Game: Slime Quest by Paladin-Cleric of Awesome
Summary: Slime Quest is a fun concept hampered by some rookie mistakes.
In terms of common RPG monsters, the slime is arguably the lowest on the totem pole. A staple of the genre since the classic NES game Dragon Warrior, these goofy gelatinous globs are synonymous with easy victory. They exist only to help inexperienced warriors practice their skills. But how do they feel about this arrangement? Well, the lead character of Slime Quest is none too happy about it.
This short, simple game opens in a swampy wasteland where the slimes and other monsters are hiding out after their beloved forest was overrun by adventurers grinding all over the place. Our protagonist (who is never named) is unusually optimistic and decides it’s time the monsters try to straighten these overzealous fighters out. He’s able to convince the wimpy Flytrap (VX’s familiar plant monster) to come along, despite its fear of humans…and of being put in a vase. Not long afterwards, they meet Swarm, a colony of bees that speaks with a hive mind and later, a demon named Imp.
What I liked about this game was how the premise alters the assumptions longtime RPG players will have. When I walked out of the slime’s cave and see the various monster sprites wandering about, I thought for a split second that I would get in a fight when I talked to them. However, these are my character’s friends and neighbors. Later, when the characters reach the village, it is not the usual peaceful place full of services and mundane chatter. It’s the heart of enemy territory. The NPCs here routinely attack the party, even though the slime and his companions just want to discuss the issue. If the game were longer, it could have built on this grim arrangement into a powerful story, but the proceedings never get especially dark.
So while the broad strokes of the story have a lot of promise, actually playing it was a mixed blessing. The creator has said that it was created in a very short time as part of the NaGaDeMo event, which would account for the sparse mapping and the lack of any artwork outside of the RTP. However, with that event over and this first draft completed, it’s an opportune time to bring out some of that promise and address some issues. Hopefully, this write-up can help with that.
The element of the game that needs the most work is the battle system. I don’t mind the default engine as long as the developer is creative with it, but I found myself perplexed by the fights in Slime Quest. Very few of the skills the characters start with are very useful – Flytrap has a skill that makes him run away from the battle, which might be kind of funny but it doesn’t sound like good strategy. The one major exception is the Paralyze spell that Swarm has. It works on nearly all the enemies, including many bosses, which made me unbeatable for the entire game. The final boss was the only battle that presented even a mild challenge. (A little more on the battles in the video)
There are a few visual issues too, particularly the face graphics of the party members, which are cropped pictures of the battlers. They are oddly off-center and this proves to be highly distracting during the dialogue. I’m confident these problems could be addressed if the developer went back for a second draft of the game, which I would be interested to check out.
Has anyone here played Slime Quest? Did it give you some empathy for the creatures we slaughter en masse during other games? What sort of battle skills would you expect a slime, a plant and a swarm of bees to use against their enemies? Any suggestions for the next review? Sound off below!