Oddball indie Sludge Life is getting a surprise sequel, bringing another installment of the urban open-world game. Sludge Life 2 will launch sometime in 2023 and it seems like the project is already far along. In fact, I already got a chance to play one hour of it.
The original Sludge Life, a collaboration between artist Terri Vellmann and musical artist Doseone (Adam Drucker), launched in 2020. It gained some attention at the time because it was initially offered for free on Epic Games Store for an entire year. While it’s not clear if the sequel will take the same approach, the first game is once again free on Steam from March 23 to March 30.
The sequel is very similar to its predecessor based on what I’ve played so far. Its setup is almost a video game version of The Hangover. From what I can piece together so far, players take the role of a manager for musical artist (and frog) Big Mud. After waking up from a bender, Big Mud has gone missing and players need to explore a sludge-filled urban world to find him.
Publisher Devolver Digital notes that the world is bigger (and “gnarlier”) this time around. During my demo, I’d start in a high-rise motel before breaking out into a wasteland full of construction sites and cigarettes. Devolver says the sequel also has three times as many NPCs as the original game, giving players a lot of weirdos — and knife-wielding crabs — to meet.
Gameplay is about the same as the original game with some added traversal features. I’d spend much of my demo parkouring around, tagging buildings with graffiti, and observing its slice-of-life world (my favorite moment came when I accidentally tripped on mushrooms and had an out-of-body experience). The sequel brings some new tools in form of shoes that enable sprinting and double jumps, as well as a Portable Launcher that lets you fling your character into the air.
If you loved the original game, Sludge Life 2 is essentially more of the same. It’s another zany open-world game that plays out like a slacker comedy — Dazed and Confused for gamers.
Sludge Life 2 is scheduled to launch in 2023. The original Sludge Life is free on Steam from March 23 to 30.
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