Slay The Slime
HIGH Watching the characters bounce around like cardboard cut-outs.
LOW Slowly waiting for enemies to approach so they can be attacked.
WTF For cardboard cut-outs, they’re pretty resistant to fire!
The deckbuilder genre has been an active one lately. For those unfamiliar, the player gets through turn-based combat in a roguelike or RPG-style adventure while collecting spells, attacks and defenses in the form of cards. Balancing the number of cards and trying to build synergies is key to victory.
Rise Of The Slime doesn’t set out to reinvent the wheel here — it’s a fairly standard 2D side-scrolling roguelike romp where the player moves their character (a slime) through various rooms filled with treasures, traps and enemies. Attacks, defenses and spells can be collected via cards as usual, but there’s something new here — movement cards. Unfortunately, these don’t do much except move the character closer to enemies in order to perform a stronger attack.
Each run presents the player with a choice of decks with different attributes such as poison, lightning, or fire. Along with these, it’s possible to pick a pet, which is undoubtedly Rise of the Slime‘s most unique feature. Each pet lends a different kind of aid to the player — things like shields or augmented movement or attacks, and these pets can be upgraded during a run. Cards can be obtained by successfully completing runs, thus unlocking new powers, but they will still be randomly selected at the start of each run.
Unfortunately, the last two paragraphs effectively sum up Rise Of The Slime as there doesn’t seem to be much to it. Since this is described as a roguelite, one would expect to be able to unlock new elements such as fresh scenarios or new enemies in order to entice replays, but the few unlocks I found don’t add much beyond a few cosmetic changes and some new cards which, at the most, add some minimal attack power and defense — it takes a lot of time to earn the unlocks and they’re hardly worth the effort.
Looking at the campaign, the difficulty ramps up too quickly and without warning. It’s often possible to be doing quite well and then suddenly lose an entire run in the span of a single combat. Also, some enemies seem too strong, requiring a near-perfect set of randomly-found cards in order to be defeated.
Graphically, Rise of the Slime looks pleasing (if, perhaps, a bit too basic) with an overall cutesy look with characters that are presented like puppets on a stage. The effect is enriched with the addition of appropriate sound effects and repetitive average wellness center-new age music.
After my time with Rise of the Slime, I was left feeling a bit confused. It’s too simple and the graphics don’t seem like they will appeal to fans of the genre, yet it’s too punishing and difficult for casual players or those unfamiliar with the deckbuilders. I’m not sure of who it’s trying to target, but my guess is that it’s a bit off the mark regardless.
Disclosures: This game is developed by Bunkovsky Games and published by Playstack. It is currently available on PC and Switch. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on Switch. Approximately 4 hours of play were devoted and one run of the game was completed. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: The game is rated E by the ESRB, and it contains Fantasy Violence. It’s all very cute and friendly, and it can be recommended to anyone without fear.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game does not feature spoken dialogue, but sometimes audio cues are used to communicate enemies’ attacks. Text cannot be altered or resized. In my view, the game is not fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: the game uses few buttons since most choices can be carried out with the A and B buttons to confirm the cards to use or to undo the choice. Controls can NOT be remapped.