Slayaway Camp could’ve been cheesy with its very accurate play on horror flicks from the mid-80’s and very professional commentator, but it just plain works
You would be forgiven if you mistook this zoomed in Minecraft-looking, isometric-viewpoint-puzzler for a child’s game; it’s anything but that. In a similar genre to that of Hitman Go, the makers of Peggle and Plants Vs. Zombies bring us Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut. It’s about clearing a board, but the major reward doesn’t come from solving the puzzles, it comes from the brutal cutscenes.
To butcher this game down to its essential gameplay is a crime, but we’ll get away with it regardless. You have a board of which you need to “clear” certain enemies, and by clear I mean brutally murder… usually teenagers or any living pedestrian. Thankfully, as for the movies (a.k.a. worlds) that I’ve played, police officers were not required to be killed and animals should not be killed… so the game does have some heart to it. You can only move in straight lines in the game until you hit a wall or a victim or some means of death, as opposed to moving one step at a time à la Hitman Go, so you will need to plan ahead quite a bit before moving; I love games that make you think like this. Though the puzzles are engaging and can become somewhat challenging, which is a good thing for this type of game, solving them is half the reason that you’ll keep on playing.
The cut scenes are gorgeously gory and a wonder to look at. There is something to be fulfilled in each person’s heart by stabbing a block in the eye and watching it disseminate… it’s what each of us wanted to do as a kid with LEGOs, but couldn’t because those blocks were expensive. Each movie that you play will have different types of cutscenes and death animations. The game even encourages you to purchases more animations in its shop (all with in-game currency). At the end of every level, there’s a finishing animation where you get a chance to finish someone in a very detailed and gory execution. You can actually miss these. My wife is always rooting for me to miss because the very scared and terrified block-person has a very cute glad-I-just-escaped-death animation to look at… this, in turn, makes her happy, but makes me mad!
Graphics and solving puzzles wouldn’t be anywhere without the controls. The switch version of this game supports both touchscreen and gamepad support; both work incredibly well. I played on switch in both modes all the time, never questioning myself as to which method I wanted to use. My wife’s first instinct was to use touch controls, and only when I pointed out that you could use the gamepad did she begin to use it. This makes me wonder why more iOS games don’t come over to the switch. The isometric point of view can be changed to a complete overhead view just in case if you need a bit more precision with your spatial reasoning… but I never found a problem with the cooler isometric viewpoint.
Slayaway Camp could’ve been cheesy with its very accurate play on horror flicks from the mid-80’s and very professional commentator, but it just plain works. From the person who’s playing with friends that are helping you solve puzzles on the big screen, everything just comes together in this tightly woven package. The developers could’ve ported their less blocky Friday The 13th Killer Puzzle counterpart, but I’m glad they went with this one… it’s just way too cute. If you’re even remotely interested in a Hitman Go style puzzler, don’t let this game slip you by.
Developed by: Blue Wizard Digital
Release Date: 3/22/18