of the game play. Nobody expects a slug to be very fast, so you need some help. You have a blaster pistol with settings for regular shot and cannon shot. The regular shot will not only allow you to shoot the baddies or activate switches, it’ll also propel you a short distance in the direction opposite of where the barrel is pointing. The cannon shot will also damage the baddies and move you, but it moves you further. However, it fires fewer times per minute.

There is a third option for moving: the jet function. As with the other means of getting around, you need to point your pistol in the direction you want to apply thrust. If you point the piston straight down, you will jet straight up. Gravity is in play, so you have to be careful jetting around with all the spiky bits lying about, ready to ruin your day.

The gameplay isn’t overly complex, but it does require concentration and a little skill. Getting through each level may not be as easy as you think, but the levels are meant to be replayed, and the action doesn’t get bogged down by rehashing a long winded backstory. There is a bit of a story (or, at least some humorous background) which is relatable to anyone who has worked for a delivery company…or just about anywhere in corporate America, really.

Kickback Slug: Cosmic Courier is ultimately just an obstacle course with some puzzle elements (actuating switches to access new areas, etc.). Collect the parcels, beat the clock, survive long enough to get to the next area. Lather, rinse, repeat. It may not sound like much, but it does tick off a few things which, to me, make a game fun to play.