Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X/S
Release Date: September 22, 2022 (Early Access)
Slime Rancher 2 may still technically be in Early Access, but the game is already a big improvement over its predecessor, all across the board. While the first game didn’t have any major shortcomings, Slime Rancher 2 still refines everything — including the colorful graphics, which received extra attention this time around. Read on for our full Slime Rancher 2 review.
Slime Rancher 2 review: Gameplay
Slime Rancher 2’s gameplay is spelled out right in the title. You'll suck up cute, blobby slimes and bring them back home, where you can farm them for resources. But to do that, you’ll need to make some money, too. It’s just you, the slimes and the land around you, so you’ll need money for gadgets and upgrades to explore it all.
Slimes pop out plorts after they eat, which you can then sell on the Plort Market. This is where all the action is. Like a stock market, plort prices fluctuate and change, giving you reason to pause and potentially hold onto your precious plorts for another day.
Players will also need to explore if they ever hope to fill out their Slimepedia, which catalogues the various slimes you can find. Slimes may occasionally just bounce into your face out in the world, but they’re not going to waltz right into your farm and harvest their own plorts.
Navigation in Slime Rancher 2’s world requires more than an eager explorer’s eye. You’ll need gadgets and gizmos to cover ground. Earning enough resources to get them all comes back to slimes and plorts — and feeding the cute little guys.
Slime Rancher 2 is a delightful adventure that’s essentially powered by slime poops and the gadgets you’ll unlock along the way.
Slime Rancher 2 review: Farming, sliming and exploring
Things start off simple in Slime Rancher 2, but you’ll need much more than an OK corral if you’re going to master the art of slime ranching.
To start, there are different kinds of slimes. Each slime provides different plorts and can ultimately can improve your farm or gear in a different way. But every little guy likes different foods.
This is where gardening becomes important. There is food out in the field, and you can suck it up and bring it back to your slimes. But that’s a time-consuming process. You can’t explore much if you’re also looking for carrots, water lettuce, and hens.
After you make a little bit of money (called "Newbucks" in Slime Rancher), you can upgrade the corrals. This makes it more difficult for slimes to escape. You can also access Gardens and other upgrades. If you’re playing with long-term thinking in mind, then every action you take should bring you closer to the next resource you need, and a more efficient farm.
It’s also worth pointing out that you’re not in a rush, as the game has no time constraints. You don’t need to work toward any one particular objective at any time.
Over time, you'll fill in more of your map, searching far, wide, high and low to find every slime. And there are a lot of them! There are more than 20 slimes in total, including five that didn't appear in the first game.
The gear you can unlock includes everything from Warp Panels to Dash Boots to Jetpacks – and you’re going to need it all to uncover the secrets and slimes of Rainbow Island.
There’s a story and specific objectives, but you’re also free to just farm slimes and enjoy the scenery, if that’s more your style. One of the wonderful things about Slime Rancher is the ability to simply play and enjoy the game, without much tension. It’s all about the joy of playing, moving and being in the game while scratching off objectives at your own pace.
Slime Rancher 2 review: Story
Slime Rancher 2 has a story, but it’s definitely not the game’s focus. The game employs slideshow-style cutscenes and dialogue, which are entertaining and have some heart.
Beatrix LeBeau returns from the Slime Rancher as the game’s plucky playable character. She's even tougher this time, armed with all the knowledge from her previous adventure. She also has a beautiful conservatory situated at the center of Rainbow Island. This crystal-clear palace provides the perfect view to uncover the island's lore and secrets.
The game may still be in Early Access, but there’s still a finished story. You'll hit the credits when you see it through, but more content should arrive in future updates.
Slime Rancher 2 review: Visuals and sound
"Peaceful," "relaxing" and "intense" are words I'd use to describe Slime Rancher 2’s music. It almost reminds me of Minecraft’s soundtrack: atmospheric and sometimes quiet. But it’s busier and has more character in Slime Rancher 2. There were times I knew I was in danger from the music well before I saw the threat.
The sound effects are all delightful. I couldn’t help but suck things up with Beatrix’s vacpack, even when I didn’t need them. I almost felt bad launching slimes into nearby walls — but that didn’t stop me from always keeping an open inventory slot available for that exact purpose.
Besides, the slimes look so silly when you launch them into walls, or into each other. And the splat sound whenever slimes collide with hard surfaces is everything. Whether you play Slime Rancher 2 for weeks or for years, you’ll never grow tired of hearing the plips, plops, bloops, ploops and spats.
Slime Rancher 2 has the same art style as the first game, but with upgraded graphics, thanks to a newer version of the Unity engine. Slimes bounce and splat on the ground with more weight. Water, clouds and skies look more colorful — and that says a lot, considering that the first game already looked striking.
Slime Rancher 2 is also exclusive to the newest generation of consoles, currently available only on Xbox Series X|S and PC. The extra power is on full display, as everything is more vibrant and alive this time around.
Slime Rancher 2 review: Verdict
Slime Rancher 2 is an exciting adventure with a long playtime, like all the best farming games. But there’s also a fun story with sharp and vivid graphics.
Slime Rancher 2 can be your new obsession, or simply your next game. However long you decide to play it, though, you shouldn't miss this one. Jumping, flying and dashing across Rainbow Island is some of the most fun I’ve had in a video game this year. Gameplay moments are often adorable or exciting, whether you’re shooting carrots into the mouths of Cute Slimes, or exchanging their plorts at a magic stock market. It’s a slimy good time for any players who take the trip.