Review: Slime Rancher

About this Game

Slime Rancher

Publisher

Skybound Games

Developer

Monomi Park

Release Date

August 1, 2017

Console

PlayStation 4

Time to Plat

25h

Platinum Difficulty

Easy

Online Trophies?

No

Difficulty Trophies?

No

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Growing my Ranch One Frame at a Time…

Slime Rancher is a game I have had my eye on for years, this cutesy resource management game has all the right ingredients for a fun time-waster but always cost a little too much for my liking. Being that it went on sale some time last year I snatched it up but then sat on it for many months while other games stole my attention.

Now that we’re in something of a gaming drought in the long wait for The Last of Us: Part II and Ghost of Tsushima, I thought it was time to sit back and get farming those slimes.

Slime Rancher Review

Under-Performing

I tend to try and avoid starting a review off on a negative (unless it is really bad), but Slime Rancher has one fundamental issue which can really make or break your experience when it comes to playing it; the game lags. A lot.

Not at first though, the first time you boot into the game it runs as smooth as butter, but unfortunately it only takes a couple of hours before you see the screen-tearing coming in, frames dropping constantly and the music jittering and glitching out. 

It’s semi-easily avoidable, if you save and quit when this begins happening then upon loading back in, the game will run smoothly again. It seems to be because the game doesn’t despawn anything once you’re no longer nearby, so the more of the island you explore, and the more slimes which you then spawn as a result, the more the game begins to chug. 

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I can’t really show frame-drops with an image, so here, have a screenshot of a “Party Gordo” Slime to lighten the mood. They only show up on Weekends.

Avoiding this completely, however, would actually mean that you’d reset the game pretty much once every hour depending on how much exploring you do – which if you want the platinum trophy will be a lot, especially later in the game.

For me, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I can handle frame drops and more, I spent a good deal of my teen years playing games on a pathetic laptop at around 15fps or even less, and v-sync issues were abundant then too. However, I know that a lot of gamers nowadays are very sensitive about frame-rates and will refuse to play a game unless it’s going to be a consistent 60fps by default. Which I suppose is a fair ask.

The main thing which bothered me was the music and sound effects jittering. They’d frequently cut out at incredibly frequent intervals and it was very grating. Putting up with that for multiple hours a day was starting to drive me a little crazy, luckily the gameplay kept me going, though.

One thing I found extremely bizarre for a console version of a game is that Slime Rancher actually has v-sync options in its settings. Allowing you to turn v-sync on and off to help with performance, something I’ve never seen in a console game. If you want my advice, don’t turn it on, it kills frames like crazy and honestly a little screen tearing is better than playing at 15-20fps.

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I apparently found this so bizarre that I took a screenshot for you!

Alongside performance issues, the game crashed on me twice in my 20-hour-ish playthrough and I fell through the ground multiple times, losing all of the valuable resources I had in my inventory – which was VERY annoying.

Mischievous, Yet Adorable

Problems aside, Slime rancher actually plays host to plenty of addictive fun. You play the role of a new Ranch owner who has moved to this mysterious Slime-inhabited planet. 

By use of a vacuum/cannon called the Vacpack you can collect various slimes of all different shapes, sizes and attributes, which you can then take back to the ranch and store in various purchasable corrals.

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They’re so adorably gelatinous.

Each Slime drops a “Plort” of varying value when fed and those plorts can be sold on the Plort market (which actually changes dynamically based on some sort of supply/demand system) for “Newbucks”, the game’s currency.

Newbucks can then be spent to buy new tools, tool upgrades, extra corrals, gardens for growing food, chicken pens, blueprints and more! 

Each Slime has their own specific diet, too, some slimes will only eat meat, some prefer fruit and others eat vegetables exclusively. 

You can feed a Plort to a Slime and they will become a “Largo” Slime, having the attributes of both their original Slime species and that of the Plort’s original owner too. 

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Largo Slimes comprised of “Dervish” and “Quantum” Slimes.

For example, if you take a Pink Slime and a cat-like Tabby Slime, then feed one of the Pink Slime’s Plorts to the Tabby Slime, it will become a much larger slime, which is Pink and cat-like. 

These combinations can be made with any two types of Slime, which is awesome! And whenever a Largo is fed, it will drop Plorts for both of it’s Slime types (i.e. Pink and Tabby Plorts). 

Their diets are combined too. So if you have a Boom slime, which will only eat meat, but you’re struggling to have enough meat supply on the ranch, you can feed it a Rock Slime’s Plort which will give it a taste for Vegetables too, making it much easier to feed. 

However, if you try to feed a Largo slime a third type of Plort in the hopes of adding even more attributes to it, it will become a Tarr. Which is the living embodiment of what happens if you mix two many different colours of Play-dough together. 

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Beware the Tarr!

These Tarr will hurt you and quickly infect other nearby Slime’s, turning them into Tarr too. A single Tarr can quickly become a devastating and run-ending pandemic on the Ranch if not dealt with quickly. 

Tarr are dealt with using Water, which can be sucked up and then fired through the Vacpack if you have purchased that ability, but if not you’ll need to grab onto them and throw them into the ocean. 

Slimes are adorable little creatures but are insanely mischievous. It feels like if you turn your back on them for even a second, they’ll escape their corral or eat something you were trying to save up, or indeed turn themselves into Tarr and wreak havoc on the Ranch. This is why it’s important to upgrade corrals, keep Slime’s fed and happy, and never keep more than two types of slime in the same corral. 

A Whole New World

As well as the complex resource management going on within the Ranch, you have a whole world to explore. There are rare Slimes to find, mysteries to crack, puzzles to solve. When the game starts you have access to just about four different types of Slime, whose Plorts aren’t worth much, but the more you explore the island, the more areas you can unlock and the rarer the Slimes you can find.

There are huge Slimes called “Gordo” Slimes, hidden in various nooks and crannies of the world, some of which are initially hard to reach. Once you do stumble across one, though, you’ll need to feed it fifty of its preferred food type in order to get it to burst.

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A Phosphor Gordo enjoying the Feast of Fruit I brought for it!

Inside a burst Gordo, you’ll find many small slimes of the same type, which you can choose to suck up and take back to the ranch with you, as well as some food supplies and either a teleport to a useful/secret location or an all-important Slime Key, which will let you open one of the many locked doors on the island, granting access to a new location containing new slimes, new food items and most importantly, new secrets.

The process of starting on the ranch, feeding your slimes, collecting and selling their plorts, then setting off on an adventure for 24 in-game hours just to come back with new rare fruits to plant or exciting new Slimes to add to the ranch all so you can do it again and unlock more cool supplies is extremely addictive. It’s just progress, progress, progress. 

Every plort you sell, every corral you upgrade, even the smallest bit of scouting feels like a job well done, like major progress has been made, and it is so unbelievably satisfying.

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An in-game milestone tracker (which includes trophies) makes progress feel even more concrete.

My Slime Rancher Trophy Experience

A Bumpy Start

For around the first hour or two of my playthrough I was just stumbling about. I didn’t know what upgrades I would need or what resources and upgrades would be most valuable, I was just grabbing every slime I could and throwing them all into one corral. Big mistake of course because I very quickly had a tarr problem and my whole Slime supply became an army of angry Tarr which had to be manually ejected one-by-one into the Slime Sea because I didn’t have the Water tank upgrade. 

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I very quickly got this trophy for getting in a Corral with 40 Slimes! A pretty unmanageable way to start in hind-sight.

Following the aftermath of that nightmare and doing a bit of reading on the Slime Rancher fan-wiki, I understood a little more about the game and set out to do things correctly. 

Not long after, I had a good little ranch going, four corrals and four gardens. Each garden grew food that each of my four Largo Slimes would enjoy and I just spent a bit of time gathering Plorts and selling them until I could buy a good number of upgrades and tools. 

Cut to around 5-7 hours later and I had managed to unlock two new locations on the island by getting Slime Keys from Gordo Slimes and my Ranch had been expanded. I had several new Largo Slimes in my 8 corrals, a good number of trophies under my belt and… a long way to go, still.

Master Farmer

Having come to grips with the gameplay it was time to get serious about trophies. The first thing I wanted to focus on was unlocking the rest of the island. I ran myself ragged going back and forth getting Slime Keys, completing puzzles and hunting down secrets until finally I’d explored the entire island and the (somewhat boring) story being told via emails came to an end, rolling the credits in its wake.

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The story is told primarily through “Starmail”

Getting through the last two areas of the game was probably the most fun exploration there was. They were complex and platforming-heavy locations filled with mystery and eeriness, locked away behind puzzles, there was a lot of excitement in gaining entrance to them and being able to explore what they had to offer, especially the final area.

Misc Madness

Once I was done with the game, had managed to get slimes of every type, and had explored every nook and cranny of the island, it was time to knuckle down and get the miscellaneous trophies. Quite a few were tied to the Lab and the various things you can craft there. Including a particularly difficult trophy for which I had to craft a basketball – or “Slimeball” – net.

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There’s a guide (and video) for this one in the tips section below.

The biggest issue I had here was that I was constantly running out of Pink Slimes and I wish I had been stockpiling them earlier. I spent a stupid amount of time running around collecting Pink Slimes, 50 at a time, which only allowed me to make 2-3 of the various gadgets I needed to craft.

With that all out of the way though, the final and most daunting trophy was at hand. “Hat Trick” requires you to get 3 Gold Plorts out of a single Gold Slime. This is near impossible because Gold Slimes disappear very quickly once they’ve been spotted and you’d need to hit them 3 times with any projectile to get the trophy.

The simplest way around this would be to buy up all the 7Zee rewards until you unlock the Golden Sureshot reward, which means that everytime you hit a Gold Slime they will drop 3 Gold Plorts, immediately earning you the trophy, but the amount of money you need to get that is unreal.

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The 7Zee rewards do result in some cool changes to the ranch, but my god are they expensive!

I eventually learned of Gilded Ginger roots which can be found in the Glass Desert and after around 30 minutes of hunting one down I was able to use the method detailed in the Tips Section below to very easily acquire the trophy. It was the last trophy I needed in Adventure mode, which meant it was time for the Rush Mode trophy.

Rushing Around

Rush Mode is a timed version of the game where you have everything already unlocked and Gordo Slimes are much easier to burst. You need to try and earn 75,000 newbucks and have that much or more in your wallet by the time the timer runs out. Once your Rush Mode run ends, you get the trophy.

I did this 4 times in a row. The first time I did absolutely terrible at it and ran out of time pretty quickly. The second time, I glitched on a paving stone at the ranch and fell through the floor, which made me lose 12 in-game hours and about 5,000 newbucks so I ended up failing once again. The third time I tried it, one of the requests I got was impossible to complete.

By completing requests you can earn 12 more in-game hours and 6 gilded ginger which can get you a lot of Gold Plorts if used correctly (I’ve put a full step-by-step guide for the Rush Mode Trophy in the tips section below). However, the request I got wanted me to bring back some fruit which I couldn’t get because some Slimes had eaten all of the available supply in the island and it was taking too long to grow back.

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The results screen when I finally succeeded.

The fourth time, however, went extremely smoothly. Too smoothly. By the third day I had over 80,000 newbucks and I ended up just idling at the ranch while I went on Reddit, waiting for the timer to tick down so the trophy would pop.

Along with it came my Platinum and although I was extremely glad to have it, I’m kind of sad to see my playthrough end. Glitchiness aside, the game was really great.

Time Breakdown

Getting to Grips

Farming Fun

Misc Post-Game

Rush Mode

Slime Rancher Trophy Tips

A decent majority of the trophies in Slime Rancher are easier than they look, however there are just a few which have more specific and complex unlock requirements requiring various methods. Having spent a long time working out the best way to acquire these trophies, I took the time to write up some helpful tips for you below which should help with getting a Slime Rancher plat of your own!

She’s on Fire! Trophy, Easy Method.

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She's On Fire!

Score 50 points in a single game of slimeball

Crafting the Slimeball net necessary for this trophy isn’t that difficult, just make many drills, apiaries and pumps and set them working while you collect slimes and you should have the resources you need in no time. “Royal Jelly” is the hardest resource to come by, but after putting down 5 Advanced Apiaries I quickly had all that I needed for this trophy.

Unfortunately, the hardest part was actually playing Slimeball. First, you need to gather up as many slimes as you can find, the first area should be fine for this and you’ll probably want 50 slimes of at least 3 variations to ensure you have an easier time doing this trophy.

After wasting nearly 30 minutes trying over and over to get 50 points within the strict time limit, I finally found the perfect place to put the net. 

There’s a video here showing me getting the trophy using my method:

Essentially, there’s an area with a tree at the end of a path which branches off to the right just after the first area right outside the Ranch. 

If you place the net here, you can head up to the area above and jetpack on top of the nearby rock wall. With this top-down advantage, shooting the Slimes into the hoop is a lot easier.

Hat Trick Trophy

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Hat Trick

Obtain at least 3 gold plorts from a single gold slime

There are a lot of methods for this, all of varying degrees of difficulty and complexity, some requiring hours and hours of farming in order to have enough money to buy the 7Zee reward which ensures all Gold Slimes will drop 3 Gold Plorts.

Well, save yourself a lot of time, and don’t do that. 

Instead, go all the way to the Glass Desert and then begin searching for a “Gilded Ginger”. They’re fairly rare and will only spawn in two places within the desert (resetting at 5am game-time), so it will take quite a bit of searching before you find them, but it’s preferable to some of the other methods.

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The Glass Desert

Once you have this, ensuring you’ve finished the game and received a Starmail letter saying that some new treasure troves have been unlocked in the map, get a Slime Key either by buying it from the Upgrade Station or bursting one of the many Gordos in the game.

With your new Slime Key and Gilded Ginger in hand (bring lots of any other food item with you too, if you want to get a lot of Gold Plorts), head over to the “Moss Blanket” area. Near the back of the area is a Home Portal which you’ve probably used quite a lot in the past (you can see it on the map). In this area, jump on top of the log tunnel and then use the jetpack to fly over to the cliffside on the right-hand side (when facing the direction of the Home Portal).

From up here, head over to the wider of the two naturally-formed rock bridges (it’s the one nearest the Home Portal) and cross over it. You’ll see you’re now in a new area which has various grass-topped rock pillars coming out of the ocean. Jump across these to a large grassy area in-front of you, where you should see a stone pillar with a portal inside it.

This portal leads to one of the 3 Treasure Troves unlocked by finishing the game. Once you step into it, you’ll be faced with a locked gate, unlock it with the Slime Key you brought and step inside. 

You may want to Save and Quit, and then back up your save to a USB or the PS Plus cloud. This is because you’re about to spawn a lot of Gold Slimes, and this will only happen once. If you come back in the future they won’t respawn so this is your only chance for this trophy to be so easy.

Just ahead of you, you will see a few trees on a platform. As you approach this platform a Gold Slime will spawn, ignore him because he’s too close to a ledge and you’ll risk losing your one Gilded Ginger. Just let him run off or hit him with your other food item if you want, you should get a Gold Plort for this which you can grab.

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Full disclosure, I did get the trophy using that first Gold Slime, but it was risky and I don’t recommend it.

Head forwards and jump off the ledge and loads of Gold Slimes will spawn, shoot your Gilded Ginger ahead of you into the center of the group and one of them should rush over and eat it. They will then leave behind five Gold Plorts and the trophy will pop!

This would also be the time to unload the rest of your food items at the crowd of Gold Slimes. For every time you hit a Gold Slime with a projectile, they will drop a Gold Plort, so you can get a bit of extra money here if you need it.

Rush Plortmaster Trophy

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Rush Plortmaster

Reach at least 75,000 newbucks in Rush Mode

This trophy is a real pain and took me a few attempts, but with the right step-by-step method, you’ll be able to pull it off. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Activate and complete your first Request from the Request Booth in-front of you. This will give you some Gilded Ginger and an extra half a day (game-time) of time within which to get your trophy.
  2. Press to place three teleports in your Ranch, one of each colour.
  3. Head out with your Gilded Ginger and you’ll see a Gold Gordo right outside the ranch, don’t pop it yet, collect as many carrots as you can from nearby and then use 3 of your 6 Gilded Ginger to burst the Gold Gordo. Once it bursts rapid-fire your carrots at the Gold Slimes and then collect the Gold Plorts, head back to the ranch to sell them.
  4. Use your new wealth to buy and fully upgrade a Corral, leave it empty. Also buy and fully upgrade a garden, also leave this empty.
  5. Now head to the Moss Blanket area and collect as many Honey Slimes as you can find. Make sure you grab at least one Mint Mango too. Place one of your 3 remaining teleports in Moss Blanket (near the entrance is better as you’ll be closer to the Ancient Ruins.
  6. Use the portal to head back to the ranch, place your Mint Mango in the Garden and your Honey Slimes in the first of your Corrals.
  7. Now, you will likely still have your 3 original Gilded Ginger, so let’s spend them. Go through the Overgrowth area of the Ranch and collect a chicken as you head out the other side (not towards the docks, the other exit).
  8. On this side you should be able to find a Tabby Gordo, feed it one chicken and it will burst, revealing a portal to a secret island called “Ring Island”.
  9. Ring Island has 3 Gold Gordos on it. Use the three Gilded Gingers you have left to burst one of them, ensuring you hit the Gold Slimes which fall out of it with as many other projectiles as you could get your hands on. Collect the Gold Plorts.
  10. Also on this island is a Pink Gordo, feed it 20 of any food item to get another Slime Key and head back to the ranch to sell your Gold Slimes.
  11. By now you will likely have your second request. Feed your Honey Slimes some of the Mint Mangoes and then head off to complete this second request. 
  12. Once done, use the Gilded Ginger on the other two Gold Gordos on Ring Island and then sell the Gold Plorts back at your Ranch.
  13. Now it’s time to head over to the Ancient Ruins. Use your portal to the Moss Blanket to teleport back and then use your new key to gain access to the Ancient Ruins. Once there, place another teleport and collect some Quantum Slimes.
  14. Head back to the ranch and merge your Quantum and Honey Slimes, ensuring you feed them some Mint Mangoes (Mint Mangoes get double-plorts from Honey and Honey-mix Slimes). Collect their plorts and sell them. Also set up 3 more gardens which will grow Mint Mangoes.
  15. Now you need one more Slime Key. There’s a Honey Gordo in Moss Blanket which requires 30 fruits, a Phosphor Slime near the Ranch which requires 30 fruits, a Quantum Slime in the Ancient Ruins which requires 30 fruits and a Boom Slime in the Ancient Ruins which requires 30 meat. Burst whichever of these which is easier for you and then grab the Slime Key they’re holding.
  16. You can use this new Slime Key to access the Glass Desert from the Ancient Ruins. Collect 3 Rock Plorts from the Rock Slimes near the cave entrance just north of the Ranch and then head to the Glass Desert.
  17. Once inside the Glass Desert, head all the way to the large open area where the Tangle Gordo can be found and place your third and final teleport. Now, use the Rock Plorts in the nearby temple to activate the Ancient Water fountain and then use that to activate at least one of the oases in the area. 
  18. Make sure you grab at least 5 Dervish Slimes and 5 Mosaic Slimes, but the more the better. 
  19. Use one of the nearby Hens to burst the Tangle Gordo, collect the 10 Tangle Slimes it drops and then head through the portal back to the ranch. Buy and fully-upgrade 3 new corrals and place one of each of your new Slimes in them. Make sure your Tangle Slimes are not next to the other slimes. Place them in the Overgrowth or the Cavern if you have to. They can pick up items from afar and eat them, meaning they can eat Plorts from adjacent Corrals and turn themselves into Tarrs. 
  20. Use the Honey Slimes from your Honey-Quantum Largoes to turn all of your new Slimes into part-honey Largo Slimes.
  21. Now, complete any new requests you get, while also ensuring you keep feeding your Largo Slimes the Mint Mangoes and selling their Plorts. You can just keep doing this until the timer runs out and you should easily have enough Newbucks for the Trophy, which will pop when your Rush Mode timer ends. 

A few things of note:

  • There is a Gold Gordo very easily found right in the atrium at the start of the Ancient Ruins and another one where the treasure trove entrance usually is in the Moss Blanket area, you can use any additional Gilded Ginger with these to get a quick cash boost.
  • If you manage to reach 75,000 newbucks before the timer ends and want to speed up time a bit, don’t bother. The best way to skip time is to jump into the sea, knocking yourself out and skipping about 12 hours of in-game time, but you lose newbucks by doing this which isn’t worth risking. Just leave the game running and go on Reddit or something.

That concludes my Slime Rancher Platinum Trophy Review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

You can follow us on Twitter @GetPlat and Instagram @platget where we’ll be sharing updates, upcoming reviews and general gripes about the games we’re working on so feel free to follow us or use it as another channel for feedback!

Verdict

Plat

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I do think that despite its flaws, this is a genuinely fun game with some really fantastic moments. However, the performance issues and sheer amount of repetitive grinding makes me reluctant to suggest you go for the Plat, especially if you’re not playing on a PS4 Pro.

Pros

  • Addictive resource management system
  • Adorable aesthetic with plenty of variety and mystery
  • Fun environments to explore

Cons

  • Very poorly optimised
  • Lots of screen tearing and frame drops
  • Occasional glitch or crash will ruin your day
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Gold Trophy

I enjoyed this game probably more than I should have. Given it’s serious performance issues you might expect I’d give up, but the game really is so good that it deserves commendation for the sheer amount of fun to be found within.

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About the Author

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

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