In the beginning there were no indie games, and it was…well, I don’t know about “good,” and I also don’t really know if there were no indie games or if EVERY game was an indie game in the beginning. Look, let’s start over: once upon a time someone made Super Meat Boy and it sold a ton of copies and everyone else decided to make Super Meat Boy Clones and also around this time you weren’t really allowed to criticize indie games so there was no way to turn off the faucet and a lot of these clones came out and it was a tough time for us all. Whew.
Anyway, in The Year Of Our Lord 2017 there aren’t quite as many frustration platformers and it’s a little less taboo to say something bad about a game made by a single dude or whatever. This is the setting for Fabraz’s Slime-san leaping onto the scene…er, sliming onto the scene, I suppose. Sanitary concerns aside, it’s still a pretty good game, so let’s talk about it a bit.
Slime-san’s been eaten! Such is the fate of a slime, I suppose. That doesn’t mean that his slimy adventures are over, though; Slime-San’s not ready to be digested yet! It’s time to race through the innards of the worm avoiding stomach acid, spikes and all manner of other obstacles in the process.
Slime-san is a slime, so he’s not exactly endowed with a wide variety of moves. He’s able to slime about, including sliming up walls, he can dash, and he’s able to “morph.” This allows Slime-san to pass through green slime surfaces as well as slowing the action to let you get your bearings. It’s a simple set of maneuvers but you’ll need to be quick and accurate with them.
Much of the game’s challenge comes from combining precision jumps and dashes with morphing in and out at just the right time. There’s plenty of instant-death red stuff around to take you out, so you’ll need to be quick; in true frustration platformer style, Slime-san’s durability is a little lacking and you can expect to spend a lot of time dead. Along with avoiding the bad, you’ll want to seek out the good, like delicious green apples scattered throughout the game that can be exchanged for costumes and new play styles.
Those costumes and play styles really cut to the heart of Slime-san, since it’s not just about the platforming, it’s about scouring the game for all it’s worth. On top of collecting new accessories and such, you’ve also got a selection of arcade games to check out using collectible coins. You’ll find these in an expansive hub town that’s worth exploring in and of itself. The point is that there’s a lot of love here and it’s worth your while to take your time with this one…well, not so much that you get drowned in stomach acid, but you get the idea.
The Super Meat Boy-styled gameplay is combined with a classic retro style. Yes, I know I said “classic retro style” and it made your stomach turn a little, but it’s not too bad here! As far as I can tell, Slime-san’s going a little bit past the 8-bit era to the days of computers that existed before my time, so it’s not the usual sort of aesthetic we’ve come to expect from every other indie game. It’s all pretty coherent and the game runs at a nice, solid clip. There’s also the music, which is flat out amazing. Seriously, it’s good stuff. Buy game, listen to music, enjoy.
Indie game fans who miss the halcyon days of frustration platformers five or six years ago are bound to love Slime-san. Everyone else, well…if they can muster up a little patience for the inevitable million deaths they’ll face, then they’ll probably have a good time with it as well. This is a game with heart, and there’s always something to be said for that.