Kelsey's Pick - Tomb Raider (1996) Lara Croft has been an idol of mine since…
Kelsey’s Pick: Slime Rancher
You’re a thousand light years away from Earth and you’ve decided to forge new frontiers and make a fortune doing something unique to this strange and distant planet: farming slimes. These always cute and sometimes dangerous blobs bounce, fly, swim, and eat their way across the Far, Far Range where you’ve set up your modest ranch. They’re mysterious and adorable, and catching, feeding, and combining them presents unique and interesting challenges as you farm them for their “plorts” to exchange for currency on what is essentially a slime poop stock market. From there, you use your earnings to upgrade gear and your ranch and, eventually, fabricate all sorts of useful gadgets in the science lab. Each upgrade and innovation either affords you new abilities or grants you access to unique and uncharted biomes with countless secrets to discover.
If you like casual games about exploration and collecting critters, Slime Rancher from Monomi Park is a solid choice. One thing I really love about the game is that it loses what to me is one of the most frustrating mechanics common to the casual genre: needing to sleep. I always get irritated when I have to stop what I’m doing and run across the map to make it to my bed before my energy runs out in otherwise casual games like Stardew Valley and Sneaky Sasquatch. The mechanic always makes me feel like I’m under a time crunch that feels at odds with the otherwise relaxed atmosphere of the games. Always having to manage my energy and how far I can explore and prioritizing what things I can fit into each day takes away from the otherwise casual energy of those game world. Slime Rancher offers no such restrictions while remaining interesting and challenging enough to keep you entertained as you explore far and wide without a clock ticking or meter running out in your peripherals.
The game also has the option of some really fun mods, from quality-of-life upgrades (More vac slots, anyone?) to the downright silly (Why change pink slimes to blue? Why not!). Slime Rancher 2 has been announced for release later this year, and, while I’m still having a great time exploring all the features of the original, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next!
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