Despite Super Meatboy’s popularity, few games have tried to outdo its vast array of short, super-tough platforming levels. Thankfully, New York-based indie developer Fabraz and Headup Games stepped up to the challenge with an unassuming little platformer called Slime-san for Steam and Switch. After a long wait, Slime-san has finally arrived with loads of bonus content as Slime-san: Superslime Edition for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam. Not only does Superslime Edition have way too much stuff to do, it’s truly stellar.
Slime-san begins with our hero, the titular slime, getting swallowed by a gigantic worm. It turns out, this worm’s insides are so vast that they contain scores of levels to platform through, a whole town of NPCs, and lots of wacky characters to meet along the way. Little Slime-san will have to brave the worm’s innards and its vicious organs if he’s going to avoid the incoming wall of stomach acid and make it out and back to his family.
The main campaign consists of five worlds with 20 levels each. Most levels have four one-room sections to complete, with the goal always to reach the end. To make it through these levels, you’ll have to employ precise platforming and make use of Slime-san’s natural powers. He gets around by jumping, clinging to walls, and dashing on the ground or in the air. He can’t attack normal enemies, so dodging is essential.
Slime-san’s most unique power is his ability to morph (become less solid) and move through green objects and creatures. The game’s distinctive 5-color aesthetic actually has a big impact on gameplay, because everything is color-coded. Red objects and enemies always cause instant death to our hero, and he can always pass through green things by holding the morph button. Levels require plenty of shifting back and forth between solid and morphed forms, which is tricky but rewarding.
Just getting through the four rooms of a level can be challenging enough, but these rooms always include a collectible apple to grab as well. Perfecting a room by grabbing the apple and reaching the end before the oncoming wave of acid reaches you is always super satisfying. There are 400 apples to find in the main campaign, and – unlike most collectibles – they actually make the game better, not worse.
Every world also has one level that ditches the four-room structure in favor of a large auto-scrolling level in which Slime-san desperately races away from a tidal wave of acid. These levels are just one example of the game’s impressive dedication to variety. As you progress through the campaign, the developers throw every platforming trick in the book at you: rideable balloons, gravity-reversing sections, Donkey Kong-style barrels to dodge, Donkey Kong Country-style barrels that launch our hero, underwater sections, unlockable gates, sections that shrink the hero, and so much more.
Somehow, despite the never-ending array of new mechanics and hazards to learn, Slime-san rarely becomes too difficult for its own good. The closest it comes is during the fifth world. Many of those final levels see our hero chased by an evil red slime who copies the player’s every move. I found the red slime levels a bit obnoxious. The third boss is also strangely harder than the rest, but the boss fights generally land on the fun side of tough.
The hard-earned apples Slime-san collects can be spent in Slumptown, a hub area filled with wacky NPCs. The more secret rooms you find in the main campaign, the greater the town’s population grows. Slumptown vendors sell silly hats and clothing for Slime-san and his bird friend, widescreen borders, graphic filters, and more. The most important thing to buy are new playstyles modeled after the various members of Slime-san’s family. These affect your movement, jumping, and dash styles. Finding a playstyle that fits your platforming abilities can make the game more fun and less frustrating. The Slumptown arcade also holds five unlockable minigames of varying quality. On the plus side, they all support 2-player local multiplayer.
After completing the main campaign, Slime-san still offers so much more to do. Each level of the main campaign has a trophy time to reach, with a hidden level unlockable if you manage to earn all 100 trophies. There’s also a New Game+ mode that remixes every level. But the real draw of the Superslime Edition are the three mini-campaigns that offer even more challenging levels and silly story to enjoy. No other game offers so much slime to enjoy.
Our original Switch version reviewer didn’t seem to gel with Slime-san’s tough-but-fair gameplay. For my part, Slime-san: Superslime Edition is one of the best pure 2D platformers of all time. The charming 5-color visuals, the Japanese theme and bizarre humor, the catchy chiptune soundtrack from FantomenK, and the tight and inventive gameplay all combine to make a nearly perfect game. With so much to do (and so much rewarding challenge), Slime-san: Superslime Edition is a must-play for platforming fans.
Slime-san: Superslime Edition
- Great 5-color visual style and catchy chiptune soundtrack
- Tight and clever platforming gameplay that’s filled with variety
- A huge campaign and three mini-campaigns (all with multiple goals) offer nearly endless fun
- Boss fights could really use checkpoints!
- A few grammatical errors here and there (such as pluralizing slime as slime’s)
- On Xbox One, the high number of Achievements means that each one has a low Gamerscore value.