Slime Rancher is an adventure simulation game where players explore a distant planet called the Far, Far Range full of living slimes. Slimes can be kept domestically and the crystals they generate can be used for profit and scientific pursuits. Learn the secrets of the planet, wrangle an ever growing slime herd, and follow the stories of other slime ranchers.
Release Date: August 1st, 2017
Developer: Monomi Park
Publisher: Monomi Park
Format: PC Game, also on Xbox and PS4
Adventure mode play time: 20 hours
Final play time: 32 hours total
- Collect Slimes
- Explore multiple biomes
- Automate the ranch
- Follow the stories of multiple characters
- Map doesn’t mark many important things
- Some grinding for gold
The main foci of Slime Rancher are exploring the multiple biomes and collecting slimes. The slimes in the first biome pose very little threat and traversing the landscape requires less use of the jetpack. Players have to collect and care for the slimes to afford upgrades. 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. By exploring hard to reach places with the jetpack, players can discovered 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.
For a game that focuses a lot on exploration and finding fun secrets, I felt the map really let me down. It marked special Gordo slimes and some of the science technology, but it felt pretty useless for keeping track of how to navigate vertical terrain, where interactable items were, and where doors were located. I thought a lot more could’ve been done to improve its detail and to mark objects of interest. I found myself backtracking a lot trying to find things that were “somewhere in this area”. I’m also a person who likes to explore all the nooks and crannies when I first enter an area, so I found tons of the capsules before I could open them. Then by the time I could open them, I had no interest in crawling all over the map again because I was nearly done with the game.
One of my favorite parts of Slime Rancher was building up and automating my ranch. I obsessed over my drones, how to combine my slimes, and how to optimize food production and corral location. I wish I’d gotten into some of the warp technology sooner, but it was super helpful once I started unlocking it. On that note though, I will say that it annoyed me somewhat that there was no indication for how to trigger unlocking certain technology. I felt like I just had to keep “doing stuff” until I did enough stuff to trigger unlocks. For the science technology, a lot of this stuff was not on my natural path through the game.
Perhaps because of my late entry into the science technology, I found I was having to stop to grind for gold in the mid game. I was needing more gold to unlock additional areas and upgrade corrals for my more dangerous slimes. Another cause for my gold woes may also have been that I didn’t realize there were multiple mini-quests that would trigger after helping out some of the other slime ranchers. Players can learn the stories of fellow slime ranchers and follow notes left by the prior owner of the ranch. Learning about the other characters was fun, and made the reaches of space feel much less lonely. I also liked receiving letters from home, although the game doesn’t allow the player to choose any responses.
Overall I found Slime Rancher to be a fun and cute adventure game. I enjoyed finding secrets (even if I couldn’t open them or find them again) and improving the automation of my ranch. I loved the different biomes and slimes and could only ask for more and more! I would recommend Slime Rancher to any players looking for a fun adventure game where they can find satisfaction in managing their ranch of bouncy, colorful, (sometimes dangerous) slimes.
Find this game at the publisher’s website or on Steam.