Sludge Life Review: Sludging it to the Max

User Rating: 6
Sludge Life

Is a life well sludged a good life? Probably not, as in Sludge Life, this over-polluted world is anything but a beautiful landscape to behold. Developed by Terri Vellmann and Doseone, you play as Ghost, a graffiti aficionado aiming to put his stamp on every high profile target on the island. Is Sludge Life the open-world adventure-platformer you’ve been looking for? Find out in the following Sludge Life Review.

Sludge Life Review

In some ways, breathtaking is a way you could describe Sludge Life. Not so much in the way that the landscape will wow you with its visuals, or that the story will knock you off your feet. Instead, the world of Sludge Life is a polluted mess, rife with ridiculous citizens, and weird circumstances. Devolver Digital is known for publishing a few indie titles that are somewhat strange and in some cases awkward, and Sludge Life is no exception. As Ghost, you have one basic plan, and that is to tag the city with your art. Depending on the spaces that you tag will determine what kind of artistic details are displayed. There is little difficulty in actually spray painting anything in Sludge Life, it’s all predetermined, so don’t expect Sludge Life to really let you go wild artistically.

What you should expect, however, is a pretty puzzle-rific platformer. You don’t get to choose where you can spray paint, but you do get to choose how to get to those difficult spots by vaulting over objects, climbing up grates or pipes, and crouching through air vents. As a platformer, Sludge Life works pretty well. It can be difficult to really gauge if you can make a jump, and this leads to a lot of failed attempts, or you may just get lucky and pull yourself up across the ledge. Eventually, you will find items, such as a camera, cigarettes, a glider, and other interactables that may not always aid you, but will certainly spice up your gameplay.

Sludge Life Review tower

You will also meet people, or animals, and chat with them about, nothing really. The majority of the population is made up of grumpy or ridiculous citizens. Running into a mental patient in a padded room or a gigantic sleeping baby shouldn’t surprise you either, as the strangeness in Sludge Life ends up feeling quite common place. You will also find mini-games built throughout Sludge Life, such as Crypt Keeper, and a Basketball goal that you can attempt to play on, but for the most part, these minor detours will only serve as a diversion, as neither seems to be meant to hold your attention for long.

Sludge Life is certainly a unique game with a very stylistic approach to the platforming genre. For players that really want to stick it out and give Sludge Life their all, multiple endings are available. Realistically, if the premise and art style don’t grasp you early on, gamers may find it hard to continue, as the open world doesn’t spell out any real direction, and the actual items available for you to interact with are few and far between. For gamers looking for something a little different in the platformer genre, Sludge Life will definitely fill that void for a time, however fleeting it may be. Sludge Life is available now on Epic Games Store.

Summary
Sludge Life is a first-person, open-world platformer filled with strange sightings, childish humor, and a unique retro windows 3.1 UI. For the right platformer gamer, this divergence from the norm may provide several hours of enjoyment, but with no lasting draw to explore apart from graffiti tags and pictures, and no extenuating interaction with the world or characters, don't expect Sludge Life to grab you for more than a few hours.
Good
  • Silly and unique premise
  • Good soundtrack
  • Solid platforming
Bad
  • No real focus, story or quests
  • Limited interaction with the world at large
  • Platforming mechanics are not explained well
6
Fair
Written by
Steven Weber is a writer, he also loves to game. He produces several streams, all of dubious fame. If you’ve ever wondered, “How does he spend his time?” It’s spent writing this biography and trying to make it rhyme.

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