Developer: Cosmic Engineers
Publisher: Draknek and Friends
Genre(s): Puzzle, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo, Phone, Steam
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 02 September 2021
A code was provided for review purposes
From the creators that bought you A Good Snowman, Cosmic engineers release Cosmic Express. The journey to getting adorable little monsters back home. I was super keen to play this game, so find out my thoughts here.
Right on track
Cosmic Express, is a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle game. Set in space, it is your mission to pick up the aliens and take them home. The order you pick up and drop off your customers is your key to success. (This is known as a stage-based puzzle.) The game requires you to build a track in the right direction starting at the first station and ending at the next. The amount of thought and puzzles there are in this game is astronomical, and I was very impressed.
Endless hours of campaigns, mixed with a variety of different components create levels that provoke challenge and conversation with those around. Completing one puzzle unlocks 3 or 4 more, so you don’t necessarily need to complete them in level order. What also drew me in further with this game, is the different abilities you are provided with.
At first, it becomes a challenge to balance. You start with only one carriage which means only one alien can be picked up and dropped off. As you progress through the web of puzzles, you are presented with different opportunities such as more carriages, or a tunnel, allowing you to overlap your tracks, as seen above.
Depending on your confidence, you may be a keen bean and jump ahead to higher levels. The puzzles in this game, are charming and no matter their difficulty, there are plenty of options to try.
Charming Train conductor
They say you should never judge a book by its cover. I think the same can be said for games, just because it looks cute and adorable, doesn’t always mean it’s a good game. However, this is completely not the case for Cosmic Express. I am terrible at pre-empting, that a game will be good just because it looks nice. But it is always a reward when I am right.
I adore the graphics of Cosmic Express. What’s not to love? The soft train and its station, with delightful passengers, use a colour palette which is satisfying to the eye.
The quaint soundscape as the train moves its way around the track, collecting its passengers. Doors close softly, and chirps of aliens on their way home after a long day. Its peaceful ambience, reminds me of Sunday morning cuppas in bed, listening to the birds.
The attention to detail makes this game quite remarkable. The warm hues of the game, against the deep space, create a bold area for alien villages. The homes of the space occupants are animated with illuminated windows, and there is smoke billowing from chimneys while trees gently blow as you choo past them.
As they hop in and out of homes and work, I sense the gratitude from the aliens and their happiness to make it home. Not a fright in sight.
Don’t be late to catch your train
After a couple of hours of fun, I can confirm that Cosmic Express, takes a spot as one of my favourite puzzles to play. Its soft soundscape, adorable graphics and gameplay, make it a very enjoyable game for all ages. I still haven’t managed to complete all the puzzles, but it’s fair to say I found myself in a Cosmic Express wormhole. Only a few games capture my heart in the same way, Animal Crossing, 2048, and now I can proudly announce Cosmic Express, as a top contender.
Be sure to have your chance at reuniting aliens with their loved ones, in this charmingly brilliant little puzzle game.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4.5 out of 5
You can purchase the game on the Nintendo store here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.