Publisher/Developer: Monomi Park
Genre: Farming Simulator
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Platform: PC (reviewed) OSX, Linux, XBox One
Dear god, this game is adorable.
Slime Rancher, a farming simulator developed and published my Monomi Park, puts you in the shoes of Beatrix LeBeau, who has left the comforts of Earth for the farthest reaches of space to become a slime rancher. What is a slime rancher, you ask? Well, it’s someone who cares for and breeds gelatinous creatures called slimes. So basically what it says on the tin.
The purpose of the game is to go out an capture different varieties of slimes, using your trusty VacPac to suck them up and deposit them in holding pens. Different slimes have different diets: some are strict carnivores, while others eat fruits or vegetables. After they’ve eaten, they produce an item called a plort, which can then be sold on a market for newbucks (which raises a few questions), which in turn can be used to upgrade your ranch and equipment.
Did I mention that those slimes are all ridiculously adorable? Because they are. They are so freakin’ cute that I simply cannot handle it. They have slimes that look like little gray kitties. One of them booped me once, and I got an achievement for it.
You can also create hybrid slimes (called largos) by feeding one slime the plort of a different slime breed (which raises some more questions). For example, feeding a tabby plort to a pink slime results in a pink tabby largo. These slimes are also significantly bigger than regular slimes, and produce twice as many plorts when fed. There are some inherent risks with largos, however. Not feeding one for a while results in a feral slime, which will attack a player on sight. These revert back to normal largos when fed again.
The biggest risk, however, is the tarr. A tarr is formed when a largo eats a plort different from the ones that the produce. These are especially dangerous since not only will they try to eat you, but they’ll eat all of your other slimes as well. They also can split off and multiply, though you can stop this (and destroy them) by shooting fresh water at them.
With all that, it’s probably not a good idea to just collect a whole bunch of slimes at the beginning. You can quickly outpace your ability to feed your slimes if you capture a whole lot of them before you’re well established. It’s probably a good idea to build a garden and a chicken coop first.
Also, you’re going to want to invest in the high walls upgrade for your slime corrals as soon as possible. I learned this the hard way after a bunch of pink slimes escaped from their pen and ate all of my chickens.
Overall, the gameplay can get rather repetitive. However, there are a lot of different areas to explore and slimes to catch. This, along with the very cute and colorful aesthetic of the game, manages to keep it rather engaging. I also found it to be quite relaxing.
Basically, if you’re a fan of simulator games or are just a fan of the adorable, I would definitely recommend checking this one out. It’s currently available on Steam and the XBox One store for $19.99.