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Good ol' Slimey Fun--Slime Rancher Review

The Slime Rancher home screen shows a majority of the cute slimes available for players to collect. (Photo Used Under the Fair Use Provision of the US Copyright Code)

By Zoe Nix--Eagle Staff Writer

By now, most of the world knows about the craze surrounding slime. All it takes is glue and activator and--bam!--slime is ready to go.

What if I told you that you didn’t need any of that stuff to have fun with slimes? All you’ll need for this is some free time, a device, and $20.

Welcome to Slime Rancher.

“Slime 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," the Slime Rancher official website described. “With a can-do attitude, plenty of grit, and her trusty vacpack, Beatrix attempts to stake a claim, amass a fortune, and avoid the continual peril that looms from the rolling, jiggling avalanche of slimes around every corner!”

Rock slimes all in a pen. (Photo Used Under the Fair Use Provision of the US Copyright Code)

When you first arrive in the game, you begin at what looks like a farm with a few squares surrounded by futuristic technology. These will become your translucent pens for slimes and chickens, or just ordinary farm land if you choose. These pens can be upgraded to have higher walls, ceiling nets, auto-collectors, and various other improvements that you can make with money.

In order to gain money in this new world, you must collect slime plorts. These plorts are essentially little crystals that slimes pop out after eating. Certain slimes eat certain things and they each have favorite foods that gives double plorts.

“After a while, farming becomes somewhat routine. While not every slime operates in the same way, it’s usually a similar strategy to profit off of each one,” game reviewer Kinglink said. “There are special diets for some slimes. Rock Slimes might only eat veggies, and Tabby Slimes limit themselves to meat. It’s more about procuring the right food for each of the types of slimes contained at the farm.”

You’ll use your vacpack (which I’ll explain a little later) to suck up all the plorts and deposit them into a machine which exchanges them for cold hard cash. The only problem is plorts act a lot like the stock market. You might make 63 cash for one type of plort one day, but only 59 on another day, or the amount might go up.

Be careful with plorts and shared pens however, for if one type of slime eats another type’s plort, they become a mash of both types called a largo. If largos eat another different plort, they become a Tarr, a monstrous and dangerous slime.

“Tarrs sound dangerous,” Kinglink added, “but they don’t normally spawn on their own. When a Slime eats another slime’s plort, they become 'Largos' which just means they become Large and retain the abilities and are easier to feed. Tarrs appear when a 'Largo' eats a third type of Slime’s plorts. It’s complicated sounding but once you see it happen you’ll learn quickly what to avoid, and it’s simple to avoid cross breeding slimes.”

A Tarr explodes as it touches water. (Photo Used Under the Fair Use Provision of the US Copyright Code)

In Slime Rancher, you have a chance to collect a broad variety of slimes and explore new areas. The first slime that you’ll be introduced to is the extremely common pink slime. As you continue exploring, you’ll also find Tabbys, which are little cat-like slimes, Rock slimes, which can hurt you if you get too close, and Phosphors, which only spawn at night and burn in the daylight and look like little fireflies.

Boom slimes explode on occasion and do damage to you. Honeys have little honey combs on their foreheads. Rads act like toxic waste and hurt you if you’re in their radius. Hunters intentionally seek out players and try to eat them. Fire slimes have a special pen and only eat ash of foods that you deposit in their pens. Tangle slimes have little flowers on top of their heads like Daisy Head Maisie.

Puddle slimes are so adorable! You have to keep them in special pond pens and they blush when there’s too many of them in one pen. Mosaic slimes are all shiny with pretty colors. Crystal slimes look a lot like rock slimes except purple and shinier with more valuable plorts. Dervish slimes are like little purple tornadoes. Gold slimes look as said, like gold. Finally, quantum slimes are like glitches and can create doubles of themselves anywhere. They’re probably the hardest to keep up with on your farm.

“The world around the slimes blends with the style, giving the slimes a place to live that fits in with their art style. The focus is certainly on the slimes and the game can be a little empty if there is a view without them. The world is massive and just waiting for the player to explore it,” Kinglink commented.

The player feeds a rad Largo to gain a prize. (Photo Used Under the Fair Use Provision of the US Copyright Code)

In addition to the slimes listed, there are special ones too. Largos, as I mentioned above, are larger combinations of two slimes and cannot be sucked into the vacpack but carried by it. Gordo slimes are like the main "boss", but they don’t do damage. Rather, they give you a prize if you feed them their favorite food, which can be found in the slimepedia in the game.

There’s also a very special slime which plays a tune when it’s nearby. This slime is a little white cat with a gold coin on its forehead which gives you money when you feed it. These slimes are not farmable as they disappear after a few minutes.

In order to gather these slimes, along with their plorts and desired foods, you will have to use your vacpack. A vacpack is essentially a vacuum that can suck up items or spit them out whenever you want them too. Like the pens, the vacpack has upgrades that you can buy with your plort money, one of which really helps when you have to face tarrs.

Rather than eating chickens, fruits, or vegetables, tarrs eat slimes and there’s only one thing they can’t stand: water. One of the upgrades to your vacpack allows you to carry water so you can shoot the tarrs out of existence. Vacpacks aren’t the only form of technology in the game as there is also a jetpack that allows you to go to hard to reach places.

“Upgrades on the ranch allow for easier care of more and more slimes, while personal upgrades give bonuses like additional stamina and health and longer jetpack usage," game reviewer Cthulhu’s Critiques said. “By exploring hard to reach places with the jetpack, players can discover secrets to progressively unlock more of the map. With each new biome comes new slimes, new plants, and new science resources as well as progressively more vertical terrain.”

Rad-phosphor largos fly around an area in the player's farm. (Photo Used Under the Fair Use Provision of the US Copyright Code)

The game has some subpar storylines, but they aren’t required to continue the game or influence anything. Certain aspects of the game don’t really connect to each other and upgrades that you can gain for your vacpack or farm run out pretty quickly. The tutorial is rather short and heavily relies on player experimentation. The game’s map also doesn’t give you clear directions as to where you should be going, making Gordos almost impossible to find.

Slime Rancher is an adorably fun game with an entire world to explore and slimes to meet. The game is ranked 10/10 on Steam and I give it a 7/10. It’s such a cute little game and it made my little sister and I really happy when we played. I enjoy management based games and this game was great for me up until the upgrades ran out. I wish there was more to do and further areas to unlock for your farm, but besides that, it’s a game that I totally recommend!

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