FUNG lets you grow and shape a fully simulated slime organism

Posted on July 8, 2023

An upcoming indie title from Melbourne-based developer MELLOW, FUNG is a wonderfully niche slime cultivation sim that tasks you with nurturing a simulated slime mold in a radioactive world.  With the earth’s natural resources depleted and humanity facing extinction, the only hope for life to continue is the survival of the titular FUNG, an “organic marvel capable of converting toxic remnants into vital energy.” Players watch the slime mold traverse a grid across a variety of post-human environments, consuming as it goes.

Taking visual inspiration from early 90s pixel art titles like Lemmings, FUNG focuses on simulating each individual pixel of your slimy buddy as it feeds, grows, and mutates. The simulation is based on mathematician John Horton Conway’s 1970 cellular automaton Game of Life, with additional player input and decision-making also having an impact on the slime’s journey through the irradiated remains of society. Various rules control how each pixel or “cell” of the slime moves and replicates itself across the grid, with FUNG promising more than a hundred different rules that create different kinds of cellular automata.

Screenshot of FUNG, possibly of the level editor. A pixel-art gamescreen showing a dimly-lit underground cavern. Metal girders frame some kind of abandoned torpedo-shaped object. There is green slime coming out of the girder in the ceiling in and from the left of the screen in a tentacle-shape. There is a skeletal animal head to the right of the screen, and a glowing blue flower at the bottom. The UI is across the bottom of the screen. The currently selected tool is SHOVEL with options to EXCAVATE or FILL. There is a pointer tool and another tool. Buttons to EDIT or START the level are also show. On the right, a depth meter shows 744m.

It’s certainly a quirky concept, realised with some gorgeous looking pixel art. While gameplay footage isn’t yet available on the title’s Steam page, it looks like there’s a pretty comprehensive level editor available and a three-part story mode planned. The initial Early Access release will contain the first chapter and allow players to upload levels via the Steam Workshop.

We’re looking forward to feeding, nurturing, and doting on our beloved slime mold cellular automata when FUNG releases into Early Access on July 21st.