Tag Archives: Lite

Review: Rise of the Slime – Slay The Spire Lite, With Tiddly Text

Forget the Age of Aquarius (what do you mean, you already did?) — this is the age of the roguelike deckbuilder. If you’re into cards, procedural generation, dungeon crawling and turn-based combat, then buddy, you’ve come to the right review, because Rise of the Slime is all of those things.

Yes, if you’ve enjoyed the likes of Slay the Spire, Dicey Dungeons, Hand of Fate, Thronebreaker, and Nowhere Prophet, then it’s time to add Rise of the Slime to your deckbuilder bucket list. Made by a solo Latvian developer, it’s centred around the story of one underdog (underslime?) who’s trying to, erm, go… somewhere? Or be the King? Something to do with a crown?? Honestly, story seems pretty light in this one, but we’re not playing deckbuilders for plot, right?

Rise of the Slime ticks a lot of the deckbuilder and roguelite boxes: moving from room to room, defeating varied parties of enemies with different strengths and weaknesses, winning cards to bulk up your deck, and occasionally finding “mutations” that will add buffs or conditions to your run. And, for the most part, the selection of cards, playstyles, mutations, and enemies will keep the game ticking along quite nicely indeed.

At the beginning of each run, you can choose to spec into poison, fire, or just straight daggers-and-shields, much like Slay the Spire, and each of these classes will offer unique cards to pick up as you go. However, you can seemingly get cards from any class no matter what you choose at the beginning, so you can also mix-and-match as you see fit.

A vital part of the deckbuilder oeuvre is being able to strategise, and that means being able to check out stats, read the details on a card, or have a quick explainer to tell you what it means for an enemy to be Hasted. Rise of the Slime pulls from a lot of other, similar games with the way its cards and combat work — no shame there, there’s no need to reinvent a very good wheel — but it doesn’t seem to be optimised for the Switch.

The most egregious example of the ways Rise of the Slime doesn’t quite suit the platform is the teeeeeny tiny text. At least when playing on handheld mode — which is ideal for short bursts of play, if we didn’t have to put our faces an inch away from the screen — the text is the most minuscule font size possible. There are plenty of other tiny text offenders on Switch, but if this print were any smaller, it would only be readable by lawyers. It’s better on the big screen, but even then, there’s a lot of white-text-on-light-grey-background, and use of typefaces that aren’t always easy to read.

And there’s a lot of text in this game. Every single card, plus the enemy’s information, and even a lot of the menu options is presented in this itty-bitty writing, like you’ve accidentally selected “Optometrist Mode” at the beginning. Our second nitpick makes it a little worse, too, because Rise of the Slime is quite clearly intended to be played on the touchscreen — which means your big ol’ sausage finger getting in the way as you try to read the tiny text is just another obstacle to contend with.

Now, we tried to play Rise of the Slime with a controller, but the game kept switching arbitrarily between control stick and D-pad for movement and selection, and every card needed to be selected, targeted, and selected again, even the “End Turn” one. Also, a few of the controls — like looking at an enemy’s stats, or opening a card pack — were hard to figure out. It was annoying, to say the least, and the touchscreen controls were much more accessible and easy to use.

But the Switch touchscreen is fickle, and we’d often find ourselves touching a card to read it, only to accidentally play it and waste our limited energy resource. Similarly, the movement mechanic means that you can only move two spaces at once, and there’s no way to undo it if you accidentally tap the wrong place. Which you will. A lot.

Aside from some sticky, fiddly controls and the tiddly text, Rise of the Slime gets it pretty spot-on. The metagame of which cards you want in your deck is almost as compelling as it is in Slay the Spire, albeit more limited; plus, we had quite a few battles where we managed to scrape a success with some sneaky strategy, which is always fun. There’s no permanence in the game; some roguelites will let you use currency to upgrade yourself permanently, like Hades‘ Mirror mechanic, but Rise of the Slime starts you from zero each time. In that way this has more or a traditional roguelike flavour, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll like it.

The art is quite nice, and has a lovely layered depth to it, with a few charming details like the Slime whistling a little tune as he walks, and all the characters being cardboard cutouts on sticks. The writing is serviceable enough, though quite a few typos might grate on you if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to see spelling errors in a finished game. But there are still some balance issues, and some downright glaring faults, too, like when we spent all our money on upgrades for the next run, only to find that it didn’t take for some reason, and we’d just lost 4000 gold for nothing. The developer has promised updates and support, so this might be fixed at some point, but for us, it’s too late.

It’s worth knowing that Rise of the Slime is a pretty short game — we completed a run after just a couple of hours, and it seems like the idea is to do the run again, but with harder enemies, or change between “Challenge” mode (a continuous run with a difficulty curve), “Short Run” (a more casual, quick run that’s a little easier), or “Old Path” (which says it’s longer, but easier).

So, sure, Rise of the Slime won’t knock your deckbuilder socks off. It’s no Slay the Spire, but it’s not exactly trying to be — it seems to want to offer a more casual, cuter, bitesize version of the popular rogue-builder-deck-like genre. Diet Slay the Spire, if you will. It’s a shame it doesn’t play so well in handheld mode, unless you really like using a combination of touchscreen, controls, and slowly losing your eyesight, but for an evening of lighthearted, low-stakes dungeoneering, it’s a pretty nice snack.

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This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Reviews

Talking Point: Is The New Switch Lite Blue, Or Purple?

The Switch Lite in blue... or purple

Oh a lovely, sunny Japanese Tuesday, Nintendo was all geared up to announce a new, lovely colour for their next Switch Lite model. “How the public will love it,” they thought. “It’s been ages since we did anything blue, not counting those Skyward Sword Joy-Cons.”

And lo, the internet did rage. “It’s not blue,” they said. “That’s bloody purple.” Some people compared it to the colour of a Game Boy Advance; others said it was more like a GameCube.

Blurple.
Blurple.

Listen, chaps. We can solve this with science. After Googling a few key questions, like “where does purple begin” and “what is the difference between blue and purple”, I learned a lot about mattress companies and shampoo to tone down brassy colours in blonde hair, but not an awful lot about whether something is, or is not, purple.

I did, however, learn a little bit about indigo, a colour only generally referenced when you sing about the rainbow, or Joseph’s technicolour dreamcoat. Indigo is an in-between colour, a liminal colour, that’s not-quite-blue and not-quite-purple. It’s mostly blue, though the GameCube was officially called “Indigo” despite definitely being purple. It comes from a plant named indigo (which is pink) and has potentially the most boring Wikipedia page I’ve ever seen.

Importantly, I also learned about “Electric Indigo” – which is, apparently, the brightest colour indigo that can be approximated on a computer screen. It is also more purple than the Switch Lite, but not as purple as the GameCube. It’s quite a nice colour, but it does sort of sear the retinas a little.

Long story short: the Switch Lite is not really indigo, and it’s also sort of indigo, but that doesn’t answer the question of “is it blue or purple” – it’s a bit like being asked “do you want chips or a salad” and answering “oooh can I have a bit of both?” Sure, you’re technically allowed to do that, but everyone will think you don’t like making decisions, and the waiter will probably find you very annoying. Back to the drawing board, then.

We're so far down the rabbithole now
We’re so far down the rabbithole now

I went deeper. I found the individual hex codes of the Switch Lite, the Game Boy Advance, and the GameCube, and set out to find if I could convert the hex codes into the wavelengths of the visible spectrum. You might be able to argue with Pantone’s colours, but you can’t argue with wavelengths, partly because they don’t have a PR representative.

But you can’t convert hex codes neatly into wavelengths, because a hex code is simply a bunch of numbers that tell you how much red, green, and blue is in an individual pixel. Pixels on a screen trick your brain into seeing colour by just BLASTING lots of colours at your face until your brain gives up and says “I dunno, that looks pink/grey/orangeish to me.” The visible spectrum doesn’t work like that. The way light displays colours and the way pixels and paint display colours are entirely different, and trying to compare them is a lot like trying to replace your oven with a photo of a campfire.

Colours are stupid and confusing and I regret starting this article.

Okay, new tactic. We grab the RGB value of the Switch Lite on a relatively neutrally-lit monitor, convert it to a hex code, and pop that into this “Name That Colour” website, on which the creator says: “Being a typical guy, I have no clue what the colors Lavender and Mauve look like. You can show me Indigo and I won’t know if it’s more like Violet or Purple.” Wow, can you imagine having that issue?

Apparently, the colour of the new Switch Lite lies somewhere between “San Marino” and “Chambray”, depending on which exact area of the Switch you’re looking at. San Marino, Wikipedia tells me, is a football team. Chambray is a town in France, and also a type of fabric. More importantly: both are classed as blue. Aha!

"Oh, sorry, were you saying 'Switch Pro'? We thought you were saying 'Switch Pro-ple'! Oops!"
“Oh, sorry, were you saying ‘Switch Pro’? We thought you were saying ‘Switch Pro-ple’! Oops!”

So, there you have it. The new Switch Lite is blue. Of course, we could have told you that by just looking at the product name, since Nintendo of America is confidently calling it “fresh new blue”. Even the Nintendo Japan site is calling it blue, and we weren’t sure whether the concept of “blue” would be slightly different in another language. Then again, can any of us really trust a company who only ever released the Spice Orange GameCube in Japan?

Did we just write an entire article on blue vs purple? Yes. Will we fight anyone in the comments who insists that it’s actually purple? No, because our lawyer said we’d get in trouble. But we have made this lovely poll for you to express your opinions on this extremely important issue, so vote your hearts out:

This article originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News