Friday, March 1, 2024

Mobile Friday - Slime Hunter: Monster Rapmage - An Approachable Roguelike That Needs More Tutorials

For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Slime Hunter: Monster Rapmage from Rainbow Rabbit Games.  I Played this on my iPhone 14 Pro, but it's also out on Android.

Typically, i'm not a fan of roguelike games. often, they can be quite difficult and not very accessible. But on the Appstore, Slime Hunter: Monster Rapmage lists itself as a "Hyper Casual Shooting Roguelike" and i was very curious about this claim so that's why i wanted to try it.

For the most part, i think that it does succeed. it starts with a "cute" video and carries that into the tutorial with a Slime acting as your teacher. graphically, it's not highly detailed but it all works together. Even the music comes across as casual. So in playing it, i didn't feel the pressure and frustration that often comes with roguelikes.

But where this game stumbles is another important aspect of roguelikes, it fails to explain the loop. In roguelikes, there's often a reason why your character fails. sometimes it's how you learn what comes next, whether that's in a level or what a boss does next. in other games, you use the time between loops to level up and improve your stats by spending a gathered material. In Slime Hunter: Monster Rapmage, you're collecting money, equipable items, and materials for those items. But the game never tells you to go and equip, it never tells you to level up items, and it never shows you how to do either. 

The tutorial had been so good so the fact it stops at such a critical point in the game is a big mistake. Slime Hunter: Monster Rapmage's loop is simple, you do a level and get as far as you can. If your character levels up, you can improve your stats. if you have collected an item, you can equip it, and if you have collected materials you can use them to improve those items you've equipped. Once that's done, you go back in with the aim of going further.

During these journeys in the dungeons, the controls are nice and simple. your character will shoot it's weapon when it's not moving and you move your character with a single finger touching the screen. by double tapping, tho sometimes i felt like this didn't work that well, it activates a super attack. This one handed gameplay is great for those commuting but also means it's very accessible for a larger audience. Helping you are relics. at certain points in these dungeons, you will unlock 3 relics and get to choose 1 to equip. there's a large variety of them and they affect gameplay in different ways, but typically either attacking the enemy or boosting your stats. These are random so each run in a dungeon is going to feel different and helps mitigate the repetitive nature of roguelikes.

I do recommend Slime Hunter: Monster Rapmage. it is disappointing the tutorial stops at the critical point of explaining the loop of the game. this will put some people off. but with a little exploration of the menus, many will work out what to do. It's a recent release so there's a good chance things will get even better. So i would recommend it to play now but also to keep on your phone and check out it's updates to see if they do improve the tutorials and make things easier enough for you.