I LOVE cute games, and particularly ones where you collect cute animals. I adored Neko Atsume and was a slave to Viva Pinata years ago. This game reminded me of Viva Pinata and got me fiercely excited. I could barely wait to start playing this game and am super jealous that Xbox gamers get this game for free this month! Luckily, Slime Rancher is only twenty dollars on Steam, so I didn’t have to do much debating on this purchase.
photo from Nerd Bacon
In this game, you play the intergalactic space traveler Beatrix LeBeau, who has set out from Earth to live her dreams of being a slime rancher. As Beatrix, you are on an unnamed planet on the Far, Far Range–a beautiful piece of prime property you bought from a now retired slime rancher. The property is all set for you to get started right away–complete with a home, plots that can be developed for your ranching needs, and a place to trade in plort for money.
With this all in place, I set out with my Vacpack that’s made to suck up anything small enough to fit inside–like regular sized slimes, food, and chickens. The planet looks like canyons with its tall rock formations on most sides, grass-less floor, and bright blue skies. Immediately I came upon herds of slime right outside my ranch that I vacuumed up to take back.
Quickly I ran back to my ranch, gleeful with my first batch of pudgy slime. It was pretty easy to figure out how to buy a corral and shoot the slime in. Those bouncy little pink blubs of joy began jumping all around and on top of each other while I took off into the wild to find some more slime! What I found was chickens instead! As a real life chicken owner, I was kind of gleeful and sucked those bocking, feathery fools into my VacPack. Next, I got them back to their very own coop on the ranch. I smiled at my hard day’s work. However while I was out finding food, the slime bounced their way out of their corral and destroyed the chicken population, only leaving their pink poop, called plort, as evidence of their chicken feast. That when it dawned on me things weren’t going to be so easy with these trouble making slime.
The primary goal of this game is simple, you want to collect slime because they make a precious material you can trade for money. That valuable material is their poop, called plort. Yep, poop. At least their poop is a nice clean geometric shape in fun colors. Plus, you can suck it up quickly in your VacPack–keeping your hands poop free. It’s not hard to start making a little money, but what makes this game hard is the slimes themselves. They do not want to cooperate. My second day I tried collecting a beautiful floating herd of glowing slime to only have them continuously fly out of their fence and give the other slime ideas. Eventually, I gathered the flying slime back up, took them to a far corner of the map and said goodbye–haha. Later I learned I could have upgraded their corral to help with that problem.
As you keep playing, you attempt to continue upgrading your ranch. You can make gardens to have food for your slime, keep chickens, and most importantly you can upgrade the slime corrals. Which is a necessity if you don’t want to be running around chasing your slime five times a day. It’s very exasperating and also somewhat realistic (though to an extreme). There have been many times my real life chickens got out of the fence, and I chased them in circles as they run for their life from my helping hands.
photo from Slime Rancher Wikia
The game pulls you in two directions–improving and tending the ranch and exploring the world around you. It’s balanced nicely. Traveling the world around offers new discoveries, but sometimes dangerous slimes who aim to maim. There are also notes placed around the place from the previous owner as well as letters delivered to Beatrix’ home. It offers a break from the loneliness that is the rancher life.
Okay, so this is a cute game. It provides a fun, easy going time that displays the straightforward nature and hard ships of “simple living.” It’s easy to figure out, and I enjoy the exploration aspect. The jingling jello that are slimes are funnily troublesome, and I love collecting their poop for a pile of cash.
However, the slimes are simplistic. They don’t have much character, and I wish that I could offer them more personal care–like toys, or special play areas to optimize their cute factor. Actually, my overall complaint is simplicity. After only a couple hours of play, I felt like I already had experienced most of what that game had to offer. The only thing ahead after that is just slowly improving what you already have and expanding your travels in the surrounding areas.
I do recommend this game, but I don’t recommend buying it even for twenty dollars. If you’re on Xbox Live, I totally suggest downloading the game for free. For everyone else, I think you should wait until this goes on sale. However, if you’re a person who only enjoys complex games, I don’t believe that you should bother with this game. You’ll get three hours of game play before you get bored. I personally can appreciate simpler games and have so far got a good amount of gaming hours in.