Last week, I talked about my love for progression with the game Tiny Rails. I decided to keep with a similar theme with the game Slime Rancher. And while the progression isn't as obvious as a meter telling you how far you have gotten, this game shows you your progression through the game by how far you have gotten and how big your farm is.
For those who don't know, Slime Rancher is a first person game that is part farming and part exploring. You end up on a planet full of slimes who poop gems, and it is your task to bring those gems back to Earth. That is where the farming comes in. You pick up these slimes as well as food in the surrounding area, build a pen for the slimes, and feed them the food so then you can make money and buy more pens. That money can also be spent on farm plots for growing food, a chicken coop, a small pool for certain slimes, and more. And all of these plots can be upgraded.
As you start to upgrade your pens and farms, your constant upkeep of these pens is less needed, as for upgrades will auto-feed your slimes for you. That is when you are given more freedom to explore the game's surprisingly large map. I'm not saying this is a huge map or anything, but the map is still pretty large and is full of secrets and things to do. As you start heading deeper into this world, different slimes with different gems start popping up. You then take those slimes back to your farm to start farming them, make even more money, and start going deeper into the world.
A lot of this sounds like hard work more than anything, but that is where this game shines. Their is never nothing to do in this game, so you are constantly doing something. Whether it be maintaining your ranch, trying to get new ingredients to make new devices, exploring the world, or anything else, their is always something to keep you occupied. It was this aspect of work that made me play this game for hours on end and lose all track time. But hard work isn't the only thing I like about the game.
Like I said earlier, this game has a good sense of progression. That progression is both seen in your farm and in your intellect of the game. I started the game with a single pen and some basic pink slimes. Now, I have a lot of fully upgraded pens with combined slimes called largo slimes, fully upgraded farms producing the favorite foods of each slime, plenty of chicken coops and food storage devices to say I am well off, a bunch of devices I have made to make traversing easier, and a lot of land I have explored. Seeing your farm grow into this machine as well as your intellect on these slimes and how to properly farm is fascinating to watch. With updates that bring new areas and slimes to the world as well as the need for 'one more upgrade,' and Slime Rancher is a game I keep coming back to.
Beyond the farming aspect is the exploring aspect, and I find that equally as fun. The map is for the most part a single lane with few branching parts of the map, but I liked the map like that. It was a good way to see how far you have progressed in this world.
The world is almost like lego pieces; it is one piece connected to the next. But each piece is diverse in both layout and look, and all of the areas are full of branching paths to explore, secrets to find, things to do, and new slimes to find and take back to your ranch. I loved the map, as for it was a lot of fun to explore and was a good way of seeing how far I had progressed in the game.
Some final things I have to say about the game are the beautiful and vibrant visuals that always make me happy, the music always seems appropriate for the place you are in, and those slimes are just things I want to hug.
Slime Rancher isn't even a game I am done with. Sure, I saw credits roll, but I still have so much to do. The only reason I stopped is because I forced myself to stop and play other games. I love Slime Rancher, and every time I look at it in my Steam library, I am tempted to hit the play button yet again. If you don't like a game about work, then this isn't the game for you. But if you want something to take up your time, a fun game about exploring a strange, and/or a game about farming, then Slime Rancher is a game I recommend.