Slime Rancher is an open-world first-person life simulation game developed by American Indie Studio and released in 2017. The game is set in the fictional world of Far Far Range and follows Beatrix LeBeau as she becomes a slime rancher.
As a slime rancher, you collect, discover, and breed slimes as well as construct your ranch. In effect, you become a Slime farmer, taming and growing slimes on your farm.
The game is a classic collection-style game, much like the Pokemon series in that you have to find and discover new creatures. Slime rancher also takes inspiration from the Zoo Tycoon games in terms of breeding animals and other creatures.
Similarly, farming simulation games have also inspired Slime Rancher. Likewise, it is very similar to newly released games such as Bugsnax, a PS5 launch title that had you catch snack-like creatures.
Slime Rancher is a great game to play for relaxation and one of the best life simulation games. This article will outline 9 great games like Slime Rancher to play in 2022.
Games Like Slime Rancher – Our Top Pick👌
- Zoo Tycoon
- Pokemon Franchise
- Stardew Valley
- Harvest Moon Series
- The Animal Crossing Series
- The Viva Piñata Series
1. Zoo Tycoon
As already mentioned, the Zoo Tycoon series is similar to Slime Rancher in that both franchises feature creature collecting and owning.
Zoo Tycoon is a classic simulation game that has you manage a zoo full of animals. Over the years, the Zoo Tycoon games have gradually evolved to include new features, animals, and zoo attractions.
At its heart, the Zoo Tycoon series has you manage a park, but it is not as simple as that. Most of the time, your animals not only want to escape but want to cause havoc across your zoo, which might not only disrupt other animals but deter guests.
Your job is to ensure your zoo’s smooth running and make as much money and profit as possible. As a result, Zoo tycoon is not only a zoo simulation game but a business simulation franchise, putting pressure on you to make the largest profit.
Without guests, this is not possible. Thus you must build enough attractions and limit disruption for the best possible zoo. The Zoo Tycoon series are games like Slime Rancher in that both series feature similar creature collecting mechanics and maintenance.
Although both games look very different from one another, fundamentally, at their core, they are very similar.
Bugsnax was first released in 2020 on the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 as a launch exclusive. Bugsnax is an open-world, action-adventure game that follows an explorer as they seek to discover the irregularities behind the adventurer Elizabert Megafig’s disappearance.
Bugsnax has the player explore the island of Snaktooth island, a mysterious island filled with snack/bug-like creatures.
The game features over one hundred unique species of Bugsnax, heavy customization options, and diverse biomes to explore. Bugsnax is very similar to the Pokemon series in that both franchises feature catch ’em’ all style mechanics.
Similarly, Bugsnax has you capture Bugsnax via traps like the Pokeball used to catch Pokemon. Bugsnax is currently one of the best games available on the PS5 due to its uniqueness.
It proves that you don’t have the best graphics or the most sophisticated gameplay mechanics to be a great game. Bugsnax is a game like Slime rancher as both games have you capture adorable creatures.
Likewise, both games have a very similar art style to one another, featuring cartoonish gameplay. When Bugsnax was released in 2020, the game reviewed very well, with a score of 79.
3. Pokémon Franchise
The Pokémon franchise consists of various gaming genres. Although the Pokémon games predominantly feature turn-based RPG mechanics, the main series of Pokémon games and other games in the franchise, such as Pokémon Ranch, are similar to Slime Rancher.
The first Pokémon game was released in 1996 on the original Gameboy, known as Pokémon Red and Blue in the west and originally Pocket Monsters Red and Green in Japan.
There are eight generations of Pokémon games, with the latest in the series being Pokémon Sword and Shield on the Nintendo Switch.
Although each game in the series consists of different regions and Pokémon, the core, catch ’em all mechanics and turn base RPG style batteling have stayed the same throughout.
In terms of the main series games, they are similar to Slime Rancher in that both video game series have you collect creatures for your possession.
Likewise, in Pokémon, you can breed creatures much like in Slime Rancher. Thus the main series of Pokémon games and Slime Rancher are similar in many ways.
Likewise, some Pokémon spin-off titles are also very similar to Slime Rancher, such as Pokémon Ranch. Pokémon Ranch is a Pokémon game released for the Nintendo Wii in 2008 and developed by Ambrella.
The game had you use your Mii’s to interact with various Pokémon on your ranch, allowing you to take photos and pictures. However, unlike Slime Rancher, you did not capture Pokémon and put them on your farm but rather transferred them from the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl series of games.
Nevertheless, the Pokémon Ranch game was similar to Slime Ranchers as both games feature housing creatures on a ranch. The only main difference is that you transfer Pokémon from another game to your farm rather than in the game.
When Pokémon Ranch was first released in 2008, it received poor scores of 47 from Metacritic, partly down to its lack of functionality.
Nevertheless, if you enjoyed Slime Rancher and want to play quality equivalents, give some of the main series Pokémon titles a shot.
4. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is a simulation RPG developed by Eric Bardone and released in 2016 on home consoles and PC. It is a classic simulation game loved by many due to its relaxing nature and simple but rewarding RPG gameplay.
Stardew Valley puts you in the shoes of a person who has inherited a large plot of land from his grandfather. All you have is money and tools.
It is your job to build a future in the valley. The game features beautiful top-down 2D graphics alongside Gameboy era pixel art. The game not only harks back to the days of the original Gameboy but has a retro feel that makes you feel like you are gaming in bygone days.
Artistically, Stardew Valley is outstanding and one of the best farming simulation games on any platform. The game allows you to craft items, fish, farm, and even raise animals.
Similarly, Stardew valley features dating and the ability to start a family.
Likewise, the game also includes:-
- Extensive customization options and a ton of mysterious caves.
- Enemies to battle alongside everyday farm life.
The game has it all, featuring classic RPG battle elements and comprehensive simulation. All in all, Stardew Valley is a great game and must be played by any fan of the simulation genre.
Stardew Valley is also a game like Slime Rancher in that both games feature farming elements. Likewise, both games have the same calming appeal.
Overall, when Stardew Valley was released in 2016, the game received high scores of 89, making it one of the most highly rated simulation games ever.
Subnautica is a survival action-adventure game developed by Unknown Worlds Entertainment and released in 2018. Subnautica is set in a vast, open-world on an alien planet.
The game has you survive the immense depths of the ocean as you try and discover its mysteries. To survive, you must build a base, craft materials, and defeat monsters that lurk below.
The game features mechanics such as storing resources, replenishing water supplies and includes different biomes to explore. Such biomes include reefs, underwater forests, and more.
Subnautica stands far above most games in the survival genre of games featuring a vast underwater open world. It is very similar to games such as Minecraft due to its survival mechanics and its base-building elements.
Subnautica is also a game like Slime Ranchers, as both games feature a similar art style and visual aesthetic.
Subnautica is an excellent survival game and one of the best on console and PC. The game later got a sequel released in 2021 known as Subnautica Below Zero.
When the first Subnautica was released in 2018, the game received excellent reviews of 87 from critics. Similarly, Subnautica Below Zero also scored well amongst critics scoring around an 83.
Although Subnautica Below Zero was not as well-received as the first game in the series, it did feature a brand new location, new gameplay mechanics, and improved optimization. Subnautica is a standout open-world survival game and one of the genres very best.
6. Harvest Moon Series
The Harvest Moon series of games is a life simulation game series that focuses on farming and agriculture. Yasuhiro Wada created the series, finding fame after the first game was released in 1997.
There are many games in the Harvest Moon series, stretching from 1997 to the Harvest Moon Story of One World, releasing in 2021.
Similarly, the series has been released on consoles as old as the Super Nintendo Entertainment system to as recent as the Nintendo Switch. The main gameplay mechanics of the game involve you rebuilding an old farm into a vibrant, bustling one.
The game features classic gameplay mechanics such as crop growing, gathering items, and nurturing animals to profit. The series is similar to Zoo Tycoon in that the main goal of the games is to make money from the land.
Similarly, you can also cook, fish, and even get married. Likewise, you can socialize with fellow farmers and even mine. The Harvest Moon series is very similar to the Animal Crossing series in many ways.
Both feature classic fishing and life simulation mechanics. Likewise, the game is like most farming simulators, although unique due to its cartoon art style and child-like aesthetic.
Interestingly, the Harvest Moon games were originally meant for a male audience, although this quickly changed with Harvest Moon 3 introducing both male and female characters to play as.
The Harvest Moon games are like Slime Rancher, as in both franchises, you farm creatures. All in all, The Harvest Moon series was well-received across all its games and spin-off games.
7. The Animal Crossing Series
The Animal Crossing series is one of the most popular video game series on the planet. The most recent installment in the Animal Crossing New Horizons series is one of the most successful Nintendo games ever, scoring a 90 on Metacritic and selling 1.88 million copies in its first week.
Overall the game has sold over 31 million copies globally. The Animal Crossing series first started in 2001, with the first game on the Nintendo Gamecube, known simply as Animal Crossing.
Over the years, the games in the series have become progressively more complex with new features, areas, and gameplay mechanics.
Such mechanics include the ability to become mayor in Animal Crossing New Leaf and the option to be able to place down items anywhere, introduced in Animal Crossing New Horizons.
At its heart, the Animal Crossing series is a life simulation genre, similar to that of Harvest Moon. At the start of each game, you begin a new life on an island filled with interesting characters and areas to explore.
You are given the option of taking out a mortgage with the infamous Tom Nook, and you gradually learn to use all the tools at your exposal to start a new life.
You can dig for treasure, fish for exotic species of fish, and catch rare bugs. Likewise, you can interact with your neighbors, make new friends and partake in seasonal and non-seasonal events.
Furthermore, in the last games, you could build public works such as cafes and benches. The Animal Crossing game shifted its gameplay focus from being a basic villager to owning and running an island as mayor.
The Animal Crossing series is highly regarded as one of the best life simulation games due to its relaxing nature and calming appeal. The most recent game in the series, Animal Crossing New Horizons, struck a chord with many people due to the degree of isolation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Animal Crossing New Horizons helped provide an escape for many people, where people could invest their time and live their lives in an imaginary world full of adorable creatures.
The Animal Crossing series is a video game series similar to Slime Rancher. Both franchises are life simulation games, having you live your life as a farmer or resident/mayor of a village in the case of Animal Crossing New Horizons.
Overall, the Animal Crossing games have been reviewed well over the years, with the most recent game in the series Animal Crossing New Horizons scoring a 90 on Metacritic. If you loved Slime Rancher, then you will be blown away by Animal Crossing.
Like Animal Crossing, Minecraft is one of the most popular games and has been for a decade. Minecraft is an action survival open-world game released in 2011 by developers Mojang.
The game consists of blocky-based survival gameplay whereby you must build to survive. The core gameplay elements of the game are survival.
To survive, you must make a house, craft materials, and avoid the night creatures such as Creepers as you fight for survival. Minecraft features a randomly generated vast open world, a huge selection of craftable materials, and endless possibilities for exploration building and fun.
The game was instantly popular when it was released in 2011 due to its laid-back calming nature, easy accessibility, and straightforward building/crafting mechanics.
Similarly, the game also had challenging aspects, such as the Ender World and bosses like the Ender Dragon, which added considerable replayability and challenge.
Minecraft is one of the greatest games of all time and helped revolutionize the genre of survival action-adventure. It helped make survival games mainstream.
Without Minecraft and the team at Mojang behind the hit game, the survival gaming space, and gaming, in general, would be very different.
Currently, Minecraft is available on PC and across all consoles and mobile devices, with most versions being slightly different, including new content such as exclusive player skins.
For example, the Nintendo Switch edition of Minecraft included Mario and Mushroom Kingdom-themed exclusive skins.
Likewise, the game’s mobile version dubbed Minecraft Pocket Edition is also different, including different items and mechanics. Although Minecraft is prominently played on PC, it also has a huge following on other platforms like the Nintendo Switch and mobile.
Mojang later released another Minecraft game, Minecraft Dungeons, focused on top-down dungeon-crawling looting rather than action/survival. Minecraft Dungeons is similar to the Diablo series in terms of its looting mechanics.
The game has you explore on your own or with friends the deep mysteries of the Dungeons that lurk below the world of Minecraft. The game features classic dungeon crawling gameplay and a great loot system that allows excellent gameplay progression throughout the game.
Furthermore, Minecraft is also similar to Slime Ranchers in that both series feature farming and give you the option to farm creatures.
Overall when Minecraft was released in 2011, the game scored an impressive 93 on Metacritic, making it one of the most highly rated survival games of all time.
9. The Viva Piñata Series
Viva Piñata is a life simulation game developed by Rare. The series is set in the world of Piñata animals, with the first game in the series having you take charge of a garden to attract Piñatas.
The game has you grow and plant trees as well as purchase and sell wares. The more you grow and meet Piñata conditions, the more Piñata’s will get attracted to your garden, leveling up your progression.
You can upgrade your items and tools when you level up, allowing even more Piñata’s to visit your garden. The first game in the series featured around 60 different Piñata’s.
The second game in the series, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, is similar to the first game in that both have near-identical gameplay mechanics. Despite this, the game does feature improved gameplay alongside other notable improvements.
Another game in the series and a sequel to Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise was later released on the Nintendo DS. Likewise, other spin-off games in the series were also released, such as Viva Piñata: Party Animals and Viva Piñata Super Candy Stash.
The Viva Piñata games are very similar to the Slime Rancher games in that both games feature farm-like elements and the ability to nurture various creatures.
When the first game in the series Viva Piñata was released in 2006, the game scored an impressive 84 on Metacritic.
Overall, this article has outlined the 9 great games like Slime Rancher to play in 2021. As highlighted by the article, there are many great life simulation games on the market.
From Minecraft to Viva Piñata, quality life simulation games are abundant with great features, unique art styles, and original gameplay mechanics. The Life Simulation genre of games is full of diversity and one of the best genres you can play right now.
As the gaming industry continues to develop, with the release of new hardware and software, these life simulation games will become more lifelike, especially with the emergence of Virtual Reality technology.
Games such as job simulators have pushed the boundaries in terms of simulation games. It is about time life simulation games get the VR treatment it deserves.
Within the genre, farming simulator games such as Slime Rancher need more prominence in the virtual space, with new iterations within the life simulation space required to progress the genre.