Slime Rancher – What am I actually meant to do?

I think I might be missing the point of Slime Rancher.  I find myself dropped onto a planet with a vacuum and a fenced off area.  I’m told to vacuum up slimes and put them into the pen, feed them, and collect their poop for money.  Yes.  Poop money.  To what end I don’t know.  I can explore the world and collect more slimes to put in more pens to collect more poop.  Perhaps there are exciting things to find in the world, but after a couple of hours of hoovering up crap (figuratively and literally) I have no interest in finding out.

Slime Rancher
Get used to seeing this path. you’ll be using it an awful lot.
Starting at your ranch, you venture out to find slimes and other items to hoover up and take back to turn into money.  Money can be used to build or improve pens, build other structures, upgrade your equipment, and unlock new areas of the world.  Various logs can be found detail the adventures of the rancher who came before you, but those I found were fairly uninteresting.

Slime Rancher
The slimes are (mostly) pretty cut and there are a good variety of different ones. Their behaviours are mostly quite similar though.
Some slimes are aggressive unless you feed them the food they like (which can be found lying around or grown at the ranch), but most are benign and can be walked around with no problem.  During my explorations I came across some treasure boxes that I couldn’t open, and doors that required “slime keys”.  What are slime keys and how are they acquired?  No idea, it was never explained.  I eventually found out after going back and forth to a giant slime over and over again, but that was more luck and persistence than any signposting.  I don’t have a problem with discovery in gameplay, but I believe some direction is necessary in most games.  In many games I don’t mind looking up information online to find out more about optimum builds and finding secret items (the Souls games are a great example of this) but I simply didn’t care enough to want to find out more.  I didn’t know why I should care about what I was doing, so I didn’t bother.

Slime Rancher
Eventually I figured out how to get a slime key and was presented with a slightly different environment which was terribly exciting.
Mechanically the game works well enough, with your vacuum sucking up items of value (although sucking up the item you want can be a pain as it pulls in anything in front of it) and spitting them out where you want them.  The problem here is that your vacuum can only hold 4 different items (at first, I don’t know if this changes later on) meaning you’re constantly backtracking to the ranch to offload your stuff.  The game descended into me running forward a bit, collecting things then heading back, then going a little further and returning.  Continue ad nauseum.  The jetpack upgrade makes traversal through some areas quick if you don’t want to faff about but it doesn’t remove the issue.  There’s a day and night cycle too, with nights being more dangerous meaning hanging around the ranch (or sleeping until morning) becomes necessary.

Slime Rancher
There’s a day-night cycle. Certain slimes are more likely to come out at night.
I can’t fault the graphics or sound a great deal at least.  Visually it looks lovely.  All the slimes I found were adorable, with all of them being distinct.  The world looked lovely with plenty of variety in environments (shame I couldn’t find a reason to want to explore them).  The sounds are nice too and very in keeping with the game as a whole.

Slime Rancher
What’s behind this slime door? A better question is can I be bothered to faff about getting a key to find out?
I get the feeling that this just isn’t the sort of game for me.  If it weren’t for the fact that this was a free Games with Gold game on Xbox then I probably wouldn’t have touched it.  If you’re someone who is very much into the “make your own fun” sort of games then this could provide a bit of entertainment, but it didn’t for me.

Slime Rancher
I looks like it’s begging to be explored, but all I found was more of the same in a different environment.
Slime Rancher was developed and published by Monomi Park.  I played the game on Xbox One and wouldn’t recommend it.  Time is as valuable as money for me these days, and this sucked up a couple of hours that I won’t be getting back.  If you’re in the market for a cute farming style game then this might provide some fun, but I was bored after a couple of hours.

16 thoughts on “Slime Rancher – What am I actually meant to do?

  1. I bought this while it was still in early access after my stepson enjoyed it at an expo we went to. We played a couple of hours at home but didn’t seem to be getting any proper objectives, so I assumed this was something still under development and decided to uninstall the game until it had got a proper release. It sounds as if that isn’t the case though – and it’s such a shame, because I really like the visuals and sound. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean… games without defined objectives don’t tend to hold my attention for long. If there was an end goal, I’d be all up for the slimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve seen some gameplay of this. Honestly, I love the adorable slimes and I’m just a sucker for anything resembling cats however, I’m not a farming simulator sort of person. Its time consuming and a little too open-ended. It seems this one doesn’t even have set objectives which could be what makes it more pointless. Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome review! I’ve always been curious about this game, so thanks for explaining it all! I don’t think it’s for me either, but I’m glad I know what it’s about now. I don’t think I could play another Minecraft-like game after already trying to get into Minecraft. Slimes are cute, at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the art style is great, and I like that the slimes can be fused to form new types. There are a lot of different types to begin with as well. Thing it I didn’t enjoy finding them to start with. I’ll leave this one to the people who like farming games!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll take it gladly! I’m sure it’s not a bad game to be fair, I just don’t see the point of it. It reminds me of Minecraft in that regard: very popular and probably very good, but I don’t know why it exists.

      Liked by 1 person

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