Slime Rancher is a game where you ranch slimes. Your player character, Beatrix Lebeau, who has a love for adventure, moves to the Far Far Range. She is sold a ranch that once belonged to another rancher, Hobson Twillgers. In adventure mode, you can find his scattered notes around the Far Far Range, detailing his explorations of the various places on the planet that he’s visited.
From this point, the player chooses the way they want to play, there are three game modes, but one is just a variation of another. In Adventure Mode, you can explore the Range, build up your ranch and build corrals for slimes and farm fruit, veggies, and chickens to feed them. Casual mode is the same, minus the dangerous Tarr Slimes formed when a Largo, a hybrid of two slime types, eats a Plort of neither component types. Rush Mode is a challenge mode where you are scored on how many newbucks, the game’s currency, you can earn in five in-game days.
There are several areas to be unlocked on both the range and on your ranch, on the range, this is done by finding slime keys, on the ranch you either spend newbucks or do side-quests for the other ranchers living on the Far Far Range.
The ranch upgrades that cost money all have unique perks:
- The Overgrowth is an area where basic slime foods regularly spawn, such as carrots, pogofruit, and chickens.
- The Grotto is dark, meaning you can keep slimes that are sensitive to light, which are just phosphor slimes and their largos, without needing to buy solar shields for your corrals.
- The Docks have a small pond where you can get water and keep puddle slimes without needing to purchase one on one of your limited plots of land.
- The Lab unlocks the science lab, where you can do slime science to create gadgets and decorations for your ranch and elsewhere on the range.
- The three areas unlocked by doing sidequests are Mochi’s Manor, Ogden’s Retreat, and Victor’s Workshop.
There are five (six if you count Hobson) ranchers you interact with during the game, and three of them have side-quests where you gather things for them in a unique area of the range, with various upgrades and eventually an additional area for your ranch.
The five main ranchers can talk to the player via the Range Exchange and will make trade requests. Thora West is the rancher to introduce you to the Exchange and can request any item that another rancher can request. Mochi Miles’ ranch is in Nimble Valley; she will request plorts from slimes and has a quest where you chase around quicksilver slimes for her. Ogden Ortiz wants fruits and vegetables and sends you to the Wilds for his questline. Victor Humphries asks for slimes and has you hunt down glitch slimes in the Slimeulation. BOb is an unknown number of slimes in a trenchcoat and will request chickens in trades.
Slime Rancher is an amazingly multifaceted game. There are several compelling aspects of the gameplay, you can: decide to calculate the most profitable slime hybrids, get lost exploring, decorate your ranch, search for all of Hobson’s notes, find all the collectibles, and complete your slimepedia, and you can do all of these in the same game if you like.
This game is pretty good no matter what platform you play it on, but I’m glad it has a native Linux version. Slime rancher is incredibly well optimized, and Monomi Park has put in the effort to make it look good no matter your graphics settings. My old windows laptop with a 940mx could run this game at around 60 fps on the lowest settings at 1080p, while my new Linux rig with a GTX 1060 can push 120 fps at 1080p at max settings, and both look fantastic.