Indie games and in-development games are always a come and go as either a cash grab where players are left with an incomplete game or an amazing adventure replaying it and wanting more. Slime Rancher meets both for the better.
Slime Rancher is an early-access game that players can buy and play as it continues to develop, and keep the game when it fully launches. The objective of the game thus far is to collect adorable slimes and get rich by farming them for their…plorts (poo-like gems) and selling them on the market.
Steam’s official description for the game is that the “[s]lime Rancher is the tale of Beatrix LeBeau, a plucky, young rancher who sets out for a life a thousand light years away from Earth on the ‘Far, Far Range’ where she tries her hand at making a living wrangling slimes.”
Set in a futuristic world that players are free to explore, the game uses a soft colorful palette that is appealing for the eyes, and the colors transition well between both the day and night cycles. The world’s theme ranges starting with coast-side cliffs with a reef, a mysterious jungle, an abandoned mine, and a newly added ancient area, with a lot more to come. Each biome gives home to different types of slimes, fruits, vegetables, and chickens that you can bring home to the ranch.
The game is ideal for many players of many play styles. Of course, it appeals to players as a farming simulator, where players can collect what they can to make a ton of cash. For other players, this game is an excellent escape into a gorgeous world that they are free to explore to the best of their ability. Lastly, for speed-runners there is a special 5-day rush mode, which challenges the best of players to make as much Newbucks (in-game currency) as possible within a five-day period in-game.
There are a wide array of adorable slimes that players can collect for their farms. The most common ones players will see are the pink slimes, that eat anything and are the friendliest ones players can run into. The next ones players meet are either the phosphor slimes or the rock slimes. Phosphor slimes only show up at night in-game and can’t survive in the daylight. Rock slimes are friendly but can be deadly if they get too cuddly, especially due to their sharp backs. There is a whole spectrum more to find when exploring the Far Far Range. Experienced players will understand the secrets of the slime plorts, how to acquire them, and get rich.
This game is a large shift in the first-person gaming genre. It defines that graphics don’t always make a difference to make a game great. The mechanics are simple. It follows the controls of the standard first-person-shooter style, but meets the vacuum machine from Super Mario Sunshine. The game rewards players who explore and are not afraid to experiment, but does not condemn players who choose to play at their own pace.
Although the game is still in development, it just means there is more room for it to grow as game for all age groups, of the ages.