Slime Rancher (Xbox One): Review
Playing as Beatrix LeBeau, you get to enjoy life on the Far Far Range caring for the cute creatures called slimes. By exploring the planet and expanding your ranch, you can make it big as a slime rancher!
Released in August of 2017, Monomi Park's Slime Rancher is, at its most basic form, a farming simulator. You collect and feed slimes with your VackPak in exchange for “plorts” (basically slime poop) which can then be sold for Newbucks. Using Newbucks, you can purchase equipment and farm upgrades, as well as unlock new areas to explore. As you increase the size of your ranch, a larger variety of slimes will be available to kidnap-I mean, corral. In addition to exploration and slime-raising, you can complete quests (such as trading slimes for Newbucks or special plorts), combine different slimes in order to create a hybrid, or invent gadgets using Slime Science.
At first, I was hesitant to pick up Slime Rancher. It looked fairly cute and had good ratings, but I was worried that I would tire quickly of the game as I'm not one for repetitiveness in games. I ended up downloading the demo after watching a friend play and enjoyed it enough that I bought it! I’m really glad that I did; it’s a very relaxing game that I can turn to when I need some down-time (especially after suffering from a losing streak in Overwatch). From what I can tell of the game thus far, there doesn’t seem to be a set “story”. You are living on the ranch of famed slime rancher Hobson Twillgers and as you travel, you can find electronic notes throughout the world that he left behind. However, I’ve only unlocked two areas so there may be more information to find along the way.
It may be my money management skills, but I feel like it takes a lot of grinding to unlock things. Although it doesn't annoy me in this particular case, this could be a downside to others. The music is enchanting and the game is rife with color and those adorable slimes. To be fair, there is no set order in which you have to accomplish things. If you want to focus on just expanding the ranch in order to get as much access as you can before you build up your farm, you can do that! Personally, I maximized the space given in the starting area of the farm before expanding.
One gripe I do have is with the controls. Although I purchased Slime Rancher for the Xbox One, I did play the demo on PC, and the controls are much smoother. Using the mouse to aim makes it less likely that I'll end up feeding a slime the wrong kind of food, which can have the disastrous consequence of creating a Tarr slime that will eat everything in its path, including you. Considering that this is an indie game, it doesn't bother me too much in the grand scheme of things.
In the end, Slime Rancher can appeal to a range of gamers, particularly those that are looking for something on the casual or chill side. If you’re someone who particularly enjoys simulator games, then I highly recommend picking this one up.