A blogger friend and I recently fell down a comment section hole with regards to the post-apocalyptic, pre-apocalyptic and intra-apocalyptic literature we’ve both been gravitating towards the last number of years, concluding at the end that we were just bloody tired of it all – tired of the dire and tired of the bleak. It can’t all be zombies and geo-political crises and environmental disaster all the time, or at least it shouldn’t be. Not if you’d like to stay reasonably sane in today’s geo-political atmosphere.
And that’s precisely what makes Slime Rancher, a sweet, colourful, gentle little game, so very, very special and unlike anything else on the games market today – it’s adorably innocent, and completely unconcerned with anything other than being cute and making its players contentedly happy. And that’s the kind of media philosophy I think we could all stand to pay a bit more attention to these days – the simple pleasures of a thing designed just to bring you joy. What a novel idea!
The Slime sitch plays out thusly: You are Beatrix LeBeau, first person Slime farmer on a planet far, far away. As Beatrix, you explore the area around your ranch, collecting resources and rounding up free range Slimes, which are round, squashy, bouncy little balls of mischievous glee. The Slime on my thumb here is a Pink Slime, the most common of the Slimes. Slimes come in all shapes (Tabby Slimes!) and sizes (Giant Golden Gordos!) and need quite a bit of managing – each type has a structured diet, and some even come with musical preferences (Rock Slimes are, quite unsurprisingly, total metalheads.) Slimes require fencing and feeding and all manner of other tending, and it’s all rather expensive. And so financial consideration is provided by Plorts, little diamond-shaped trinkets the Slimes spit out (or at least I hope it’s spit!) which act as a kind of currency ’round the ranch.
My favourite thing about the game, besides tending my large pen of grey striped Tabby Slimes, is just heading out into the nighttime desert to stand beneath the gently twinkling night sky as a cluster of Pink Slimes bounce daffily about, emitting goofy “Woo hoo!” noises with every sproing and brroing (something I tried to capture with this manicure.) With the gentle, cheerful music tinkling about merrily in the background, it’s more relaxing than staring at a computer screen should ever possibly be. It’s just a ton of fun, with no shooting, no killing and no misery. Armed with a kind of vacuum canister gun, you, Beatrix, suck up any Slimes that catch your eye and then deposit them safely back on your ranch. And that’s the extent of the “weaponry,” delightfully enough. And the worse you can do to the lone bad guys of the game, Tarr Slimes – giant black blobs shot through with rainbow veins who hypnotize other Slimes and subsume them – is suck them up with your vacuum gun and then shoot them out over the sea. Even then, if it’s between the hours of sundown and sunup, the Tarr Slimes’ prime huntin’ hours, they’ll just come back, no harm, no foul. It’s seriously such a gentle, sweet little game – I actually fear for it on the playground; the other video games will surely pick on its gentle naivete, won’t they?
Anyhow, if you’d like to check out a game that won’t have you contemplating either the end of times OR throwing your controller across the room in maximum difficulty frustration, I’d implore you to check out Slime Rancher. It’s currently available on Steam for $21.99 Canadian, and it’s a real sweetheart – well worth the very reasonable price, and a ton of fun, woo hoo!
4 thoughts on “Slime Rancher!”
Hey that dystopian descent sounds familiar.
I looked this game up on Steam, which is a service I think my nephew has, but I’m not familiar with. Former, fairly up-to-date gamers, my husband and I no longer have a clue what’s out there in current gaming fandom, sweet and naive or otherwise. If we ever replace our red-ring-of-deathed system for something less ancient, I’ll check it out, or is this a PC platform? In which case, not likely, since we just picked up a couple cheapo laptops for general Internet-y needs but which aren’t conducive to gaming, since our other laptop is dying. Funnily enough, I’ve been craving mindless game-playing escapism lately, maybe this holiday break will provide some time…
This video game seems so quintessentially you: cute, positive and filled with stylish artwork, have fun sucking up the slimeys:)
Jay, that is seriously one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever been paid – thank you! I will happily take my life cues from Slime Rancher. Better that than any other video game, I’m thinking (except The Sims; I’d totally be a Sim, as long as I was my own overlord – I’m really good to my Sims; they lead awesome lives.)
Sorry, should have clarified this a bit better (or at all) but yes, it’s a PC game. And it sounds like you are well acquainted with the particular BS that is PC gaming. We have a pretty badass gaming laptop that I joke could launch a missile into space, and it even has trouble sometimes if the system requirements get way insane (again, The Sims, it’s a computer-killing nightmare.)
I’d (obviously) recommend you check out Slime Rancher, not only because you’ve got some interest in getting back into something fun, casual, and not-too-stressful and because you’ve got a bit of downtime in which to do so, but also because of the Steam system itself. I bought a game back in the winter that I had been quite hyped for, We Happy Few (another dystopian thing) and it ran horribly. I couldn’t play it. It was one of those games where you have to cast about for items and whatnot, and moving the mouse even a fraction of an inch would cause everything to freeze up. Anyhow, I’d have to check the exact terms and conditions, but I applied for and received an immediate refund from Steam – I think it was because I had had it less than 48 hours, and had fewer than two hours of play time on it (only took a few minutes to figure out it wasn’t going to work.) Anyhow, if you’re a bit shy about jumping in whole hog, Steam’s a good choice, because they’re great with refunds , I was super impressed.
Is it wrong for me, a boy, to love this game and have bought it?
Not at all! I think Slime Rancher is an equal opportunity delight-er. 🙂