Slime-san might look like just another cutesy retro platformer when you first take a look at it, but this is actually the closest to a Super Meat Boy you’ll find for the Switch at the moment.
Be quick or be dead
Slime-san‘s gameplay will quickly remind of you of Meat Boy, with its fast-reflexes control scheme, ability to hop onto walls, large amounts of booby traps, obstacles, puzzles, one-hit-kill objects, infuriating jumps, you know the drill. The game doesn’t let you take your time to try to figure out how to beat the puzzles that much: there is a timer in each level, the moment the timer reaches zero, the stage starts getting infested with what I can only assume is gastric acid, and yet again, touch it and you die. If you’re into challenging games, Slime-san is a great choice for your Switch.
The biggest draws for the game, however, weren’t related to its gameplay. Slime-san‘s soundtrack and sense of humor were the highlights for me. The game’s characters are hilarious, often parodying real-life celebrities and iconic videogame characters (a hedgehog called Cinos, for instance), often with great dialogue accompanying them. And the soundtrack was a fantastic highlight on its own, with great 8-bit songs that quickly stick in your head.
Best character name ever!
The main issue I had with Slime-san, however, was with its graphics, something a lot of people were actually praising. I completely understand why they’re praised; the simplistic 8-bit visuals, coupled with a very small but impactful color palette (something which reminded me of when you’d put an original Game Boy cartridge on a Game Boy Color and the game would have a limited palette as well) is indeed very charming. And the same color scheme, coupled with the game’s resolution, was responsible for a fair amount of issues. But, simply put, there are too many times where it’s quite hard to figure out what’s onscreen, given the limited level of detail and the fact that everything is very small onscreen. You can also choose to zoom into your character, but then you won’t be able to properly see the platforms and puzzles you need to move onto or solve. In the end, the problem isn’t so much with the graphical style or quality, as much as it is with the fact that certain elements of the game don’t work particularly well with said style.
Slime-san also featured some occasional framerate drops when there were lots of moving objects onscreen, as well as some massive slowdowns whenever I’d resume the game after putting the Switch on sleep mode. The visual hindrances also cause some sort of domino effect. Given the difficulty of properly figuring out what’s onscreen, combined with the occasional slowdowns, the gameplay department isn’t as trouble-free and responsive as, say, Super Meat Boy. Games like this require absolutely flawless gameplay, and while Slime-san delivers for the most part, it will sometimes cause you to die thanks to a game flaw and not your own miscalculations.
Never thought I’d ever see a pixelated Birth of Venus
Despite its certainly annoying flaws, Slime-san is still a pretty enjoyable title to have on-the-go for the Switch. It’s not exactly a relaxing experience, given the amounts of times you’ll want to throw the poor handheld out of the window, but it’s still a good time nonetheless, especially for those craving a challenge.
Also available on: PC
A copy of Slime-san was provided by publisher.