Ambition of the Slimes isn’t a terrible tactical, turn-based game but it could definitely use some work. It has a solid and entertaining combat system that’s on par with other games from within the genre like Fire Emblem and Advance Wars, but the camera system and need to drag out levels hold it back from being great.
We’ve all played games that allow us to save the land as the hero. Ambition of the Slimes, however, is quite the opposite. This adventure pits us against the knights in shining armor and gives you control of the bad guys instead. Each round involves controlling a slimy ally, who must then jump into the mouth of the enemy (literally!) and possess their body on the battlefield. Not every foe is quickly obtainable, however, as mask-wielding enemies are tougher to possess at first and can be tough as nails to destroy if you don’t play your cards right. This slight level of difficulty requires a bit of concentration to plan out, but taking over a masked opponent, who also happen to be the toughest of them all, is rewarding when done in succession.
The combat system within Ambition of the Slimes is really good, as it emulates the inspirations very well, blending together tactical, turn-based combat with 2D art design. There’s also plenty of time to make decisions so don’t feel like to have to rush your way through battles, which is especially nice for those who might be new to the genre. Traversing the land is easily done by using the allotted amount of squares that each slime is given, with some also given the ability to jump really far or use magical spells.
An unwelcome challenge to Ambition of the Slimes, unfortunately, involves the game’s clunky camera system. For instance, players are able to scroll up and down throughout the map using the right Joy-Con, but at times an enemy could be hidden behind a well-lifted platform. You’re givin the ability to side-scroll the map, moving it left or right, by tapping the L and R buttons, presenting a Mario 64 camera-shift-vibe. While this camera shift may work for the Italian plumber, it doesn’t seem to work in Ambition of the Slimes. In many cases, shifting the camera made scenarios harder to see, and at times I just managed to work around these instances and pushed through the game.
When I play Ambition of the Slimes, one saying comes to mind: Less is more. I say that because the game gives the player a variety of levels to play within each stage. Regardless if you’re playing one of the three levels offered in each stage, you’re essentially having the same experience throughout; one might have more enemies than the others but that’s effectively the gist. This realization often made my time with the game feel a little bland, as I would have been happier playing one action-packed stage and given the option to press on with the adventure, rather than having to play the same stage over and over again.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a decent time with Ambition of the Slimes for the Nintendo Switch. But the game’s troubling camera system and need to stretch out each stage slightly put a damper on my experience, making the overall enjoyment factor only feel “ok” rather than “great”. The combat system is definitely on par with genre blockbusters, and the premise of the game is unique and interesting, making this game a potential starting point for those who may be interested in trying out tactical, turn-based games.