Slime Rancher: Early Access Review

 

 

A simpler life is what I long for. A life of entrapping cute slimes in digital fortresses, and then force feeding the adorable critters so I can sell their poop for profit, ah… the good life of a Slime Rancher. Developer, Monomi Park, has done an incredible job managing their first project. Despite being an early release title that was only in version 0.4.1 when I tried it, the content that was available felt polished and even in its early version the game provided nearly 18 hours of game play. While I normally criticize the pay for early release model, Monomi Park has provided a wonderful experience in Slime Rancher at a fair price with more content coming soon! Now let’s get into the details!

Basic Premise!
You are a Slime Rancher in a colorful new world with a few empty farm plots and a Luigi’s Mansion style vacuum pack on your back. You’ll soon wonder off your farm into the wild, untamed Dry Reef area surrounding your farm where Pink Slimes bounce around joyously eating wild carrots and pogo fruit. These pink profit producers are your first vacuum victims, with few other options you’ll find yourself sucking up Pink Slimes, their poop, and probably some fruits and veggies as well….. WAIT, DID YOU SAY POOP?!… yes I said poop…. Well it’s really called a “plort” in the world of Slime Rancher. This is a good time to mention that the main means of making money in Slime Rancher is selling poops or plorts in the plort market! Corral up your Pink Slimes and feed them to make them produce plorts. Suck up the plorts and shoot them into the Slime market to make a sale, its easy, fun, and addicting! The cash earned from your plots will allow you to build more corrals for slimes, unlock new areas on your ranch, and upgrade your gear!

Slime Rancher Pink Slimes in a stackSlime Rancher Pink Plort, Rock Plort, Phosphor Plort, in the Dry Reef regionSlime Rancher plort market in Early access

After selling your first batch of pink plorts you’ll notice that the market has prices for many different kinds of plorts with pink being one of the least valuable. Want to make more cash? Get exploring because there are 10 unique slimes to collect, corral, and cash in on (more are expected in future versions)!

The World!

The vibrant and colorful world demands your attention and rewards exploration with new slimes and items. Certain fruits, vegetables, and chicken breeds are unique to specific areas. If you plan on maximizing your plort profits exploring to find a new slime and its favorite food are a must. You will not have immediate access to the entire map at first. Locked doors that require slime keys will impede your progress and vacuum pack upgrades are nessesary to hover over gaps in bridges or valleys.

The Dry Reef 

Slime Rancher Photo of Dry Reef, pink slime, tabby slime, and pink tabby largo

The Ranch itself shares a theme with the area immediately surrounding it known as the Dry Reef. A coastal, desert themed region that is teeming with everything a new Slime Rancher needs! Basic fruits, veggies, and some of the more common slimes hop around in abundance. This area provides multiple opportunities to find slime keys and includes doorways to the other regions.

Indigo Quarry

Slime Rancher Indigo Quarry

Some of the more valuable, yet dangerous slimes inhabit Indigo Quarry. A rocky, mountainous region with caves and seemingly inaccessible plateaus provides peril and fortune for the entrpenural rancher. You’ll need to purchase a few vacuum pack upgrades to fully appreciate the area so wrangle up some slimes and harvest those plorts!   

The Moss Blanket

Slime Rancher The Moss Blanket photo

The tropical rainforest themed Moss Blanket hides one of the most elusive slimes in addition to sharing a few common inhabitants also found in Indigo Quarry. You’ll find a relatively large amount of freshwater here which comes in handy as this area lends itself to a lot of unwanted Tarr slimes forming.

In addition to finding unique slimes and foods in each of the available areas they also produce unique resources needed for Slime Science which is unlocked later during game play.

The Slimes

There are 10 slimes available in the current version with more expected in later releases. All of the slimes can be found here but ill describe a few of my favorites!

Crystal Slimes

cute cartoon Crystal Slime from Slime Rancher

Metallic crystal spikes stick out of a smiling purple blob. These slimes are as valuable as they are dangerous! They regularly generate crystal spikes on the ground that explode on contact. Crystal Slimes also have one of the most difficult favorite foods to find. A smart Rancher will combine these spikey specimens with a Slime that favors an easier food to find.

Rad Slimes

cute cartoon rad Slime from Slime Rancher

Bright green slimes that emit a radioactive field. The slimes small size means you can pack many of them into a corral without fear of an escape attempt. Their plorts sell for one of the higher prices in the market and these slimes have an easily obtained favorite food. They are great for boosting your profits early in the game but be careful, spending too much time in their radioactive field is bad for your health!

Boom Slimes

cute cartoon boom Slime from Slime Rancher

Balls of molten lava complete with adorable eyes and a happy smile. They produce a valuable plort but can be difficult to contain. Boom slimes will randomly explode, flinging items in all directions and damaging careless ranchers who wonder too close. Their favorite food is a specific breed of hen found in The Moss Blanket so have this area unlocked before collecting Boom Slimes in mass.

Overall Recomendation

I strongly recommend giving Slime Rancher a try! For a fair price of $19.99 you’ll get a game with overwhelmingly positive reviews on steam. Despite the game being less than half way to version 1.0.0 you’ll still get near 20 hours of game play from the current version 0.4.2 and access to all future updates. Given that this is Monomi Park’s first project I am confident they will bring the game to completion. If you are a streamer this is a great game to go live with. Its adorable, fun to play, well-paced, and has calm periods making chat interaction easy. It is also not saturated by thousands of streamers meaning small streamers can expect decent audience exposure.

Since the last time I played (in version 0.4.1) developer Monomi Park has released version 0.4.2 with small additional features and fixes. patch notes below!

Slime Rancher Version 0.4.2 now available!

Changes:
– Added 18 new treasure pods, many of which contain rare Slime Science resources.
– Added 3 new fashion pods: Cute, Dandy, and Royal.
– Added a fashion remover gadget to remove fashion pod accessories from largos and gordos.
– Gordos can now receive fashion pod accessories! It is as awesome as it sounds.
– Added additional nighttime music track for the radio. It’s quite romantic.
– Using new text rendering/layout library to improve clarity of text as well as line-wrapping and sizing in certain situations.
– Made puddle slimes less likely to hang out in corners of ponds by telling them that the world is a brighter place when you are willing to mingle with others.
– Changed puddle slime dehydration logic such that they won’t disappear due to touching other slimes while in the water.
– Improved handling of player pushback while holding a largo, specifically around quickly turning to face a wall.
– Added some additional decorations near the paths to the Moss Blanket and Indigo Quarry so players won’t miss it.
– Added a manual collection button to the corral’s plort collector upgrade for all those do-it-yourselfers out there.
– Changed plort collector to always turn on for a minimum time even when no plorts are present.
– Added a vac sound to the plort collector.
– Game will now pause when a controller is unplugged.
– Slightly reduced the number of required food for gordos to burst.

Fixes:
– Fixed bug where cuberries could end up stuck on top of their tree.
– Fixed bug with Ball Pit achievement awarding incorrectly.
– Fixed bugs related to the way the player moves along the edge of steep slopes – prevents some cases where the player would get caught and be unable to move forward for a few moments. No, we didn’t grease all the sides of every cliff in the game. That’s not even a thing.
– Fixed bug where auto-feeder corral upgrade would sometimes not properly handle returning to the ranch, resulting in corrals with large amounts of food in them. This fix should broadly improve the experience of using an auto-feeder overall.
– Fixed bug where Emergency Return would sometimes put the player well above or below where it was supposed to, resulting in a whole other kind of emergency, really.
– Some Russian translation improvements.
– Adjusted the refinery link’s depositer to be more receptive.
– Fixed bug where the vsync setting was sometimes not getting correctly initialized.

Lastly, we are changing the listed minimum memory requirement for Slime Rancher from 2GB to 4GB of RAM. As we’ve added more and more features and areas to the game the used memory has grown somewhat over time. Additionally, we feel this better reflects the increasing amount of memory that is in use by newer versions of Windows, which use quite a bit of the system memory at all times.

In short, if you’ve been able to run Slime Rancher, nothing will change.

 

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