Reviewed on PlayStation 4; also available on Xbox One and PC.
Slime Rancher. Doesn’t sound great, does it? Let me tell you, it’s the most adorable game you will play. Period.
Slime Rancher is a sandbox-style, open world game where you take the role of budding, young rancher Beatrix LeBeau who has made the decision to give up life on Earth to be her very own boss and run the Far, Far Range thousands of light years away! But running this particular Ranch is no easy task, you must collect slimes, harvest resources, grow crops and even make upgrades to your all-purpose vac-pack. Let me point out what Slime Rancher actually is first. Imagine Harvest Moon, but your farm is full of adorable slime creatures. Got it? Right, let’s continue.
There are three ways to play; Adventure Mode, the ‘main’ game mode if you will, Casual Mode, an easier mode with no threat of Tarr slimes (bad, bad slimes) and Rush Mode, a race against the clock to earn as much money (newbucks) as possible. I went with the good ol’ Adventure Mode.
Primarily when you start your adventure you will just spend the first few days and nights figuring out what you’re actually supposed to be doing. Exploring the ranch and sucking up pretty much anything and everything you can with your vac-pack. You are only able to store 20x of four different objects, this can get a little annoying as you will have to constantly run back and forth to your ranch to drop stuff where you need it to go. Eventually, the units you can carry can be upgraded though. The first thing I did when I started, was suck up the first cute slime I saw and made a home for it in my ranch. This turned out to be the worst thing I could’ve done because although eventually, it forced me to learn how to actually look after these strange, yet adorable creatures, it also caused my ranch to become overrun with them… I had placed one too many in the enclosure and well… let’s just say they were everywhere! It was all good fun.
Now, the vac-pack is quite possibly the most valuable item you own. It’s what you use for everything. It’s your backpack, your flashlight, your health, and energy giver and eventually when you have enough money you can upgrade it to do much, much more including making it into a jetpack. Let’s just say you wouldn’t be able to run the ranch without it.
It’s very lonely on Far, Far Range with no other humans around and the only form of contact is through letters you will randomly receive from numerous people. Sometimes giving you a little insight into Beatrix’ now-former life and sometimes from other ranchers warning you to not tread on their feet.
I found it fascinating exploring the parts of the ranch I could get to first (you unlock different areas as you progress) and seeing what different slimes existed in each area and generally getting the know the ranch so I didn’t get lost. With not much help to start with you are pretty much thrown into the deep end, you must learn for yourself what are the do’s and don’ts. The one thing the game told me when I had originally started was not to explore the ranch at night, it’s not worth it at this level. Just go to bed. Bad things come out at night, apparently. But Slime Rancher starts off very slow, you need to put quite a bit of time into it to get the most out but it’s so worth it. Stick with it and it is extremely rewarding, especially when you unlock things like the ability to use Slime Science. With this, you can create a hybrid slime! Yes, it’s amazing! Although, to do this you need to unlock The Lab which costs 10,000 new bucks… just save and save! It’s worth it.
The best way to earn money is to just farm slimes. Collect a bunch of them in an enclosure, feed them what they like and they will produce plots, little diamond-shaped items that you can then sell.
Graphics and Sound
Slime Rancher is the darned cutest game I’ve laid my eyes on! The screen is bursting with color and each slime has it’s own unique feature that I just can’t resist! I wanted to keep each and every slime I encountered, apart from the Tarr. All I will say is, don’t let a Largo Slime eat a plot that isn’t its own, you’ll thank me later. Back to the point, the game looks stunning. It’s array of colors and cartoony art-style is seriously pleasing to look at.
The soundtrack really compliments the art-style, cute and bouncy and sometimes even really relaxing. What else can I say? Have a listen!
Oh, and check this out. I’ve never wanted a Vinyl Soundtrack more.
Slime Rancher is an entertaining, and incredibly relaxing game. I spent hours just wandering around with no real objective, lost in the soundtrack and the world. It was bliss. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort then you will find it incredibly rewarding. If you’re a fan of cutesy looking things or a fan of sandbox games in general, you will absolutely love this. It is definitely a game to tick off your list.