Luckslinger is a cowboy game with a twist, the only problem I’ve seen is that the twist is wholly unnecessary. But without it, the game wouldn’t be called Luckslinger. Just… Slinger.
Luckslinger is old-school in every way. From the Amiga-style graphics to the beeping hip-hop soundtrack, everything about Luckslinger says it should have released back way before I born.
The retro-ness of it all won’t be for everyone. Before starting the game, it wasn’t for me and I was sure I wasn’t going to enjoy it at all. But the opening minute of the game hooked me and I was enamoured by its charm. And it is a charming game and I actually came around to its presentation quite quickly.
Luckslinger’s hook is that there’s luck in its world and if you’ve got some of it, you can get by a little easier. If you don’t, you’ll have a harder time.
Luck manifests itself as quirky features during the game’s levels, like platforms that appear to save you from falling to your doom, to enemy bullet diverting themselves up and away from you. No luck means the world is just as dangerous and miserable as it always was. Platforms will buckle under you, meaning you’ll need to hop quickly or die. Bag guy bullets won’t move out of your way, either, and other unfortunate events are more likely to happen, such as the blades on a windmill suddenly falling from above.
While it’s a nice idea, the luck mechanic feels unnecessary. In fact, I didn’t really pay much attention to it as I cowboyed my way through the game’s levels, hunting down the bosses and their lucky charms. I treated the game as if it was any other side-scrolling shooter and it was fun, but not because my luck was in, but because the game itself actually stands up really well. It’s charming, the graphics are cool in the same way a Delorean is a sexy car, and gameplay is simple but sophisticated, especially with the combat and the need to duck, jump, dodge, and manage your reloads. It didn’t need the luck gimmick at all.
A real highlight for some may be the fact that the game doles out its achievements and trophies in less than an hour of play. I managed to bag the Platinum trophy in just under an hour. As a man with a relatively sparse Platinum collection, I didn’t mind this one bit. My online street cred has grown by 1%.
Luckslinger is a fun little action platformer that has more heart than it lets on. If the opening 60 seconds don’t grab you then that’s a shame. If they do, then you’ll enjoy the next couple of hours that the game delivers. Plus, more westerns is a good thing, even if they come with a hip hop soundtrack. I’ll take what I can get.
Luckslinger PS5, PS4 Review
Overall - Very Good - 7/10
Luckslinger is retro and it makes no bones about it. It’s a fun shooter/platformer that anybody over the age of 40 will feel instantly comfortable with, while young guns may need a bit of time to see the appeal. The luck mechanic doesn’t have that much impact and the game could have gotten by without it.
- Looks retro but definitely feels modern
- The hip-hop/western soundtrack works really well
- The gunplay/platforming is a good challenge and the luck mechanic sometimes plays into this
- Poor checkpointing, especially before boss fights
- Luck isn’t as prevalent as I thought it would be and the game could have done without it
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5, PS4 Pro.