Coming up with an original concept on the DS is no small feat. Ever since the inception of Nintendo’s handheld developers have squeezed just about every gameplay mechanic out of the dual-screened system you can imagine. From blowing into the microphone to strumming the screen to play the guitar most ideas fall into the ’been there, done that’ category. With Mister Slime developer Lexus Numerique has managed to craft a surprisingly original concept for their latest DS title. While I applaud the creativity it does come with some annoyances such as poor design in other areas and wearing out its welcome long before the game ends leaving Mister Slime in the pile of ’what if’ titles on the system.
At its core Mister Slime is a puzzle/platformer that requires the player to maneuver through the environment by using anchors scattered throughout. This of course is performed by dragging Slimey’s (yes that is really his name) appendages from point A to point B. While it sounds simple enough there are numerous obstacles that you have to navigate along the way. You will also be forced to use momentum to your advantage by swinging and catapulting your way through each level adding a bit of variety to the mix. This momentum can also be used to attack enemies and open doors thus creating the bulk of Mister Slime’s gameplay.
To spice things up the game also throws various enemies at you, which you can attack by slinging your body into them. This can be cumbersome thanks to the fact that Slimey really doesn’t have a whole lot of bounce in his step. It is also worth noting that the viewpoint in the game feels very constricted. Adding in a world map would have done wonders, but as it stands the available scrolling option feels more intrusive than helpful. This all combines to create a frustrating experience in an otherwise innovative game. You will spend the majority of your time tapping and dragging your gooey appendages and dying random deaths at the hands of poor camera and wonky physics.
For a DS title Mister Slime is visually acceptable at best. The lush backgrounds and vibrant color schemes suit the game nicely, but it isn’t anything we haven’t seen before in a thousand other titles on the system. Animations are actually well done and the highlight is definitely Slimey’s facial expressions for various reactions. The music is passable and sometimes catchy and the sound effects are what you would expect from a colorful DS title. Hearing Slimey and his cronies mutter their gibberish is not as unpleasant as you would imagine.
While the mechanics are somewhat tedious there is a log of game here to keep you occupied. Outside of the core single-player experience there are a number of bonus levels found within each of the five levels. You can also go back and play your favorite levels in a Time Attack mode, which may feel derivative, but at least it gives players something to shoot for. Perhaps if you could upload your times online and try to beat others players it would be more appealing. There is also a multi-player portion of the game that you can play wirelessly with friends. There are three modes including Flower Challenge, Racing Challenge and of course Score Challenge. There is certainly more than enough content here for your money, but you have to get past the game’s initial flaws to enjoy them all.
Mister Slime is not a bad game; in fact it does have a lot of shining moments that make it worth checking out if you are a fan of character-based adventure games and need something fresh. The problem here is that the concept wears out its welcome far too quickly and without enough diversity in the gameplay you will find yourself forcing your way through the later levels. With a bit more variety Mister Slime could easily become a franchise for Nintendo’s touchy handheld, but as it stands the game simply doesn’t hold up to some of the better titles on the system.