Retro Game of the Day! Todd's Adventures in Slime WorldTodd's Adventures in Slime World by M. Peter Engelbrite (for Epyx, creators of the Lynx), published by Atari in 1992.
Slime, Slime, Slime.. in the late 80s, Slime and Ninjas were all the rage apparently. Although there was no shortage of Ninja-themed games, Slime-themed games were quite unusual... save for one particular example...
Even in previews, Slime World looked and sounded like one of the strangest games ever. Dark, foreboding, lonely and gooey, it seemed like a disgusting and unpleasant game world to have to spend some time in. Even so, Lynx games were always scarce and whenever something unusual was announced it always ended up being worth a look. I forked over my money and picked up a copy of Slime World.
To my surprise, I found a very enjoyable experience, a distant cousin of the Metroid games but totally rewritten with a more archaic, Western style. The same sense of desperation and creepiness was there, the stark backgrounds, the alienation of it all - but also the empowerment, the feeling of this strange world and it's inhabitants to understand and conquer. No, SW didn't have the wonderful powerups that Metroid had, and the control was a lot looser as well - but they really captured the feeling alright!
Slime World really came out of nowhere, especially for a portable game. The world really felt alive, and it was constantly bubbling, oozing and shapeshifting around you. You dodged obstacles and engaged enemies, collected gems, and constantly journeyed deeper into the madness (thankfully a rebolutionary auto-map made the experience a lot easier to get a handle on). A strong array of multiple game modes were included (puzzle modes, action modes, and so forth) that made the player really sense they were getting their money's worth of content packed into the game; and a mind-blowing 8-player simultaneous mode (competitive or combative) was also supported. Slime World did everything.
Of course, showing up on the Atari Lynx did it no favors, as the system was never as popular as it's rivals; and the 16-bit Genesis port was lazily slapped together and never really marketed to strongly. What could conceivably have been one of the more well-respected classics from the period completely flew under the radar. To those of us who played it (and endured the ear-splittingly tortuous audio!), Slime World was an excellent and rewarding experience, and a testament to what could be done on the Lynx.
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