Slime-San just got a PS4/Xbox One release in the shape of the Slime-San: Superslime Edition, courtesy of Headup Games. We played both versions and came away impressed.
To be fair, this wasn’t the first time I played the game. It’s been out for Steam for over a year now, and it previously had a Switch release as well. My first experiences with the game were short but sweet, as a title that reminded me of personal favorites like Super Meat Boy, N++ and They Bleed Pixels. Slime-San also has a ton of surprise content hidden away inside the game, especially for retro gamers. In that sense, it’s been worth the wait, as the Superslime edition features all the previously released add-on content without the need for extra DLC.
Not surprisingly, you play the game as a ball of slime. Levels are roughly the size of a single screen, and there are well over 100 of them in the entire game. There’s a “story” as well, which involves Slime-San getting trapped inside a giant worm and having to escape. Yes – all these levels are inside of said worm.
We’ve seen a lot of indie titles with a “retro” look and feel to them (the earlier examples included), but Slime-San really nails the aesthetic in terms of dating it to a particular period in time. In this case, the game’s visuals are like something out of the early to mid-eighties, akin to the games you (or your dad) might have played in a ZX Spectrum home computer. The actual gameplay is far more fluid than it was in those days though, and when you unlock and play the various mini-games this look is temporarily gone as well.
Slime-San definitely isn’t as “hardcore” a game as Super Meat Boy when it comes to its difficulty level. Completing levels is often well within reach for gamers with decent platforming skills, and a lot of the challenge comes from either wanting to go for all the apples (an in-game currency) in a level or from the time limit. The latter isn’t strict, but introduced by a level slowly filling up with stomach acid – which Slime-San can’t handle.
You’ll also quickly learn that the colors green and red are important. Slime-San himself is green, and can pass through green surfaces as well. He’s extremely vulnerable to red though, and touching a red surface will reset the level immediately. With all kinds of blocks, platforms and obstacles, this mechanic is used in a myriad of ways over the course of the 100+ level campaign and the add-on campaigns that have been included with the Superslime edition.
Collecting apples and coins allows you to modify the game with different visual styles (through color schemes) and gives you the option to change Slime-Sans abilities as well. In RPG-style, this means that improving in one area will cost you some of your abilities in another – so you might get more vertical reach at the expense of how far you can jump horizontally. In many cases this gives you different ways in which to complete a level, or it might give you the option to grab coins/apples that are otherwise just out of reach.
My favorite use of in-game currency comes from the ability to unlock and play a selection of mini-games inspired by some of the classics. There are versions of Pong, 2D shooters, Mario Kart and even a Doom-inspired 3D shooter in here, which are great diversions from the core gameplay and demonstrate how much love the developers much have for these titles from another era.
All the mini-games and extra campaigns feel like a bonus though, since Slime-San doesn’t even need them to be a great little platformer. It’s addictive, easy to pick up and filled to the brim with content. It’s out at a budget price point though, so don’t hesitate if you’re into challenging retro platformers.