If you're the kind of person who likes to spend time tracking down collectibles in strange go-with-the-flow game worlds, Sludge Life is worth playing. The surreal graffiti adventure game launched on the Epic Games Store today and it's free for a not-so-limited time: you can claim it until May 28, 2021.
Yep, you got that right. The PC version is free for a year. (The Nintendo Switch port is coming later.)
Before trying Sludge Life on a whim, I was skeptical I'd dig it – the humor comes on strong in the trailers, including the one embedded in this article – but it's not in-your-face in the confines of the game.
Straight away, I was won over by the playful language-selection screen and the main menu, which is styled like a desktop PC interface. It's fun to poke and prod everything and potentially uncover little Easter eggs. Heck, even the act of clicking your mouse is satisfying in a Mario Paint sorta way.
The point of Sludge Life is to explore a charmingly nasty world and tag predetermined spots, most of which are just enough out of reach to require roundabout traversal. It'll speak to 3D platformer fans.
I spent about 20 minutes being pulled in every direction, eager to trudge through the sludge to investigate all the weird sights I kept seeing in the distance. By the end of my first session, I unlocked a glider – always a happy sight – and enabled a few teleporter machines. I'm still getting a lay of the land.
If the game's vibe seems familiar, you might've heard of the developers' last title, High Hell, another Devolver Digital collaboration. Terri Vellmann and Doseone went for a much more laid-back experience this time around. The platforming is fast yet low-stakes in a way I appreciate, and you can't beat free.