Review – Sludge Life 2

I didn’t like the original Sludge Life, which I considered to be a dull and tryhardish platformer/adventure hybrid with zero charisma and an underwhelming gameplay loop. It had two positive aspects, though: it was indeed unique (for better or for worse), and it was free. Or at least it was free at first, due to a deal between Devolver Digital and the Epic Games Store. Sludge Life 2, a sequel I can safely assume nobody has ever asked for, doesn’t have these things going for it. It’s not free, and it’s not unique. In fact, it’s the same damn thing as its predecessor, and that makes it even less appealing.

Sludge Life 2 RAP

Of course. I’m totes down with the youths.

We are back to the gritty, VHS-filtered world of Sludge Life, a place full of unsympathetic characters smoking their lungs out, where everything either revolves around cigarettes, graffiti, rap, rap songs about graffiti, graffiti about cigarettes, and so on. I once again struggled to feel any sort of attachment or interest towards the setting featured in Sludge Life 2. It’s still a confusing, poorly-designed pseudo-sandbox full of things to tag and characters to interact with.

The gameplay remains the same. It says it’s inspired by parkour, but it feels more like just mere floaty platforming. Getting to higher places doesn’t feel challenging, nor is it rewarding. On occasion, you will get a power-up of sorts, which will allow you to interact with other characters or get to more places, but again, it just doesn’t feel fun. To make matters worse, it’s mostly the same stuff featured in the original game.

Sludge Life 2 Kid Ciggy

This picture just summarises how indifferent I was with the game’s setting.

That’s what annoyed me the most about Sludge Life 2… it’s the same damn thing, again, but in a new map. The original game was not devoid of issues, but absolutely nothing got a revamp or a fix. The camera is still extremely sensitive, the platforming is still monstrously floaty, the characters look hideous to look at, the dialogue is weak, and the progression feels pointless. Well, I could say that the one new innovation seen in this sequel is the overabundance of cigarettes and smoking propaganda. Thankfully, it’s all ironic, or at least I hope it is. It’s just tiresome regardless. We are in 2023, and Thank You For Smoking has been out for eighteen years. Smoking sucks, it has always sucked. We know that already, that’s nothing new.

Once again, pardon me for sounding like a scratched record, but the sound design is also identical to the one featured in the original Sludge Life. Well, I suppose there’s a bit less music, but the punchy sound effects are still present. Look, I’m just trying to come up with something else to say in this review that isn’t just “well, this is the same as how it was in the original”. I guess I could say that Sludge Life 2 felt a bit glitchier? It did freeze on me a few times, and I don’t remember having the same issue on the original, whilst running on vastly inferior hardware at the time. Yay?

Sludge Life 2

Hey guys, he’s sitting on a toilet! Comedy!

Sludge Life 2 is basically Sludge Life, just on a new map. Were the original a good game, or even a passable game, I’d understand its appeal. But that’s not the the case. The original Sludge Life was a dour and pointless adventure game drowned in tryhard imagery and completely devoid of charisma… and the sequel is just that. Again. No fixes to visuals, controls, glitches, a dull gameplay loop, nothing. You are simply getting more of what you (don’t) love.


Graphics: 6.5

It’s the same art style from the original Sludge Life, but without the wow factor that game had as a result of being an original idea.

Gameplay: 6.0

We are sticking to the same control scheme, lame level design, confusing camera, and a few glitches here and there.

Sound: 6.5

Less music than the predecessor (for better or worse), but the impactful sound effects are still a highlight.

Fun Factor: 4.0

Double dipping on a formula that simply isn’t enjoyable makes Sludge Life 2 even more unlikeable than its already dull predecessor.

Final Verdict: 5.5

Sludge Life 2 is available now on PC.

Reviewed on Intel i7-12700H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060 6GB.

A copy of Sludge Life 2 was provided by the publisher.