Slayaway Camp Butchers Cut is a nod to cheesy 80’s horror films about a serial killer who seeks to terrorise anyone and everyone who gets in his way.
It’s an isometric puzzle game where you control Skullface around levels slaying victims while avoiding potential harmful obstacles along the way. The clever thing about Slayaway is that you are limited in how you can move around levels. It uses a sliding mechanic where fences, walls, furniture and other things dictate, assist and all play a part in how you get around to killing your victims. Clever thinking and use of the level design plays a huge part in successfully completing each level and killing each victim as efficiently as possible. One wrong move could easily lead to becoming stuck in a corner, between bookshelves or getting shot by police which can result in the possibility of having to start the level again.
The gameplay of Slayaway is simple but effective, with movements of up, down, left and right being your only movement options within the game. Sliding around each level, utilising the rooms layout to kill the victims is simple at first but later on in the game, thinking about your moves ahead will become pivotal if you want to successfully complete the tougher later levels. Obstacles that can potentially stop you in your tracks like campfires, water streams, police and swat teams will make you reassess how you approach each level and while it gets slightly tougher later on, it never gets too difficult or become frustrating.
A hints system is available if you get truly stuck which will cost coins that are acquired by killing victims and completing levels. There is a rewind system too, so if you mistakenly make a move and change your mind, you can simply press the LB button to go back and try it again. Slayaway plays as well as you might expect and with a simple movement system like this I would expect nothing less, but despite its simplicity and the fact it isn’t the deepest or most complex of gameplay mechanics, it’s responsive and pretty addictive all the same. Its novelty does wear off fairly quickly though as it can get repetitive later on, but there is no denying that Slayaway continues to be addictive and fun despite its repetitive nature.
As mentioned earlier, the game is laid out in an isometric view but this can be changed to a full top down view to allow for a better look at the layout of the levels. It’s visual style is similar to that of Minecraft but with a more refined blocky appearance rather than being overly pixelated. It suits the style well, fitting in nicely with the gameplay mechanics and while there isn’t much detail in its visuals, it looks sharp on screen. There is a decent amount of humorous kills in the game with limbs being cut off, bookcases squashing the victims and chainsaws slicing heads off plus many more, and all are very tongue in cheek.
There is an option in the main menu to turn off the blood and gore, but let’s be honest, if you’re buying a game called Slayaway Camp Butchers Cut then I doubt you would be wanting to turn this off. There are a whole host of different kills and characters to unlock as well as bonus levels including a mass murdering Santa Claus. Each section is put in to movie styles with each sequel being more ridiculous than the previous one and ultimately more difficult too. The humour here offers a few giggles as it tries to capture the cheesy horror movies of old and while its funny at first, the novelty of these kills tends to wear off fairly quickly.
The level designs overall are clever and offer a challenge, especially in the later sections. Each one has a setting based on the classic horror movie genre and include settings such as campsites, hospitals, high schools plus others and there’s even a 3D version, which has a visual effect mimicking the old blue & red 3D glasses. There are loads of different things to unlock throughout with new characters, new weapons, new kills and bonus levels. There is enough to keep you entertained for a fair amount of time, but once it’s all been completed there isn’t much else to go back for.
Slayaway Camp Butchers Cut is a good albeit slightly repetitive puzzler that offers a humorous tongue in cheek tribute to slasher movies of old. It’ll definitely get you thinking and working out your killing routes in advance will eventually become second nature but expect some mistimed moves along the way. It’s fun, it’s addictive and it offers a tongue in cheek puzzle bloodbath that will certainly keep your brain ticking over. If you’re looking for an alternative to the horror genre and fancy a giggle then you can’t go far wrong with Slayaway Camp Butchers Cut. It isn’t the most revolutionary game out there right now but it still offers something a little bit different to other puzzle games out there at the moment.