Hands on with Mister Slime on DS

No, we didn't just wipe our noses with our hands

Hands on with Mister Slime on DS
| Mister Slime

When you're a kid, anything ooey, gooey, slimy and gelatinous is something to get excited about. Icky snails demand close examination and Jello can't be beat as the ultimate dessert. The magical allure of slimy things disappears when you reach adulthood (we hope), but that doesn't mean the odd visit back to your youth isn't welcome.

The inventive platforming of Mister Slime hopes to take you right back, then, and after going hands-on with this creative side-scrolling game we left eager for more.

What's it all about? Well, the titular Mister Slime navigates through levels using his stretchy arms, grabbing onto special anchors with a tap of the stylus. Three arms ensure plenty of flexibility in swinging through the brightly colored two-dimensional levels. Of course, you're free to release his arms and descend to the ground, rolling through levels to reach new areas. You can get a fix on your surroundings via the D-pad to survey the level.

Since movement is handled via taps of the touchscreen to grapple with preset anchors, Mister Slime possesses a deliberate, down-tempo style of platforming. No running, jumping, or fast rolling around here; instead, you need to carefully plot out each grab of his arms to avoid being hit by enemies or stuck in a corner without a way out. That said, the pace isn't plodding. On the contrary, there's a lot of action to enjoy if you're willing to seek it out.

In the level we played, Mister Slime's grandfather was holding a key needed to open a locked gate. Only by finding a piece of candy for gramps would he hand over the key. All of this vital information was uncovered via short conversations with other slimes by tapping talking bubbles hanging over their bodies. In addition to mission-specific information, they also instructed us on how to effectively take out enemies.

So, it turns out foes can be knocked out by catapulting Mister Slime's body at them. More specifically, using his arms you need to position yourself opposite an enemy. When you've done so, you can use the stylus to grab his body then pull it back by sliding the stylus across the screen. With his body stretched back, you then let it go to propel him forward into the enemy. It's not unlike snapping a rubber band, in other words.

Items littering levels can also be grabbed using the same technique. Alternatively, reaching out with one of his arms is often enough to capture an item. The top screen houses your inventory, which you can access from the touchscreen by tapping a small icon in the upper right corner. From here you can also remind yourself of the current objective, as well as take a look at your current health. Interacting with your inventory will be vital to progressing through the game, whether it be for trading items with characters – as we did when giving gramps his piece of candy – to refuelling lost health with various sweets.

Although Mister Slime embarks on some radically different platforming, it still features some elements classic to the genre. Rote collection is available for your playing pleasure thanks to pretty blue flowers that act as in-game currency, for instance. Within each level are a certain number that can be collected and spent on special items.

Joining the single-player Story mode are three head-to-head multiplayer games. Sadly, multiple cartridges are a must if you intend to play with your chums, but the assorted games could be worth the extra purchase. First is Racing Challenge, which sees you and a friend rushing to reach the end of a level first. Flower Challenge, meanwhile, has you collecting as many blue flowers as possible to win. Lastly, Score Challenge tracks the number of enemies you've defeated and flowers collected in an aggregate score. Whoever has the highest point total wins.

Given its innovative approach and cute graphics, we're willing to say Mister Slime is worth further investigation when it hits North America mid-July. The game is actually already available in Germany, so hopefully a UK release won't be too far off.

Tracy Erickson
Tracy Erickson
Manning our editorial outpost in America, Tracy comes with years of expertise at mashing a keyboard. When he's not out painting the town red, he jets across the home of the brave, covering press events under the Pocket Gamer banner.