The internet sensation has finally come to console. Monomi Park developed and published Slime Rancher, a fun loving farming simulator, and the internet is falling in love with these lovable and squishy slimes that populate the world the players are a part of. Some more famous YouTubers, such as JackSepticEye and Markiplier, have been playing this game for a while now but players can finally experience this game on console.
Slime Rancher is the story of Beatrix LeBeau, a human who traveled 1,000 light years away from Earth to farm slimes on the Slime Ranch. Once she arrives, she’s given a suction gun to gather slimes for her ranch as well as fruits, veggies, and plorts – the ‘essence’ of the slimes that Beatrix sells to make money on the farm. There are various upgrades for the farm, such as higher walls to keep the bouncy slimes contained and automatic feeders that will feed the slimes as long as food is in the storage bin the feeder holds. There is no limit to the amount of slimes in a small enclosure, but the more there are, the easier it becomes for them to escape.
There are also different types of slimes available. Pink is the most common and they will eat anything. Their plorts aren’t worth a lot, but they are the easiest to come by, so I would collect and sell them when I found them. Other slimes are Tabby slimes – which are literally cats that only eat meat – as well as Icy Rock, which are blue slimes with crystal stones on their head that will hurt Beatrix if players aren’t careful. Those plorts – contained through feeding the slimes veggies – are worth more, but can also be harder to come by. Another aspect of Slimes is that is that some slimes can be fed the plorts of other slimes, creating a hybrid slime. These slimes are bigger than the suction gun can contain, but players can suction the slime to the gun and walk around to take the slime where it’s needed. By feeding the bigger slimes, they provide plorts for both slimes that were combined to make the hybrid.
While Slime Rancher seems engaging and entertaining, the controls can be a little nauseating. Even on a lower sensitivity, the controls were still sensitive, especially when panning the camera from side to side and having the screen tear. It feels like the player is wearing a VR headset without the actual headset on. I found that I was not able to play the game for more than an hour before having to stop because my stomach would be gurgling along with my head spinning. There is also a story for this game, but I didn’t read any of the starmail that the player receives while playing the game because I didn’t find the main plot point interesting. This is very different from other games in this micromanaging farm simulator style, such as Stardew Valley, which gripped me from the beginning of the game, where the player’s grandfather dies and leaves them a farm to run and start a new life for themselves. But the graphics are fun to look at with the vibrant colors and the adorable slimes that will smile back at the player every time they are fed and provide a plort for sale.
There are mini goals that players can complete to earn more money, plorts, and food to feed the slimes with. There are also other areas that can be explored that offer different slimes for the players to collect and examine and new areas to build paddocks for new slimes. However, there doesn’t seem to be that much that can be done in Slime Rancher besides going out into the surrounding area, collect slimes and plorts, return home, and start the next day. It may seem weird that I’m saying that when I mentioned Stardew Valley and the similarities that Slime Rancher has with the other indie farming title, but Stardew Valley has other human interaction and the ability to see relationships grow within the same environment as the player. Slime Rancher is about one character who gets letters and emails from others asking for requests, but no other human ever shows up on the farm, making Beatrix’s existence a bit lonely and rather dull. That missing interaction with something else makes the game fall in comparison unfortunately.
As much as I wanted to love Slime Rancher, the flaws were just a bit too much for me. If players are interested in playing this game, I would still give it a try. Having the option of playing a game that players only explore around in and get to do what they want is always relaxing and enjoyable and if players don’t have a game like that they love to play, I would definitely pick up Slime Rancher for a fun time. For those who want a little bit more out of their game, I would say you could try it but maybe try something else as the controls and the lack of direct story could be infuriating to some.