April 10, 2017 7:00 AM | Thomas Faust
Slime-San leads you right into the belly of the beast. Or, to be more precise, the giant worm. That bastard swallowed our eponymous gelatinous hero and his avian sidekick one fine day without reason, and now it's all "run for your life or be digested by stomach acid." Fun times ahead!
Every level in this single-screen platformer is a race against time (incoming stomach acid, remember?) and also a rage-inducing collection of pitfalls, traps, and other unpleasantness. it's all about figuring out how to get to the exit and then actually managing that feat. And it feels great. The controls are tight and the difficulty is high without ever getting too frustrating. These levels are short, so dying won't set you back too much and you have an infinite supply of slimy lives at your disposal.
The game's reduced color palette is immediately noticeable. Slime-San only ever uses 5 different colors. According to designer Fabian Rastorfer, this was a deliberate decision: "The color palette was both an aesthetic but also a gameplay decision. Aesthetically it creates a unique look that allows for enough detail to convey an image while leaving room for the player's imagination to fill in the blanks. Mechanically it makes the game very easily readable! We introduce a new mechanic or hazard every 2-3 levels but based on the colors you'll immediately have an idea of what they'll be at a glance. This is something we knew was important for a fast paced platformer like Slime-san."
All of this is incredibly well done and a treat for friends of fast-paced precision platforming. However, what really sets it apart from basically every other similar title is its playful presentation. When you're not sliming for your life, you can take a break and visit the little town in the worm's innards. Their inhabitants let you buy fancy new clothes and characters, or spend your time in an arcade, playing a bunch of full-blown games-within-the-game. Or you visit Slime-San's relatives at home and have a little chat. There is so much to see and do!
Why? Simply because you can, that's why. It's almost as if developers Fabraz were so enamored with their own game that they couldn't help but pile on heaps of quirky, world-building stuff on top of the already solid platformer at its core. It's absurd, it's funny, and before you know it Slime-San will have charmed its way into your heart. It's very easy to love this game.
Slime-San is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, with a console release coming later this year. You can purchase the game from Steam for $11.99. For more information, visit the game's website or follow developer Fabraz on Twitter.