When I sit down to write a review, even for a game I actively despised, I try to stay away from overly abrasive sentences and opt for something a little more elegant with my criticism. Slip doesn't deserve this. While people often wave around hyperbolic remarks with little thought as to whether they really mean them, it's with no lack of deliberation that I say Slip is complete and utter garbage on a scale I haven't had the displeasure of since grinding my teeth through Rush Bros. Simultaneously taking the best ideas from numerous games and reworking them into an intensely unpleasant mess, there's little here that could inspire even a halfhearted compliment, yet alone any reason you should waste your time playing it.
The basic mechanics behind Slip are straightforward, partly from simplicity and because we've seen them quite a few times before. You take control of a little running jumping voxel man with the power to swap his color, and sent out into deathtrap obstacle courses with a big ♥♥♥ laser chasing you from behind. Each obstacle in the game itself also corresponds to one of your two colors, and thus requires you to swap your polarity to make it through alive.
To put it in relative terms, it's Ikaruga and Giana Sisters with a touch of Bit.Trip Runner and Super Meat Boy thrown in for good effect. All excellent games in their own right, but when mashed together in as disorganized a way as Slip show no resemblance of the quality of what they once were.
The polarity mechanic is among the first to falter, with no consistency as to whether the same or opposing color is what kills you, and requiring you to switch at a speed that requires copious amounts of luck to pull off consistently. The level designs are routine and poorly paced, as if you took a dozen different levels, handpicked the most frustrating segments from each, and then placed them end to end for the player to suffer through. It's difficult without being enjoyable, failing to recreate either the tightly designed torture of Super Meat Boy or the meticulously structured trial-and-error of Bit.Trip Runner. As a self professed masochistic gamer I love a good challenge more than most, but making failure entertaining is a lot harder than simply making the game hard, and Slip is entirely inept at knowing how to manage this.
It also liberally misuses what I like to call 'artificial content'; something that keeps you playing the game but doesn't actually show you anything new. Slip does this by making you repeat large segments of the game through its absurd difficulty, but should you actually manage to clear the levels the severe lack of content becomes readily apparent. I can only assume the developer intended for each level to be replayed multiple times for better scores and on higher difficulties, but this means nothing if those levels were not fun the first time through.
I can understand not every indie developer can be a great artist, but if nothing else I expect the art design in their games to be consistent. Mixing voxel backdrops with neon obstacles and pseudo realistic bosses, Slip is all over the place and it's all ugly. The lackluster performance is inexcusable (I even had it crash on me at one point), and the lack of any sound effects save the underwhelming death "fuzz" simply strikes me as lazy. I can't comment on the music because it doesn't even feel like part of the game, just something playing over it as if the in game sound was disabled.
Slip was something that immediately caught my eye when I first saw it, but after getting the chance to try it first hand I'm severely disappointed. I'm honestly scratching my head to come up with something nice to say about it, but it really does botch every single thing it tries. If you've read this far and for some reason are still considering purchasing it yourself, please, do yourself a favor and play any of the other games I've mentioned first (or replay them if you already have). There's a world of outstanding games doing what Handsome Games was going for, but Slip isn't one of them and you should rest easy knowing you won't have to play it yourself.