Review: Slime Rancher

This week’s review is an indie title that breaks the mold: an adventure game about making a living off of an alien planet’s adorable goo-based life. From Monomi Park, we have Slime Rancher, let’s go!

Slime Rancher is a first-person adventure game where you take control of Beatrix LeBeau, an aspiring rancher come to the Far, Far Range in search of fortune and a new life, with the help of the 7zee Corporation. With your Vacpack in hand, travel the lands in search of slimes, food, and the beautiful views that abound in this strange new land. Feed slimes with the food that grows heartily around the Ranch, and from them receive plorts, that can be sold for money. Using your newfound liquidity, purchase corrals for slimes, so that you can bring them home and feed them yourself. Upgrade your corrals with auto-feeders and soothing music, or upgrades your adventuring ability with greater storage tanks or a jetpack. Unlock more of your ranch for even more space in which to ranch your slimes. Discover the ancient secret behind the ruins, and find out why there are adorable slime faces etched into absolutely everything, in Slime Rancher.

Even the moon!

From first glance, Slime Rancher is a game that is easy on the eyes. With its bright colors, cartoon-y design and adorable critters, Slime Rancher is a game that can be as enjoyable to watch as it is to play. In your various travels, you can find a large variety of slimes, all of which are adorable. From cats to fireflies to crystals and even self-contained explosions, all of these slime designs are unique and delightful. Even the most common pink slime can fill your heart with glee from its smile.

 

The music in Slime Rancher is a treat. Using mostly strings, acoustic, and piano, it paints the world around you as active and upbeat. The music ranges from a variety of soothing background strums for its assortment of locales to intense percussive strikes, used for the more lively moments of the game, like when monsters arrive and terrorize slimes. Altogether, the music works jointly with the visuals to create a soothing, lower-stress atmosphere to play in. You can listen to it here.

Now, when it comes to playing, there are two main categories of what you’ll be doing: exploring, going across the Far, Far Range and finding what all there is to find, and ranching, taking what you’ve found and putting it into your farm, getting more money to upgrade and expand your farm, so that you can expand your ranch and host more slimes. Exploring the Far, Far Range entails traveling across a range of locations, from the Dry Reef right outside the ranch, to deep mossy forests, to an abandoned quarry All of these locations have their own mix of what you can find there, from what slimes will spawn, what fruits and vegetables grow there, and what secrets can be discovered.

Hidden around the Range are an array of hidden areas, crates with resources, and Treasure Pods, courtesy of the 7zee corporation. Exploration of every nook and cranny is aided by 7zee upgrades to your gear, including greater storage capacity, a water tank, and a jetpack for crossing gaps and gorges.  Exploration is a key element to getting the most out of what’s already on the Range, and can lead to some amazing views of the landscape. Keep in mind, however, that silly little slimes are not the only thing living on the Far, Far Range. Beings known as Tarr can spawn and threaten both you and the slimes, biting chunks out of both indiscriminately. Feral slimes can also be found inhabiting passes between areas, angry gangs of hungry slimes that can pop up while exploring, so keep an eye out while away from the ranch.

“I don’t want to be fed, I want to be angry.”

Speaking of the ranch, the other major task of the game, depending on playstyle, will be ranching, which entails feeding your slimes, plating food for your slimes, and planning out where and how to expand. As you feed slimes, they pop out plorts. Plorts are a valuable resource that can be sold on the plort market for money, which can be used for adding corrals, silos, and coops, and expanding your ranch, giving you access to different areas to ranch your slimes. Different plorts are worth different amounts on the market, meaning rare slimes with rarer plorts might be worth keeping and your ranch, and much like an actual market, prices vary day by day. Later on in the game, you can unlock the Lab, which gives you access to Slime Science, where you can use your plort for building things, like decorations, utilities such as medical stations, and even teleporter, for quicker travel across the range.

Ranching and exploring are not without their intricacies, despite how simple this game may seem. There are other ranchers on the Range, and one of them will ask daily for a trade, through the ranch’s Ranch Exchange. This can allow you to trade raw resources or slimes for something you may desire, like fruit or vegetables that are hard to find, a large supply of chickens, money, or even plorts. Exploration can reward you not just with additional resources, but also information about the Far, Far, Range, and notes left by its previous owner, the legendary rancher Hobson. By exploring, you can find out more of his story before he left the ranch and disappeared. And if the main adventure of Slime Rancher doesn’t always appeal, there are also challenge modes, to see how much money you can make in a limited time frame.

Slime Rancher is probably the best farming game of 2017, and certainly the most adorable. If you need a way to unwind after a long day, in a way that doesn’t require a lot of quick reflexes, this may the game for you. If you enjoy Animal Crossing games, Harvest Moon games, or Stardew Valley, you may want to give Slime Rancher a look. A lot of the art team working on Slime Rancher came from the team that worked on Spiral Knights, another game whose art style I greatly enjoy. Similarly, the music for Slime Rancher was done by Harry Mack, who also composed the Slime Rancher soundtrack. You can find Slime Rancher on Steam and Xbox One.

Anyway, this is all I have for now. See you later!

 

 

-Dr. Glovegood

Dr. Glovegood

I like gloves. I like games. I'd like to see more of these in the world.

Comments are closed.