6 people found this review helpful
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 46.2 hrs on record
Posted: Dec 31, 2016 @ 3:39pm
Updated: Jan 1, 2017 @ 10:31am

Early Access Review
-Quick Review-
Slime Rancher is a hybred Exploration farming game. Developed by Monomi Park, and currently in early access (as of December 2016).


-Detailed breakdown review-
Story: There isn't too much to say about the story in slime rancher at this time, it's either under developed or not one of the main focuses of the game.
You play as Beatrix LeBeau who has started a new life in slime ranching. You wouldn't even know that was her name unless you read the e-mails she gets from her fellow farmers off on other planets.

I say the story is under developed because after your first ten days or so you no longer get any e-mails, the purpose of the e-mails were to give you background on the people you're trading with (if they have an offer that interests you, like... trade 10 chickens and a bunch of carrots for a fruit you haven't discovered yet.)

I don't think the story should be a focal point for this type of game, or at least if the story was introduced it would be difficult to include without taking away from the over all theme of the game.

Gameplay: You are a farmer, rancher, and scientist. ...And I freaking love it. I've powered through the game over the past three days and hit interesting road blocks while learning how to play.
I feel like these road blocks are why Slime Rancher is in early access instead of being a full fledged game (well, there is the whole lack of an ending or end-goal-objective... you just kinda farm forever at this time, but hold that thought for later... I plan to do a video to elaborate on my ideas here)

Basically the game works like this: you vacum up a slime, put it in a pen, feed it food it likes, it poops out "plorts" you sell these plorts to the galatic market, you get money for the plort, you then use that money to build new pens, farms, coops, warehouses, expand your farm, or upgrade existing infrastructure and pens.

If I've lost you already... you have my apologies, the beginning game tutorial explains it far better then I do. The game's goal is Basically: you're taking care of various adorable slimes. There is an in-game encyclopedia called the "Slimepedia" which will help teach you more about slime ranching, slimes favorite foods, areas, materials, and even more. (so you can dive as far in as you want, figure it out for yourself, or take the path of least resistance and do some light reading)

Early access walls I ran into:
1) The first problem I had was simply learning how to play the game, and effectively get enough money to upgrade and build equipment.
I quickly discovered I had jumped into a farming simulator game, and I concluded I didn't care if it felt grindy, the pleasant adorable faces of my new pet slimes kept me trucking for the first 6 hour game session.

2) Exploration.
After getting a solid foothold on my slime ranch, I quickly discovered the first real "problem", and why Slime Rancher is in Early Access... The Exploration seems very lackluster.
Your vacum pack only has 4 empty slots, while these slots can be upgraded to give them more capacity, you're still limited to how much you can vacum up...
...So lets go with this scenario: You're planning on getting one of my favorite slimes: the water slimes who make adorable whirring noises when you put them in a pond.. gughughughugh sorry! got distracted thinking about it.

So to get one of the water slimes you need to run several miles away, on your way there, you decide to pick up some rock slimes, rock slime plorts, fruit, and chickens. ...now when you arrive at the water slime your'e like "well crap, I guess I need to toss out the chickens because it's the least valuable extra item I picked up.

Now you run all the way back with your rewards, effectively ignoring everything else you might see or find. There is ZERO interest in any other slimes, unless you find something new.
After day 40 it's gotten to the point where I do two things: I farm, and occasionally explore to see if I missed finding secret areas.

I'm not sure how to emphasize my point, basically after you've explored an area, and gotten the slime you wanted, you have no reason or motivation to go back there, you have no real reason to go gather new slimes, unless you're optimizing slime output for wall number 3.

3) Slime Science.


Slime science is both wonderful and terrible. After learning how to save plorts and selling them when the price is high on the market, unlocking all the areas, and fully upgrading my ranch, I turned my attention to the science of slime.
With Slime science you can create aesthetic decorations, teleporters, defensive turrets, resource depots... and more.

Slime Science shifts the attention away from selling high-value plorts to the market, to balancing: plorts needed for devices, plorts for money, and money needed for blue-prints and very rarely available "new ugprades".


Conclusion: I really would like to go into more detail on "treasure pods", "in development signs", "Jet packing around", "Invisible walls", and various other features in slime rancher...

Let me just summarize my review by saying this: I do not regret playing 25 hours of slime rancher over the last three days... four days? How many days has it been, I stop playing and it's bed time.
But while playing there's an itch in the back of my mind which is saying "this game is still early access because something is missing". It doesn't feel quite "right" yet. (again: I enjoyed the time played, and I'm probably going to play it more after writing this review, and then I'll come back running every single update to see what's new.)

I'd love to see co-op made available sometime, I'm looking forward to seeing how this game progresses. Whether or not the person reading this review will like it is a different mater.
I suggest this game to people who like farming or very chill games. If you need more convincing I suggest staying tuned for when I do a video on it. (Hopefully it'll be easier to digest then a monstrous wall of text)
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