Sludge Life is free for a year, and you shouldn’t sleep on it

You can rest once you find all the collectibles

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.

Sludge Life main menu

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 oddities 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.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.