RCMADIAX's latest eShop title, Pixel Slime U, attempts to create a simple, addictive experience by distilling gameplay down to one button and playing around with level design. The good news is that its one-button gameplay is reasonable and can be quite fun at times. The bad news is that, like many of the indie developer's games, Pixel Slime U feels more like a prototype or proof-of-concept than a full-fledged release.
In Pixel Slime U players are tasked with helping a pixelated green slime character make it to the end of a stage without falling off platforms or hitting spikes. There are 40 stages in all, and the goal is to finish all 40 stages with as few deaths as possible. Players simply press B to make the cute little guy jump as the slime will move automatically. Dying immediately sends the player back to the beginning of the stage, which may remind players of hardcore, tough-as-nails games like Super Meat Boy and Cloudberry Kingdom that rely on pixel-perfect precision when jumping over obstacles. Some stages are upside down, some are altered by a constantly moving camera and some switch up gravity.
There's nothing wrong with the simple and singular design of the stages, but they get old. Fast. Players will experience every variation of platform/spike/gravity long before the 40th stage. RXMADIAX missed an opportunity to make 40 dastardly and different challenges here, instead relying on the same elements for each level. This is likely due to the fact that this is a score attack game; things are kept simple to ensure several playthroughs that can be completed in just a few minutes. But there's no variety here. Also, the hit detection can be wonky, with the slime often getting unfairly killed by spikes or bad jumps; there was more than one occasion where we were sure we had it timed correctly, but the physics didn't behave as expected.
Another quirky issue is that the game is super sensitive to other buttons. Pressing A brings the player back to the menu, where they can continue (which feels like a bit of a cheat for a game that is supposed to rely on twitch reflexes and be completed as fast as possible) or start over. We ended up pressing A one too many times, resulting in accidentally starting over more than once.
The game employs a cute 8-bit visual style, but the background and platforms remain the same throughout the game, with an unappealing background and drab purple [not grey as we originally stated] platforms. The looping music is generic and boring, though it can be turned off on the main screen.
Pixel Slime U needs variety and polish, but the core gameplay is fun if you're a fan of reflexed-based games. The presentation leaves much to be desired (as many Nintendo Web Framework games do) and gamers will likely play through two or three times and never pick it up again. If you're absolutely starved for something to do on your Wii U, Pixel Slime U offers a few minutes of diversion, but it's unfortunately too bare bones to garner a full recommendation.