Built on the Unity Engine, Slime Rancher is one of the most unique cozy games I’ve ever seen and was produced by Monomi Park. In this game you play the part of Beatrix LeBeau who traveled across the galaxy to “The Far Far Range” to explore and find her fortune. Slime ranching provided a way to build a ranch and earn currency to further that exploration to some incredibly unusual and unique places, all the while finding messages from the ranch’s previous mysterious owner talking about his wonder when exploring this new world for the first time.
Slime Rancher takes the perspective of a first person shooter, but instead of having a gun you have your vacuum pack for food, resources, slimes, and of course, plorts, the main commodity in the game. Now that it’s been out since 2017 and the cute cozy game niche has exploded, not to mention with the sequel Slime Rancher 2, is Slime Rancher still worth buying?
The fun, cathartic experience of Slime Rancher makes this a great cozy game buy that still provides a wonderful experience of family-friendly joy. It is very much worth the cost, however on a limited budget you may want to buy Slime Rancher 2 instead.
Slime Rancher 2 works as a standalone game and further improves on the classic original, not straying from the original successful formula but refining it and expanding the world based on player feedback and further programming experience.
I own both Slime Rancher and the sequel, Slime Rancher 2, and am quite happy with both. While Slime Rancher is definitely worth buying on its own merits, because of the sequel I think it’s only right to explore whether or not you should skip the classic and buy the newer version.
So let’s dive in and I’ll take my many dozens of hours playing both games to give you all the information you need to make the right decision on whether or not Slime Rancher is worth the buy for you.
The Case for Buying Slime Rancher
As much as I’m still diving into the sequel, let’s make no mistake about it: the original Slime Rancher is an amazing game. If the question of “Is Slime Rancher worth buying?” asked in a vacuum the answer would be easy enough for a one sentence article: Yes.
In fact, here’s a pretty illuminating screenshot showing just how popular Slime Rancher is among players on Steam, as this is from their Top 250 list as of when this article was first published:
This means Slime Rancher has beat out games like Skyrim, Fallout New Vegas, Undertale, or Plants Vs Zombies, among many, many other excellent games. An indie game doesn’t rocket up that list without having some serious fan power and bringing a great experience that many, many players adore.
Slime Rancher is a good value at the $19.99 full price, but it’s also on sale frequently so you should have no problem finding it 20-40% off during sales, and if you don’t mind waiting a year or two for an optimal buy because you’re library is full of games to get through, then you will be able to find it 67% off at some point.
At those lower price points, it’s a fantastic buy especially considering the hours of entertainment you’re going to receive exploring the Far Far Range, building your Slime Ranch, and discovering all the amazing things that Slime Rancher has to offer.
Then there’s also the fact that when buying Slime Rancher you’re supporting a unicorn: a gaming studio legendary for its excellent treatment of workers – something you just don’t hear often among the many, many, many horror stories that come out of gaming.
Reasons to Buy Slime Rancher (Original)
- Incredibly relaxing cozy game
- Cute game with very original concept and experience
- Top 25 all time on Steam’s Most Popular Game list
- 98% positive reviews from over 100,000 reviews
- Nominated for multiple Indie Game Awards
- Relatively inexpensive at full price, often on sale
- Fantastic gaming experience on PC or Switch
- Cheaper than the sequel by $10 or more on average
- The developer is legendary for treating workers well in the gaming industry
Is Slime Rancher 2 Worth Buying?
Slime Rancher 2 is worth buying for all cozy game fans. It keeps the best aspects of the original game with improved graphics, new slimes, and general quality of life improvements in a game that plays perfectly well as a standalone game.
I’m ashamed to admit I waited an embarrassingly long time before picking up the sequel, but in fairness, I suspected that once I did I would have to throw 100 productive hours out the window…and I was a bit melodramatic with that assessment, but not by much.
The developers at Monomi Park kept Beatrix LeBeau, kept the same enjoyable mechanics, and didn’t reinvent the wheel – they kept everything that made the first game such a smash hit while tweaking little things to make life a bit easier on the Ranch (appreciate the faster chicken breeding rates and veggie/fruit growth rates) while creating a new, beautiful world with improved graphics, more details, more depth, and more places to explore.
And new slimes, some of which you meet almost immediately.
This combines the best of making the game feel like coming home to your favorite spot while offering new discoveries and that surge of excitement since you know very early on that in addition to the old friends, you are going to find plenty of new ones to bring to the Ranch, as well!
I also appreciate the fact that as someone whose console gaming days are, for the most part, well behind me, having a first person shooter POV where the keyboard and mouse work extremely well is a very welcome development.
I rushed to explore this world, unlock new areas, and was also delighted to start hearing from old friends from the other side of the Far Far Range as I unlocked new areas and made new discoveries. That old sense of wonder returned, and just look at those big grins on the happy little slimes. How can you not fall back in love with that?
The sound of a chicken suddenly being eaten by a slime also remains, which is just next level delightful. The soundtrack is great, and the attention to little sounds whether it’s the excited squeaks of slimes, an “ooh” as they bounce off the wall, or a “wee” as they get shot into the atmosphere – it’s all pretty great.
I don’t want to put down the original Slime Rancher when I say that Slime Rancher 2 just feels like a more polished, prettier, and improved version of the first game, because the first game remains delightful – and I fired the original back up for many hours after playing Slime Rancher 2 just to make sure – and I still found myself feeling calm after a long stressful day, diving into the world of Slime Rancher and looking up to realize a lot more time went by than what I was expecting.
But there is no denying a clear bump in the prettiness of graphics, the cuteness of the slimes and overall game, and just the feeling that the world of Slime Rancher 2 is a little bit bigger and better than before.
Do I Need to Play Slime Rancher Before Slime Rancher 2?
Players do not need to play Slime Rancher before Slime Rancher 2. Slime Rancher 2 is a standalone game and while the first can fill in some minor world details, most of those get rehashed or refreshed in the second game.
This is perhaps the most important question when it comes to whether or not Slime Rancher is worth buying because if a player has never done either…do they need both?
While Slime Rancher has some aspects to it that the sequel does not have (at least not yet) such as the occasional daily missions from other ranchers (which I would like to see come back) the truth is that you don’t need to play the first one to understand the second. I will say the tutorial on SR2 is a touch on the light side, so there is some assumption you’ll pick up on it or remember how things work from the first game, but that isn’t prohibitive.
Is Slime Rancher Worth Buying If I Started With Slime Rancher 2?
Honestly, probably not. Not unless you’re really looking for every detail on how Slime Rancher all started and want more on the original mystery that brought you out to the Far Far Range but let’s be honest: the Slime Rancher games are not all about character development or some major plot points.
This game is about adorable slimes, cozy gaming, and getting a little bit more to explore as you continue to get cuter and more interesting slimes to populate your ranch long after you really need any more plorts to upgrade gear.
I would say in my opinion unless you’re a completionist, if you started with Slime Rancher 2 then you don’t need to go back to the original. It will clearly be an earlier version of the second.
Reasons to Buy Slime Rancher 2
- Great sequel that also plays as a standalone game
- Amazing number of slimes
- Great quality of life buffs from the original game
- Over 98% positive rating from over 18,000 reviews while still in early access
- Tars can be turned off if you don’t like that part of the game
- Adorable game taking the cuteness to your next level
- Further supporting an amazing studio known for treating its employees rare
Slime Rancher Vs Slime Rancher 2?
If you’ve never played either and you see Slime Rancher on sale for $5 or $7, I’d say jump on that. You can make sure this adorable game is your type of jam and you can then have hours and hours of slime ranching fun exploring a huge world and wait for one of the better sales for Slime Rancher 2 – not to mention the fact more content may be added since the sequel is still technically in early access.
If you go from Slime Rancher to Slime Rancher 2, you will almost certainly not regret having and playing both games. That said, if you started with Slime Rancher 2, it’s much harder to go back seeing as how the sequel really expands upon the original in considerable ways.
Both are great games, and in a vacuum I’d buy either one without hesitation. If I bought the first I would then buy the sequel without hesitation because both Slime Rancher and Slime Rancher 2 are worth buying. This goes for PC or Switch – as the conversion to Switch was unusually good for a Unity designed game.
If you started with Slime Rancher 2, I probably wouldn’t go back to buy the first unless there was nothing else on the docket and I was curious about all the background details.
So Should I Buy Slime Rancher?
Slime Rancher is an amazing cozy game, and one that surprised and delighted me. I once described Bubble Bobble as the NES game that was simply pure delight in game form, and Slime Rancher is that. Both iterations of Slime Rancher are absolute delight on the next level and it’s a game that knows how to give you a relaxing, cute, and enjoyable experience to help the stresses of the day melt away completely.
If you haven’t had a chance to play it yet, I 100% recommend buying Slime Rancher, especially if it’s on sale, to check out the game and join the millions of gamers who have enjoyed it up to this point. If you already plan on buying Slime Rancher 2, you can consider skipping it, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.