SLUDGE LIFE Hands-On – Devolver Digital at its peak

Posted on March 4, 2020

I paraglide around the city, tag some buildings, uncover some secrets in a rich CEO’s office, and stumble upon some cats very intent on showing me their rear ends? All these wild conquests and more awaited me in SLUDGE LIFE, the latest Devolver Digital published game.

Of all the games I’ve got the privilege of previewing for Checkpoint, SLUDGE LIFE was definitely the most bizarre and interesting. The game thrusts you into another bleak, “corporations rule everything,” capitalist world. You play as GHOST, an up-and-comer graffiti tagger that’s set on rebelling. A corporation by the name of GLUG has been dispensing large amounts of black sludge onto the city. Understandably, it’s left the city in shambles. Some locals are protestors, some have given into the fight and are miserable, others are the very guilty perpetrators themselves. Which of these will I wind up being at the end?

SLUDGE LIFE and its world essentially purposes a concrete jungle to wander around and meet odd individuals in. The game has setting absolutely nailed. This is thanks to its grunge, VHS-like setting. As I’m climbing buildings, interacting with the locals and tagging some walls, I can’t help like feel like I’m in an old, 90’s music video. It’s not an easy art style idea to explain let alone pull off, and I don’t know how the team managed to do it. Though man am I here for it.


SLUDGE LIFE really was a riot. Random and over the top character fragments are really where the game shines.”

SLUDGE LIFE isn’t a very deep game, nor does it need be. Instead of barring you down with a deep narrative on capitalism that we’ve seen before, the game just chucks you in the world no questions asked. I’m left to make what I want of it. That’s of great benefit too, I instead got to focus even more on just the ridiculous, zany scenery and characters among me. I loved every bit of it.

Due to its simplistic design SLUDGE LIFE really doesn’t have much in the way of mechanics to wrap your head around either. I can unlock fast travel and later paraglide around the map to both cut down some time and take in the view. There’s a camera you can use to take pictures of interesting on-goings in the game, to peruse through later too. All of this combined maximised my fun in the game’s world.

SLUDGE LIFE really was a riot. Random and over the top character fragments are really where the game shines. I stumbled across a chef that had his hand accidentally gored and was just nonchalantly staring at this giant gaping wound he had. Other highlights were a smart and humorous interaction I had with a frankly bored hospitality worker, and someone that was sitting around at a desk furiously playing the world’s equivalent of Candy Crush. It’s all too real and it’s all too great.

I enjoyed my short time previewing SLUDGE LIFE. Whether it’s the cat with two buttholes, the ability to smoke ‘Ciggy Cigs’ brand cigarettes, or to just the other ridiculous affairs you’ll get into, there’s plenty to like. It’s hilarious, morbid, gorgeous and the most on brand, peak Devolver Digital published game to ever exist. Oh, and there’s a dedicated fart button. So do with that what you will.

SLUDGE LIFE is coming soon. Will you be joining me in it’s riotous ridiculousness?