(Review) Slime-san

At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try out Slime-san as I’m not usually one for these platformers that shout from the rooftops how much twitchy reflexes will be needed to complete their games. I’ve tried out a few others like Tinertia and Electronic Super Joy: Groove City and Spoiler Alert (to a lesser degree) and have had mixed success with them. They are not like your classic Mario franchise games; they don’t pretend to be nice. Is Slime-san worth the frustration they will be foisting upon you as you fight your way out of this worms stomach as a slime? My Nintendo Switch seems to like it, but let me break it down for you.

Time your moves, or you’ll spend a lot of time in specific levels. Not necessarily this one, but in general this holds true.

As with most platformers, you’ll have to become one with the control scheme. Slime-san is no different here. They have a jump, dash and a slow time down move (which I usually have held down) and all of this is needed to get through the levels. The controls are quite tight as well and it probably won’t be how much the game doesn’t respond to the button presses that will have you dying or simply missing a jump, but how you respond to the game itself. I’m not the biggest fan of time limits and in this game there is a “lava wall” that will start to fill the stage from various sides at a specific time. At that point, the level is basically over most of the time for me, but sometimes it just marks the beginning of some stupid mistakes. Sometimes it will follow you out of the level, but there are times where, if you aren’t quick enough, it will cover an apple and you’ll have to either leave without it or try again and try to be faster the next time. They aren’t mandatory, but they aren’t always in hard to get to places, but you still have to go out of your way to get them.

It is intriguing to have the ability to pick up a completely different playstyle with more moves or less with more speed… you can almost name it. Is it worth my apples? Well, what else are you going to spend them on? I haven’t really been able to convince myself that I wanted to try a different style yet. I was more willing to buy a pirate eye-patch for my slime before any of these took my apples.

There are extra goodies to be found as well. Hidden characters are placed all sneaky-like (I’ve only found one so far) and as I said, there is an apple in each level. The apples are the more obtainable of the two since you don’t have to really “find” them, but more find your way to them. They are also a form of currency. You can use them in the city area of the game and outfit your slime or bird buddy with a pirate eye-patch or dorky glasses or even change the color scheme for the entire game. I really did like the Gameboy theme, but the sound came off a bit hollow compared to the rest of the game (and while accurate-ish) and I needed the music back… but it was very nostalgic and warmed my heart. Some of the other themes were a bit jarring and didn’t help me see the screen and what’s going on so I left them behind.

Nothing like stealing apples from your dead grandfather while pretending you’re on a Gameboy. While I like the theme, a lot of the options make it rather difficult to see the action or even read the text.

Yes, in case you were wondering, Slime-san is difficult. Not in the way of 1001 Spikes, but Slime-san’s tricks are shown to you as you jump to your own death with the incorrect button pressed at the wrong timing. Most of my deaths fell upon me when me when I was going for the apples. I will throw countless lives away trying to get those little green jerks. Other than that, the jumping and timing isn’t the biggest challenge. I don’t think it’s that bad, but someone trying out platformers for the first time may bite through their controllers. On a side note, level 24 sucks. On the second part of the usual four-part levels, there are keys to touch and doors to unlock. While I can get all of the keys, there is no obvious exit to me. (I’m not stuck on the apple, I can get that easily.) I’ve tried getting the keys in different orders, but the obvious exit door stays closed and that was very frustrating. I had to buy the “skip a level” thing with my hard-earned apples. The price goes up with each skip, but I don’t plan on skipping more than one. With time, I can get the timing down. I could get to the exit though with my apple in tow, this doesn’t skew the difficulty for me, something was obviously just wrong with my… something. Level 24 is dumb.

I think I would put Slime-san more in line with Ghost & Goblins. You’ll have some tough times, but then you’ll get into the groove of the level and it will feel like going through the motions as you die over and over again for an apple…
Tough? Yes. Frustrating at times? Sometimes yes. It’s a good challenge though. I’ve found myself throwing my little slime character into walls and lava pits over and over again all in the attempts to grab an apple. I’m playing on the Switch so there are no achievements to attain either so I’m constantly asking myself why I’m working so hard for them. It’s got a simple story of you being swallowed by a worm and you’re fighting your way out. There are a good amounts of modes to play through if you want to speedrun the game, make it harder (Really? Why is that an option?) or run through all of the bosses. If you like a bit of a challenge with your platformers, Slime-san is a great game. I’m not sure how they make dying so enjoyable, but it is.

Further Reading on Slime-San: Nintendo eShop / Official PageSteam

Love it or hate it, let me know!