I remember seeing Slime-san from across the room at a Playcrafting event Will and I attended. The game immediately called to me with it’s cheerful aesthetic and fun platforming goodness. As I made my way closer I noticed no one was around so I grabbed a controller and started playing. “Wow, this is a lot like Super Meat Boy.”, I said aloud, and I put the game down for a bit after playing. I was interested, but at that time the game was slated for PC and while there’s nothing wrong with PC gaming, the Switch has really fit into my on-the-go lifestyle. Having the ability to play games on my living room TV, bedroom TV, in bed, or wherever has been a freeing experience. Anyway, when I heard Slime-san was coming to Nintendo’s hottest platform I became very excited both for me and the developer Fabian aka Fabraz. I mean, not only did this guy and his team make a great game but it’s coming out on a Nintendo platform! Say what you want about PlayStation and Xbox, but the nostalgia pull of Nintendo means a lot to people who grew up on NES, SNES, and N64 and to have a game release on one of their platforms is almost a right of passage.
I’m just going to say it—this game deserves every bit of praise it’s been receiving from industry bigwigs we look up to like Brian Altano, to fans and other people in the press like myself. Slime-san is so much more than ‘another Super Meat Boy’ like some people may brush it off as being and like I initially thought. Don’t get me wrong, I love Team Meat and Super Meat Boy and as excited as I am for Super Meat Boy Forever, I’m also excited gamers have another lovingly crafted entry in the twitch-platformer genre to play. While both games are tough as nails, Slime-san kicks things up a few notches by adding to the run and jump control scheme the genre is known for. Our little buddy Slime can dash which speeds up time and phase through green platforms and obstacles which slows down time. He can also perform your standard jump, double-jump, and wall jump. The game proudly touts ‘5 bit’ visuals which not only look great, but also help you more easily determine what will kill you and what won’t. The rules are obvious: if it’s red it’s bad and if it’s green you can phase through it, use it as a springboard, or interact with it in some other way to help you progress through the level.
Speaking of levels, there are over 100 that are broken up into four screens each…..so I guess you can interpret that as 400 levels if you really want to. Every level past the first dozen or so demand precision and speed with each one having a soft timer where taking too long results in the worm’s acid slowly wiping across the screen from the top, bottom, or one of the sides, killing everything in it’s path, including you. After every 20 levels is a boss which tends to be one of the more frustrating parts of the game due to the lack of checkpoints. These levels are roughly double the length of normal ones, so dying can feel more punishing than the rest of the game. Now having said that, the controls are so tight that I never felt as though I died due to the game’s lack of responsiveness or because it faltered with hit detection in any way. Like I said before, the main goal is to get to the end of each level as quickly as possible but it’s also advantageous to collect any apples you see scattered around each level. You see, in the world of Slime-san, apples are a form of currency used to buy upgrades, character cosmetics, video filters, and other unlockables from the in-game marketplace known as Slumptown. Here you’ll find other animals who have also been swallowed up by the worm you’re currently residing in. They’re funny to talk to and add to the overall charm of the game.
For me, Slime-san is an easy recommendation for anyone, but especially for Switch owners as it’s ‘just one more try’ style lends itself well to the console’s on-the-go nature. Thankfully dying numerous times isn’t punishing and with instant restarts it’s hard to not get drawn into the game’s chipper chiptune soundtrack and simple but well done visual style (which has many accessibility options for those who need it). Hell, it’s a game I’ve very vocally recommended to nearly everyone at Play NYC and I keep pushing hard to Will.