Slime Rancher became an instant hit when it was released in 2017. It was cute and full of novel places to explore. And it balanced environmental puzzles with good old-fashioned ranching, with a twist—slimes! After the success of the first game, developer Monomi Park has recently graced us with Slime Rancher 2. And although it’s still in early access, it’s easy to see that this sequel is shaping up to be just as good, if not better, than the first.
Slime Rancher 2 continues the adventures of Beatrix LeBeau as she journeys across the Slime Sea to Rainbow Island after getting an odd message. This brand-new land promises new locales and new slimes and brings back the same magic that made Slime Rancher so special. So here are just a few reasons why Slime Rancher 2 rivals its predecessor.
The Locales and Exploration
Players have never stepped foot on Rainbow Island, and the developers have taken everything they learned from the first game and piled it into this new landscape. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore, and the sky’s the limit with your handy-dandy jetpack. From peaceful fields to lava pits to sandy shores, the diversity you’ll encounter is fantastic and makes exploring an absolute delight!
Even the player’s home base has been upgraded. Instead of a ranch, players will find their base of operations is a conservatory (think huge greenhouse). The glass windows that make up the walls and ceiling create a much more delicate and open feeling than the ranch. And just underneath it is a way to upgrade your equipment and build gadgets like teleporters. It’s nice to have these options up front instead of having to unlock an extra area, like in the last game.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean it’s that easy. You’ll still have to explore to find capsules that unlock upgrades and gadgets for you to build. And each locale has different resources and slimes. However, unlike the last game, where you had to put down a refiner to get resources, now you’ll find them in the environment, creating a much more streamlined experience without waiting on a refiner. Additionally, that means a lot more exploring and time spent out and about rather than back at home.
It’s just a fantastic experience to turn a corner and gasp, “what is that?!” You’ll be doing this aplenty because there are so many new slimes and new environments to encounter them in. In addition to new slimes, you’ll find new largos (hybridized slimes) and slimes with unique necessities and idiosyncrasies you definitely haven’t encountered in Slime Rancher. For example, there’s a ringtail slime that turns into stone during the day and comes alive at night. It has even more fascinating behaviors, but I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise. And while most slimes are relatively placid and peaceful, there are also some new dangerous slimes to watch out for (and many more dangerous areas to explore).
But the best part of new slimes is learning how to ranch them! With all these new environments come new foods to feed your slimes. So while you’ll still have some familiar vegetables, fruit, and meat from Slime Rancher, new foodstuffs and slimes mean puzzling out who favors what to get the most plorts (read: monies) out of your efforts.
Reignites the Magic
Slime Rancher just had a magic about it. The exploration was perfect, the slimes were adorable, and the mixture of environmental puzzles, mystical mysteries, and simplistic ranching mechanics offered an easy, leisurely experience to get lost in. It was extremely easy to play for hours without noticing.
So, when I say Slime Rancher 2 reignites that magic, I am not being hyperbolic. Slime Rancher 2 brings back everything to love about the first game but with added elements, especially the exploration and mysteries to uncover. This time around, we have more of a plotline, which unfolds over calls with your neighbors, and plot points seem to be initiated by time and finding messages left behind by someone who once called Rainbow Island home. It’s definitely a mystery I’m excited to explore further.
But getting to new areas takes more than just running or flying around. Gordos (very large slimes) are back, requiring you to feed them particular items to get past. And slime statues that require specific plort-types unlock doorways. These are some pretty recognizable mechanics from the first game, which means returning players will have an easy time getting into the swing of things. But most importantly, exploration never gets old. Mystical alien teleporters are all over, just compounding the joy of discovery.
With Slime Rancher 2 still in early access, there’s a lot more Monomi Park has in store for the game. But already, it’s shaping up to be bigger and better than the first iteration in this loveable series of games!
Slime Rancher 2 is available now for PC and Xbox Series X|S on Xbox Game Pass.