After being spoiled with Super Meat Boy, good, challenging platformers with similar gameplay are hard to come by. Because of its success there have been games that take a lot of inspiration from it but some of them might not have had enough of a separate identity to keep you engaged rather than going back. Slime-san is thankfully one of those Super Meat Boy inspired platformers which I would honestly call an equal. I played the Superslime Edition which also gave access to all DLC and bonus content.
The main story is set inside of a giant worm so it opens up some interesting level design in terms of visuals and interactions with some of the characters you run into along your journey through the worm. Some character interactions may be friendly to Slime-san, commenting on the situation they’re in while others may be aggressive since you’ve stepped into the territory they’ve claimed in that part of the worm’s digestive system. Some secret interactions can be found in various levels as you progress though the game. While these conversations with the games characters don’t have any impact on the game itself it definitely makes the game a little bit more lively and gives you a chance to slow down, especially if you run into a ‘break room’ as I call it that is between some of the main rooms in levels filled with obstacles.
Obviously the main focus is the fast paced, obstacle dodging gameplay since it’s inspired by Meat Boy. The levels are fair but challenging and the many different mechanics in Slime-san do a good job of keeping you on your toes since they tie in a lot and are especially important in messing around with for speed runs which are a massive focus in this game. Slime-san has the ability to jump, dash (which can launch him across gaps, give him a second jump or speed up falls) and morph (which allows him to pass through certain blocks and changes which platforms are spawned in on some levels). There’s even more to this such as the fact dashing speeds up the game while morphing slows it down. Also, there’s the expected abilities like being able to cling to walls and slide down them or jump from wall to wall. This isn’t even taking into account the many different characters you can use and their individual effects or even the other mechanics introduced in the extra content.
The gameplay and controls are tight and responsive, exactly what you’d want from this kind of game. Level design is done incredibly well and offers some interesting encounters and obstacles to overcome but at no point does it ever feel cheap. Personally I would like for there to have not been a timer before the worm’s digestive juices catch up to Slime-san and quickly place him back at the start of a level but there is never a point where you’re not given enough time to react to what’s going on. The visual style is very simple sticking to a retro look and as little colours as possible, which is honestly amazing since everything is clearly highlighted as to what is good and bad so you don’t have to ever stop and analyse, keeping the pace of the game.
Collectibles litter each level, in the main game they are apples and act a bit like the bandages in Super Meat Boy since they are a currency. Apples allow you to unlock different characters, appearance changes, screen borders and even visual filters. Interestingly there is also an option to skip a level at the cost of 1 apple if you’re stuck however you forfeit any chance of 100% completion. I never tried this feature but I will say use extreme caution because I don’t know if there’s any way to get that 100% back. Besides collecting all apples for 100% completion there is also par times on each level and in some cases a hidden room to find for those curious about the requirements.
So it plays very similar to Meat Boy and there’s a few similar mechanics but are there ‘dark worlds’? Yes actually there is! NG+ variants of each level remix them to be even harder so you’ve actually automatically got 2x the content. Taking into account the base game is 5 worlds and 20 levels each, not counting potential secret levels that’s 200 levels on its own, then you also have all of the DLC levels and NG+ variants as well as bonus Superslime exclusive levels. Put simply: this game is insane for the amount of content available! To top it all off you have the focus on speedrunning, including a dedicated mode for it. Obviously this all a lot of hardcore stuff and I will say right now that if you’re not confident with platformers you will probably not last very long past the first world of the game, especially if you plan on 100%. I would talk in detail about the DLC levels but put simply it’s just like the base game besides a few new additions and unique storylines and environments for each DLC. Can’t go wrong with more content though right?