Amongst the plethora of early access games on Steam, comes Slime Rancher; a game where the player must collect poop from slime creatures. Yes, this game is about collecting poop.
Equipped with a vacuum-like device called a “Vacpack”, you’re placed in a colorful environment that features several different breeds of slimes that are keen on bouncing around. As the “rancher”, your goal is to feed and collect the feces from the several slimes you find around the world. To feed the slimes, you simply shoot their favorite food their way for them to gobble up. Once they’ve defecated, players use the Vacpack to suction up the poop. It sounds disgusting, but the game disguises this gross process with its cuteness and bouncing, bubbling creatures.
There are designated sections on your ranch where you can build a multitude of different structures. By building corrals, players are able to contain the slimes for harvesting. Gardens can be used to grow diversified plants, which in turn, can be fed to your captive slimes. All of the available structures can be upgraded; making the chore-like aspects of Slime Rancher less tedious.
One critical element that desperately requires some fine tuning are the Vacpack mechanics. It’s very easy to mistakenly vacuum things that you don’t necessarily want in your inventory. Considering that slimes and other items will often be in very close proximity with each other, players will frequently acquire unwanted items. If this issue is resolved upon completion, less time will be wasted filtering your inventory, discarding useless items.
By selling slime feces (or “plort”), players will be able to further expand their ranch. This addictive cycle drives you to explore the region and gather more slimes. Plort value is dependent on the quantity of which you sell it. For example, the plort market will quickly adjust to the trends of the player (i.e. selling one type of plort). To secure increased revenue, players should switch up their selling habits.
Slime Rancher possesses an art design that is rare among most early access games. The world feels as though you could find it in a beautifully rendered animated film. The colors are vibrant, and the game possesses its own quirky, and incredibly cute personality. The slimes themselves are adorable, regardless of their strange behaviors. Even when they were gobbling up innocent chickens and grinning while they defecated, I couldn’t help but feel invested in the future of my slimes.
Despite it being in early access, Slime Rancher runs smoothly and has been relatively stable since the latest patch. Although there are a few areas on the map that are blocked off, one may assume that they will be built upon in future updates. Overall, Slime Rancher feels robust enough to recommend despite it being in early access.
People who enjoy the tedious, yet simplistic nature of a long time running series’ such as the Harvest Moon series, will find boundless enjoyment in Slime Rancher. With the charming personality of the slimes and the addictive cycle of selling plort, Slime Rancher is a great game, and hopefully, it will continue to blossom with future updates.