Super Meat Boy is not out yet for the Nintendo Switch, but new indie platformer Slime-san might be an even better pickup in the meantime. Taking control of, yes, a slime, players will scale precariously dangerous levels by wall jumping, boosting, and jumping through colored barriers. By the time players hit Slime-san’s latter levels, players might find themselves dying dozens of times in rapid succession but never getting frustrated by the game’s challenging level design.
Stylistically, Slime-san’s style reminded me of Shovel Knight, preying on feelings of retro nostalgia. The 8-bit style worked well with the often frisky platforming. Meanwhile, I loved how the energetic and boisterous music accompanied the experience. My only concern with the style was that the developers decided to close each level within a stylistic, but thick border. Perhaps on a TV this makes the game more visually appealing, but when in handheld mode this border simply reduces the size of the level and makes more minute details more challenging to see.
Slime-san really shines in its smooth and snappy platforming design. The controls were insanely responsive and each death felt as if it was due to my own accord, not due to faulty physics. Nearly each level introduces some sort of new mechanic to change up the level design, keeping things from ever getting boring. I also enjoyed the game’s use of colors, indicating areas that must be avoided. I’m thankful the developers included a wealth of color blind options. As a mildly color blind gamer who had trouble playing the game initially, the ability to change up the game’s color scheme made the game substantially more fun and manageable for me.
Each level also has several collectible apples that more adventurous players can pick up on their journey. These apples often require extra platforming and skill to pick up but are placed in accessible areas for players to snag. After collecting apples, players can use them to buy new characters that have alternate mechanics. For example, one character might be able to jump an extra time but might move slower. Another character might be able to boost further, but can’t double jump. Essentially, these alternate characters usually boost one characteristic while nerfing another. Experimenting with various characters expands the already-extensive indie experience and provides even more choice for players to try out.
Overall, Slime-san is a surprising and insanely fun downloadable title that platforming fans should not hesitate picking up. The style is gorgeous and the music is catchy, while the moment-to-moment gameplay is incredible. Super Meat Boy may still be months from launch, but those looking for a twitch-based platforming experience should not hesitate downloading Slime-san today.