Successfully touting a fun cheesy 80’s horror gimmick that many fans of the genre should appreciate, Slayaway Camp at its core is an endearing sliding puzzle game that will entertain you as much as it will test your problem-solving abilities. The narrative is this - you’re a killer in a movie, systematically sliding around a room using in the perfect combination of moves in order to murder unsuspecting sprites and make it back to a portal to hell, presumably. After the deed is done, you’ll move to the next scene, and continue the process.
It sounds simple, and it is, but there is a bevy of variations in each level that keep Slayaway feeling fresh. You’ll have to dodge hazards, such as falling in water, fire, and holes. Thankfully your victims are susceptible as well, so you won’t feel left out while falling in a pond and having a crocodile chew your face off. You’ll also learn that killing folk will stop you in place, and force you to change the way you’ve been navigating the map thus far. You’ll have SWAT teams that will shoot you in the face if you don’t kill them in a certain way. Slayaway never rushes you into any of its mechanics, however. Scene by scene the game will introduce a new aspect, allowing for an organic build up, which never makes you feel like you’ve missed any important information on how to complete the puzzles.
Speaking of mechanics, Slayaway runs as smooth as it can get. Movement is crisp and fast, and you’re given the ability to adjust camera angles in a variety of ways, enabling you to try and get a better perspective on how to solve a puzzle. If you fail (or if that ornery crocodile gets you), Slayaway offers a rewind button, allowing you to go back turn by turn and fix your mistake. If you mess up terribly, there’s also a quick restart button that will do just what it says: restart you from the beginning.
On top of the puzzles and murderin’, a coin system has been placed into Slayaway. Every time you solve a puzzle, get bonus kills or complete a mini-game, you’ll earn coins. Coins can be used in order to buy hints for difficult puzzles, gore packs and kill animations, and even purchasing new sprites to do your slashing with. I won’t spoil some of the later ones available for purchase, but there are some early characters, such as “Jill Frost” and “Gremling” which were pretty fun to see. Staying with the coin speak, something I really admired about Slayaway camp is its lack of in-app purchasing. We all know we live in a world where micro-transactions invade our lives on the daily, often times making it difficult to compete in a game or even seeing all the content the game has to offer without opening your wallet. Blue Wizard avoids this, and as long as you play the game, you will earn enough coins to buy most of whatever you want. It’s refreshing, and I appreciated that I could just keep hacking away at my victims and make enough currency to check out the cool stuff Blue Wizard threw into the game.
Speaking of hacking away, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this game is extremely violent (No shit, right?). Luckily, most of the gore and guts is playfully depicted, and the usage of blocky sprite characters helps cut down on the shocking gore. However, if you still can’t stomach this carnage, Blue Wizard has implemented a gore slider, allowing you to adjust the blood and guts to your liking. This is an interesting feature, and a smart move on their part, just in case some youngins want to test the waters of this game. My thoughts on this game are simple. It’s awesome. Slayaway is a well thought out, well executed, and well-balanced puzzle game. Sure, at times I wished the puzzles would have been a little more difficult, but you just can’t knock this game. If you’re a fan of the genre horror time period or even a teenage kid who only knows Jason as “That guy that fought the guy from the dream movies” you’ll like this game.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review.
Final Score: 9.5/10
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