“Slime Rancher”: The adorable slime ranching simulator IN SPACE [Review]

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slime breeder wondering if you’ve ever wanted to play a game about raising adorable slimes with a vacuum gun? While ready for an endearing yet surprisingly challenging sci-fi story? If you say “Yes” to both, then this might be the farming simulator for you.

slime breeder: Details

This image is basically the whole game in a nutshell. Or slimy shell.

slime breeder is an open-world, first-person, life-simulator, and farming adventure game by American indie developer Monomi Park, who also published the game (with Skybound Games responsible for publishing the console ports). Nick Popovich is the director, with Chris Lum as designer. Ian McConville and Victoria Joh are the artists behind all this adorable slime art, with Harry Mack composing the game’s music.

slime breeder was released on August 1, 2017. You can buy it from Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store or Nintendo eShop. The game has a retail price of $19.99 ($24.99 on the Nintendo Switch for some reason), so it’s pretty cheap. The game also frequently offers deep discounts during sales, so I recommend waiting for such a sale before purchasing.

Additionally, the game now has a sequel coming in the form of slime farmer 2. The game will be launched in Fall 2022. You can now list it on Steam.

Warning: spoilers for slime breeder below. If you want to check out the interstellar story of a slime farmer below, stop here and come back once you’re done selling your slime poo. It makes sense in context.

slime breeder: Plot Summary

The launch trailer tells you everything you need to know about the plot of this game.

slime breeder features Beatrix “Bea” LeBeau as she travels to a planet far from Earth called Far, Far Range to take over a slime ranch she bought from its former owner: a guy named Hobson Twillgers, who has apparently disappeared from the beginning of the story. While you’re busy raising adorable slimes and selling their shit for profit, the story feeds breadcrumbs through the mail you get home and via text messages, and Hobson leaves for you everywhere in the Far, Far Range.

According to these text messages, Hobson was also an avid rancher of the great outdoors and exploration. During his exploration, he fell in love with fellow breeder Thora West. This prompted him to rethink his life goals. At the end of the final area of ​​the game (the Glass Desert), you find Hobson’s final text messages which initially imply that he was going to leave Far, Far Range via an alien stargate for a whole new adventure. Instead, his last post reveals that he actually gave up being a rancher to marry his Torah. Apparently he lived with her all this time and never told anyone.

Hobson’s messages, however, leave a small impression on Bea. She ponders the meaning of her messages as she reflects on her lover, Casey, whom she left on Earth and who has been mailing Bea regularly all this time. Will Bea ever return with Casey? Well, that’s probably what we’ll find out in slime farmer 2. With a bit of luck.

slime breeder: Good

"slime breeder" screenshot showing your ranch as seen from the gate, mostly empty except for a corral filled with pink slime.
It only looks empty now, but that just means there’s room to add whatever you want to it.

The gameplay is by far the best part of slime breeder. It’s basically a farming simulator, but with sludge as livestock. The first person view however makes the experience more immersive than the top down view in other farming simulators like harvest moon Where Stardew Valley. It sometimes feels more like an adventure game than a pure farming simulator. This is only further enhanced by the game’s puzzle, platforming, and exploration elements, making it feel like Gate on time.

The characters and the story can sometimes seem minimalist, but they add a subtle touch to slime breeder. Whether you’re reading messages Hobson left for you or completing fetch quests from other NPC breeders, they add a nice touch to the gameplay. The characters are quite likable and they have interesting story arcs that make you feel for them. There isn’t much in terms of characterization and story, but what little there is seems surprisingly fleshed out.

slime breeder: The bad

"slime breeder" screenshot showing your ranch at night and being overrun by Tarrs.
While Tarrs is indeed bad, those aren’t the worst aspects of the game.

For all that I put the story and the characters of slime breeder in the “Good” category, I must also put them in the “Bad” category. I feel like the game could have been better if there were more of the two. I wish I could talk to characters through things other than video consoles. None of the characters have voices (including Bea herself), which may mean you don’t fully immerse yourself in the characters. I wish I could hear their voices, or at least any voice. Aside from slime “Whoo-hoos” and “Ha-has”, that is. Heck, I sometimes wished Bea would let out a cry of pain when she got hit, just so I knew I wasn’t playing a silent robot.

To sum up: I liked it slime breederthe story and the characters. I just wish I had more. Maybe the sequel will fix that?

Source: Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Nintendo eShop

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