Slime Rancher game review

Slime Rancher art Slime Rancher

Slime Rancher is a life simulation game video game developed and published by Monomi Park. The game was released as an early access title in January 2016, with an official release on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Xbox One on August 1, 2017.

I own this for both Steam and X-Box One, I played the XB version, which unfortunately is the worse of the two versions, with some pretty considerable issues that pop up from time to time, namely the framerate and the edges of the screen being cut off. I’d bet that the frame rate issue will never be solved without throwing new hardware at it, and the mapping issue is just sloppy coding that doesn’t respect the system’s screen limits. My wife had played a couple hours of the game back when it was first released in early access and based on her frustrations with it at the time I decided to wait to play my PC copy until it was officially released. Turned out that Microsoft had a dealine for the developer, so it got pushed out earlier than it should have been, but it was included in this month’s “Games With Gold”, so it launched without a basic map function and still has several PC prompts where their should be console prompts. It has a good hook, you go out and find the world’s cutest slimes, bring them back to your ranch and corral them, feed them, then collect their “plorts” and sell those to a hole in the wall. That’s the boring part of the game, the fun part is going out and exploring the various areas of the world your character lives in.

The layout of the world is pretty well done, but done in such a way you really do need to have a detailed map that you can drop pins on, ala Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but that’s not something that I think they’re ever going to do, at least based on what the devs have said on Reddit and in their own forums. I’ve put about 20 hours into the game, so it definitely has a good hook, but the actual “ranching” part of the game is mindnumbingly boring and should be automated more. There’s also an unclear line of progression, I’m selling stuff to level up a thing, but have no clue what the highest level is or what I’m going to get on my way to that level. I could be just two levels away from expanding a storage silo, but I’ll never know until I’m about to hit it and I’ve come to the part in the game where it takes 30 minutes of running around my stupid ranch collecting plorts and selling them to get to the next level.

It’s fun for a while, but I had to set it aside while I waited for the maps, then came back to it to explore the world and now that I’ve explored everything I think I’ll put it aside again until they release the “drones”, which supposedly will help with the monotony of ranching. To be clear, I have some obvious frustrations with the game and I’m not going to play it for a while, but I think that my frustrations come from how much fun I had in the earlier hours of the game and how quickly that fun turned into just going through the motions. If you have x-box live, I highly suggest you try it out, you can’t beat the price of “free with membership” and if you’re on PC, watch for it to get to the $5-10 range.

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    2 Responses to Slime Rancher game review

    1. I assumed it was multiplayer like every other similar game out there, so I got 2 copies of it on steam for my kids.
      Turns out it isn’t. Hrmph.


      • I agree, it feels like a game that would work well with MP. That being said, I’m still playing a little bit of it and it’s reeeally chugging any time I’m in my main area, i can’t imagine that would make for a good MP experience.


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