Slime Tactics (Switch) Review
Creative extension to Ambition of the Slimes (3DS/Switch)
2D pixel art always shines in Circle Entertainment/Flyhigh Works titles
Wild difficulty swings – boss battles are super tough
Grinding and trial-and-error is required
Polygonal bosses looks a little strange against the well-drawn pixel sprites
As a spin-off sequel to Ambition of the Slimes, Slime Tactics is a real-time tactical RPG mixed with some minor RTS gameplay. Instead of taking turns commanding one slime at a time, the player controls a human cursor that is tasked with placing, commanding, and guiding slimes on the battlefield against humans, monsters, and giant bosses. Like Ambition of the Slimes, once a human is defeated, the slime literally jumps down their throat and takes over their body zombie-style. This gagging noise and animation stands out as being both hilarious and disgusting – it is awesome.
Like the original game, unlocks and enhancements are constantly being thrown at the player whether it is a new slime type, a different enemy, or an upgraded potion. This means the player’s tactics constantly needs to be upgraded just as much as the units on the battlefield. The emphasis on the RTS tactics is placed heavily on the player and herein stands its biggest flaw. Since slimes are on auto-pilot, they often do not fight the opponents that you want to fight, in the way that you want to fight, and can actually block an ideal lane of traffic. For example, the wall slime’s defense is great to place first to act as a shield for the green or red slimes but that doesn’t mean anything if they all scatter in different directions as soon as they are placed on the battlefield. There are ways to control each slime, both individually and as a group through the use of a potion, but these guiding techniques are limited in each battle and are never as accurate as you hope. Imagine pulling Pikmin from the ground and then they go and do their own thing instead of guiding them as intended.
In addition to constantly gaining access to new units and items, each type of slime levels up after each successful battle. Unfortunately, the pacing isn’t perfect, leaving the player to grind and use trial-and-error for many stages. For the most part, main levels will provide some high difficulty spikes but they are nothing in comparison to the boss battles. Capping each set of stages is a giant boss composed of polygons (that are made to look like huge pixels) as opposed to the adorable pixel art Flyhigh Works is known for. Looking beyond the jarring difference in art styles, each boss is punishingly difficult as they require grinding for level ups and clever tactics to defeat. Add this to the cumbersome troop control and bosses are often way more frustrating than fun. At least each one is different, requiring a creative use of both troops and on-screen enemies. Most stages can be finished in a minute or two which helps alleviate the pain of game overs and grinding at least.
Like Ambition of the Slimes, Slime Tactics is flawed with pacing issues and unbalanced gameplay. While these troubles can be overcome with tenacity and time, some players probably won’t appreciate the stiff challenge especially since the visual style gives off such a cutesy vibe. It might not be perfect but can perhaps serve as a small appetizer until Nintendo decides to port Pikmin 3 to the Switch.
Better Than: Mister Slime (DS)
Also Try: Canon Fodder (GBC)
Wait For It: the Witch & Hero Collection on Switch
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com