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The Game Stop: Slime Rancher

By Amelia Abraham, Intern

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Slime Rancher is a toned-down, role-playing game made to satisfy gamers who’d like a break from more objective-based and stressful recreations. The player is free to roam around the Far, Far Range while being politely encouraged to corral slimes, sell the slime’s byproducts, and improve life on The Ranch. Slime Rancher is $19.99 on Xbox, Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Players begin their journey on The Ranch as Beatrix LeBeau. Beatrix is a young rancher who departed from her earthly life to travel one thousand light years to the Far, Far Range. Her story is told through letters from Casey, as Casey reminisces through writing about their past.

The Ranch is arguably the most important of the eight sections of the planet Far, Far Range. The Ranch is where players can utilize plots of land as gardens, corrals, and other contraptions that will prove beneficial in further gameplay. This is also where the player does almost all business to obtain and spend money. There are so many features on The Ranch that players will frequently find themselves running around— bringing items from place to place without a change of scenery. The Far, Far Range is so expansive, yet everything happens in one area. Spreading the features around the map would be an appreciated feature.

Slimes are adorable little creatures that reside within the gameplay area. Most of them are harmless, aside from the select few that unknowingly hurt you, which are fairly easy to fend off or avoid. They can be fed their preferred foods (ie. fruits, vegetables, or meat) to produce byproducts which are continuously addressed as plorts. The vacpack, which is automatically acquired as soon as game play begins, will suck up plorts, slimes, as well as food and will manually shoot the contents back out.

When a player dedicates a plot to be a corral, the corral will contain any slimes shot into it, to the best of its ability (ie. slimes that can fly won’t be contained in a corral without a ceiling.) There are 18 slimes that produce plorts, and each one features unique behavioral characteristics, such as radiation, wings or spikes. These slimes types are scattered across the Far, Far Range for the player to seek out and collect. Giving each slime different personalities is a much needed creative, and adorable, addition to the game.

The Plort Market is the most attractive feature in the game. It’s a little kiosk located on The Ranch that players can deposit their plorts in exchange for newbucks. Newbucks are the currency used to purchase things in-

game. With each passing game day, at around midnight, the Plort Market will refresh its value for each plort type. This feature can be related to the modern

day stock market. Deciding to store the plorts until the price goes up or get rid of them for fast cash is entirely up to the player. Although, the prices don’t sway enough to make a difference.

If there were a set objective to the game, the most probable candidate would be buying all the upgrades. As one progresses in the game, he or she will find that more work is being done than necessary. A simple solution is to spend newbucks on what seems like an endless selection of upgrades. These upgrades essentially carry the player on there way, allowing them to reach new places, or collect more newbucks faster. The fact that upgrades are purchased rather than given with time or experience, as seen in other games, gives Slime Rancher its relaxed appeal by allowing players to keep at their own pace.

Slime Rancher is a novelty amongst videogames for its welcoming and laid back playing style. Despite not having a purpose or objective, it is an excellent source of distraction from whatever is causing one’s stress or anxiety.

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