2020 will not only go down as one of the worst and most bizarre years in human history but it also provided us with a slew of truly odd and unexpected games. Out of games like fighting as a giant crab holding military grade weaponry, flying as a bird with no goals or objectives whatsoever, journeying as a simple shape on his quest to quell depression, or trying to reach the goal in one of the most nonsensical fever dream games ever created, Slide Stars is the easily the biggest WTF game this year. Nothing about this game makes any sense and instead of being comically subjective like these previous examples, it is confusingly frustrating and makes you madder the more you play.
When first booting up the game, I was immediately confused by the roster of playable characters. It wasn’t until I did some research did I learn that each character is either a YouTube or Instagram d-bag of some kind. Feeling better about myself for not knowing who any of these “stars” are, I spent most of the time playing as the only unlockable dude who is apparently so rich from making YouTube videos but cannot afford a shirt. Also, there is no incentive in painstaking unlocking more IG models as they call play exactly the same. The babe with big boobs doesn’t have a higher jump than the turd burglar with the bad sunglasses, for example.
Why would anyone want to play as a social media influencer is beyond me but that isn’t even the dumbest part – riding on inflatable rafts while foregoing any sense of physics or realism is. When you think of a YouTube personality, what is the first thing you think of? That’s right! Rafting down a manmade waterslide but within a tropical jungle setting. Shouldn’t they be making TikTok videos or trying to have you buy a sponsor related product so they can get paid?
The goal is to reach the end of the waterslide in the shortest amount of time while avoiding hazards along the way. One of those hazards, is a giant crocodile that literally eats these social media people to death. To make this clear, a cartoony lizard literally kills Xbox Live Avatar looking real life people and sends them back to the last checkpoint. However, if you manage to magically jump over these Pitfall callbacks, the dynamite throwing monkeys will snipe you from off screen with unavoidable explosions. Oh yeah, and all this happens while navigating on top of giant banana or stuffed flamingo. NOTHING MAKES ANY SENSE! Why does this dumb game exist?!
As you can see from my stream below, I get angrier the more I play:
The Trials-style gameplay contains inconsistent physics and wobbly play control. It is important to properly land from each jump but sometimes the player can literally land on the YouTube blogger’s head and still be fine. The replay value comes from unlocking more tracks, collecting star bits, and performing perfect runs. Unfortunately, this is extremely difficult and the only way to unlock more content. Sometimes coins and switches are displayed but not active, and sometimes jumps and collectables are out of reach, requiring numerous play-throughs and memorization. Instead of offering creative and entertaining level design, most sections are tedious and just making it to the end is a challenge without worrying about the clock or collectables. Simply moving the inner tube is also a feat of pure magic as it glides along any surface, even splinter-filled wooden planks, simply by leaning forward. It is like one of those hoverboard things that aren’t really hoverboards because they still have wheels only there are no wheels here. This only furthers the confusion.
Apparently there is a local 2-player mode but this feature wasn’t patched into my review build of the game. Either way, it wouldn’t have mattered because I cannot see another person wanting to suffer through something so dumb.
I have two questions. How did this game even get made? But more importantly, why did this game get made? Even if you wanted to play as an online dork, why make them float down a lazy river and avoid prehistoric lizards with wonky physics? Then, why lock all content behind an unfair skill barrier? Fighting as fiddler crabs Godzilla-style I get; Slide Stars I do not.
Not As Good As: Yoostar 2: In the Movies (Xbox 360 Kinect)
Better Than: You’re In the Moves (Xbox 360 Kinect)
Wait For It: the next post by that social media personality you follow for some dumb reason