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The Sludge Life 2 demo is here, and it destroyed my morning

If you've found the credit card info please tell me so I can play more Gato Mago, thanks

Ghost's tag in Sludge Life 2 demo
Image credit: Devolver Digital

Sludge Life 2 wasn't officially a part of the line-up at Summer Game Fest last night, but it's damn well stolen the show for me today. A demo for the game dropped yesterday, and I've spent about an hour in what developer Terri Vellman describes as a 10 minute experience.

I've never played the original Sludge Life, so I went into the demo knowing it's got graffiti. That's it. After 10 minutes, I'd reached the end of the objectives and wasn't really sure what I'd just witnessed. The grainy, lo-fi style of the game wedged the disconnect between me and Sludge Life 2 even wider. Some bug-eyed frog man needed some cigarettes to record a rap track, and it was my job to find some for him. Roll credits.

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Eh? And then I played it again, and it somehow just clicked. Sneaking around to tag walls in less-visited places forces you to explore each corner of the environment. If you need inspiration on what to do, the demo offers a short to-do list. I went out searching for cats to take pictures of, once I knew there are 5 in total, and found one lounging inside a dumpster bin. What a mood.

A cat lies despondently in a dumpster with some rubbish, looking stone-faced at the player
If this isn't representative of how the past 3 years have felt, I don't know what is. | Image credit: Devolver Digital

The greatest part of the demo, for me, is Gato Mago. A minigame you can install on your in-game laptop, you play as a wizard cat in a dungeon-crawler. You'll collect items to help you in fights against snakes and bats (which are absolute devils in combat) and can expand your grimoire by collecting scrolls. There's 3 difficulties in Gato Mago, but after you complete 2 levels it'll prompt you for credit card information to unlock the full game.

I have no idea if this actually exists in the demo, but please. I'm begging you, if you've found it please tell me where it is. I need more Mago Gato.

Sludge Life 2 demo mini-game Mago Gato
Image credit: Devolver Digital

In a weird way, I think that sums up the feelings I've come away from Sludge Life 2 with. The world is grimy and we're all here grinding away, hoping to reach the upper echelons of society in the luxurious Ciggy City Suites. But there's the small things we can take joy in, whether that's eating any free food that's on offer, scrounging up ciggies to share with your mates, or playing an oddly addictive rogue-like game with a wizard cat.

I'm in love with the anarchist the demo is bringing out in me. I'm excited to play the full game and make my mark on the surreal, capitalist world of Sludge Life accompanied by some sick bangers from Big Mud. Sludge Life 2 is out on June 27th, which gives me plenty of time to play the original before then.

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