Slimes have a bad reputation in video games. They’re almost always low-level enemies that pose no threat – because, let’s be honest, they have no teeth or claws. Best they can do is slowly crawl up a hero’s leg and try to smother them before they take notice (hint: They always take notice). Simply put, video game slimes exist for the hero to kick around and milk for a few gold coins.
But we only see the side of the slime that’s presented to the warrior. What are slimes like around each other? Maybe they get together, divvy up the smokes, booze, and women slimes, then have pit fights like the kind presented in Battle Slimes by Dodreams.
Battle Slimes is a cute and compelling slime arena fighter. Up to four players can participate locally, though the option to play with the computer AI (which is decent, thankfully) is here, too.
When a round of Battle Slimes begins, all the registered slimes begin moving on their own. They proceed in a straight line until they hit an obstacle or another slime, whereupon they turn around. They also shoot slime-projectiles automatically while on the run. Slimes can drop harmlessly off the bottom of the screen, and rain back down from the top of the screen.
If a slime gets nailed by a projectile, or if they get “stomped” on by a rival slime, they lose a life. You can play with a time limit or with a stock of lives, a la the Super Smash Bros games.
The presence of items is another Super Smash Bros inspiration. Power-ups include super-speed, a bubble shield, and wings that make it particularly fun to plunge down from above like some kind of avenging slime angel.
Battle Slimes is simplistic, and it probably won’t keep you entertained for ages. What’s here is definitely worth cracking a grin over, though. The sprite-based graphics are cute (and the slimes are obviously modeled after the famous Dragon Quest slimes – as all slimes should be), as is the 8-bit music. There are multiple battle arenas to try out, each with its own obstacles and pitfalls. I admittedly didn’t get to try the game with three other players beside me, but I had fun enough with the computer opponents.
Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact Battle Slimes is missing out on a huge opportunity by not introducing online multiplayer. Sure, the in-game computer is good, but I’d like to smash slimes with live opponents without expecting them to crowd beside me. Maybe Dodreams is planning some manner of super-duper update?
In the meantime, Battle Slimes is still worth a look. It’s not deep, but then again, most slimes only come up to your ankles when you step in them.