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Sludge Life Switch Review – Ghost Gotta Get Them Tags

Sludge Life Switch Review – Ghost Gotta Get Them Tags

sludge life

First and foremost, Happy New Year! This is the first review of 2022, and it is the bizarre open-world indie game Sludge Life from Devolver Digital, Terri Vellmann, and DOSEONE. This is definitely an out-of-the-box concept, and there is very little introduction. You are just thrown into a huge world covered in sludge, and you need to tag as many spots as you can to solidify your name.

So is Sludge Life a wild ride worthy of the ticket price? Or does this title need to drown in its own sludge? Let’s find out!

sludge life

In Sludge Life, you play as Ghost, a fresh tagger trying to make their way on the scene. For those out of the know, a “tagger” is someone who leaves their mark via spray paint around an area to cement their legacy. For Ghost, it is no different, as they spend the time in-game finding ideal spots in this sludge-filled place painting their ghost icon or name on buildings, doors, and whatever else that entertains.

One of the most attractive things about Sludge Life is the massive cast of NPCs and animals that litter the world, and each of them tell their own little story to make you question why you are playing this game or just to make you laugh. This is an incredibly complex and filled world despite its actual size. It may not be large in scale, but it is massive in regards to things you can do and people you can talk to. The amount of secrets is also a feat to be recognized.

The world is just brimming with life, and the various citizens of this strange dystopia tell a story of boredom, depression, anger, and even injustice. Picking up these details as you go about tagging everywhere truly encourages exploration and curiosity to learn more about this sludge-filled world. This is excellent storytelling without actually throwing a story in your face. It allows you, the player, to connect dots and make sense of the insanity of the world.

sludge life

As far as gameplay goes, Sludge Life is rather laid-back. There is no rush to do anything, and since it is open-world, you can explore to your heart’s content. There are 10 teleport stations spread around the place that help with quick travel to return to certain areas, but these teleport stations need to be found in order to activate. Right at the beginning of the game, you will be introduced to the first one, but it is up to you to find the rest.

There are collectables to find throughout the world, like the camera which allows you to take pictures but also to find tagging spots you may have missed. One of the fun things about using these items, including your laptop which serves as the pause menu, is that Ghost will so nonchalantly toss the item away after using it, which really caters to the vibe of the entire game.

Outside of tagging and exploring the intricate world, platforming is the other major area of gameplay, and sadly, this is really the only part of the game that feels off. 3D platformers already have their problems, but first-person platforming can be a bit more finicky. This is where Sludge Life suffers a little bit, because there are quite a few locations to tag that are in difficult-to-reach places, meaning that getting to those points can be frustrating at times, especially if you find yourself falling all the way down to the sludge and needing to traverse your way back to where you fell from.

sludge life

Thankfully, that is where most of the problems end, because Sludge Life runs like a dream! This is a weirdly gorgeous title that reminds me heavily of the old MTV and Nickelodeon styles of animation. There is a charm here that does not exist anywhere else, and the look, feel, and sound of Sludge Life elevates this strange indie title to the upper echelon.

This wild world filled with cats with two buttholes, evil snakes hiding in toilets, one-eyed people who will smack you up, and a lot of dogs smelling each others behinds or humping random objects may be a bit uncouth, but there is something special about this wild and crazy world.

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Another area that deserves some attention is the natural soundtrack, as it is not so much playing over everything but migrates depending on where you go. Since this world is quite insouciant, most characters in the world have their own music playing on boomboxes and other means, so the music changes depending on the area or room you enter. It may not be the greatest soundtrack, but the organic feel of it all is wonderful! It makes exploration and the whole experience more authentic, and I appreciate that heavily.

sludge life

This review and the information I have shared honestly barely scratches the surface of what Sludge Life has to offer. Sure, it is not the longest title nor the most challenging, but this engaging experience is unlike any other and provides a world and style that will live with you long past completion.

Although it has its hang ups, like the finicky platforming at points, Sludge Life is so chock full of secrets that you will genuinely want to explore everything and talk to everyone. Every room provides a new encounter or gag, and even though completing 100 tags is your ultimate goal, I feel like walking around and exploring is what makes this game so special.

It may be a bit too bizarre for some gamers out there, but if you are willing to take a chance on an abstract and unique world and play something like never before, I cannot recommend Sludge Life enough. Your enjoyment will depend heavily on your own involvement, though, so don’t expect this to rope you in. Take the dive yourself and just have fun!

Sludge Life Switch Review provided by Nintendo Link
Review also found on OpenCritic
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Terri Vellmann, DOSEONE
Release Date: June 2nd, 2021
Price: $14.99£13.49€14,99
Game Size: 735 MB

sludge life

Bizarre yet appealing art style

A deceptively large world thanks to its secrets

Runs amazingly with zero hiccups

Fantastic value


Some platforming is finicky

Not a whole lot of introduction

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