There’s something satisfying about playing an incredibly hard game, and finally beating the level that has taken you countless attempts. Sometimes, there are entire games that rely on this feeling, such as Super Meat Boy, and now Fabraz’s Slime-san. It is a brutal, classic platformer, but every time I got stuck on a level, I persevered until I moved on; and it felt good.
Slime-San has a unique and weird backstory going on. You play as a little slime that is eaten up by a malevolent worm and you have to work your way through its insides. As you continue on, you’ll encounter NPCs, shops, and even a little city inside this giant worm. It’s bizarre to say the least, but it has a good deal of charm that helps move along the game, which ultimately is about beating levels that may make you want to tear your hair out.
Thankfully, as you play through the 100 stages of super tough platforming, you have some tight controls to help you out. I have to say, I was very impressed at how well Slime-San controls, and in general it may be some of the best controls I’ve used in a platformer in quite some time. The movement and jumping is spot on, and as the game goes on, you get more abilities, such as wall climbing and the ability to slow down time.
As you start the game, things start off fairly straightforward, with a simple focus on getting Slime-San from point A to point B. As you progress through the game, there are some fun little puzzles that need to be solved, and they helped break up some intense platforming. There are a number of bosses that you face at the end of each zone, and these also are incredibly cool with some interesting strategies needed to take them on. While the controls were pretty much perfect, the only drawback I encountered while playing was some weird framerate dips that tended to lead to deaths. This is kind of annoying, but they didn’t happen too often throughout the game.
A lot has been said about the soundtrack to the game, which is warranted, as it’s brilliant. The soundtrack was provided by ten acclaimed chiptune artists, and all of the tracks are phenomenal. I tended to play in handheld mode and with headphones on, just so I could take in the whole aural experience. Going with the soundtrack is a fairly minimalist visual style, that looks like something that would have been on the Game Boy Color. Slime-San has a limited color palette, only 5 colors, and that’s a good thing and a bad thing. It definitely helps simplify things when you are playing, so you know that green means good for Slime-San, and red means instant death. The only drawback is that I found many areas to look too similar to each other, and the visual repetition kind of wore on me a bit after a while.
Slime-San has plenty for the hardcore platformer enthusiast to enjoy, but on top of the basic story mode, there are tons of extras, which really impressed me. In each level. there is an apple to collect. These apples are usually a little out of the way and aren’t totally necessary. However, as you collect apples, you can use them to unlock a variety of things, such as variations for Slime-San: the ability to move slower and jump higher, or constantly dash, for example. You can also use the apples to purchase art to decorate your UI, and you can also unlock a variety of mini games. On top of those unlockables, there is a boss rush mode, speed run timers, New Game+, and plenty of other ways to challenge the most hardcore Slime-San players. There’s even free DLC coming to the Switch in the near future.
When I first started up Slime-San, I knew I was going to be facing a pretty tough challenge, and the game definitely is challenging. However, the charming style and characters, amazing music, and tight controls won me over, and these factors helped me replay levels over and over until I beat them. Slime-San may not be for everyone, due to it’s overall difficulty, but it is easily one of the best platformers I have played. It is most definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a platforming challenge on your Switch.
A Nintendo Switch code of Slime-San was provided by Headup Games for the purpose of this review.