Slayaway Camp - A Gruesome Call Back to 80's Slashers
Over the past few years, the 1980's slasher movies have been making a massive comeback in popularity. Of course, the 80's slasher theme has quickly started to make its way into the video game industry as well, with the likes of the upcoming Friday The 13th video game and Dead by Daylight. But not all games have taken the traditional slasher tropes, and Slayaway Camp is one of them.
Slayaway Camp is a puzzle game developed and published by Blue Wizard Digital. It released on Steam October 25th, 2016 and later was ported to iOS devices. It is unique and ingenious puzzle title that pays homage to the 80's slashers in every possible gruesome and hilarious way.
Parodying all the classic slashers
There isn't a plot to Slayaway Camp, instead, it simply parodies every slasher film imaginable. The game is divided into episodes that come in the form of movies, each referencing their real life counterparts. The Slayaway Camp flicks are a parody of the Friday the 13th movies with Skullface being a parody of Jason Voorhees.
There are also others like an episode that parodies the film My Bloody Valentine as one example There are also unlockable characters like the special Easter character the Feaster Bunnie who takes after the rabbit from Donnie Darko.
If you are a fan of slasher movies, there is more than enough references and parodies of all forms of horror titles to keep you entertained through over 200 levels of gruesome murder.
An isometric puzzle game where you are the killer
The gameplay to Slayaway Camp is unique, easy to come to grips with and quite an ingenious concept. When moving around a level, you can only slide up, down, left or right. While sliding the character will continue to move until they hit an obstacle.
The objective of each of the levels is to kill all the victims and then enter the pentagram to escape. While this may sound easy, there are plenty of obstacles that stand in your way to make your life harder. From giant holes to water to landmines, there plenty of dangers for both you and your victims.
If you move right beside or in front of a victim, they become scared and flee in the opposite direction. A lot of levels require you to scare victims in a specific direction or multiple directions in order to navigate and complete the level. Sometimes it requires you to scare them into running into mines and fires too.
Once you complete a level, a mini-game begins where you must click at the right time to kill a victim. If you don't click at the right time you will miss the victim, but if successful, you will gain coins for your gruesome murder. Coins are then used to unlock new gore packs (special kills) and characters.
Coins can also be used to pay for tips to help you complete levels. If you are really stuck, you can pay 100 coins to receive a walkthrough for a level, showing you exactly what you need to do to complete it. There is a special film that you unlock as you progress that allows you to grind coins, should you run out of them and become stuck with a particular level.
If you make a mistake, you can also rewind your actions or start the entire level over at any time. The gameplay to Slayaway Camp is interesting, entertaining and most of all -- fun. The difficulty of the levels gradually increases bit by bit, giving a steady but fair jump in challenge.
While the tips and the ability use your coins to gain a walkthrough for a level might defeat the point of a puzzle game, it does keep the game from becoming boring. If you get stuck to the point of frustration it allows to move on to the next level.
There isn't anything to not like about the gameplay. It is, however, one of those games that you will only like if you are a fan of puzzle games. If not, the chances are, not even the slasher theme would be enough to keep you playing without at least some patience.
Tonnes of unlockables
There is no shortage of unlockables available in Slayaway Camp. From new killers to new gore packs, to new levels, there is always something new on offer. Once you have completed a film (episode) you can return to it to play the deleted scenes which are additional levels with a greater challenge.
Every month, the developer releases a new killer that is available to unlock using a special code. The codes are available to those who sign up to their monthly newsletter and is available in the email. Even if you sign up late, the previous months' codes will still be available to you. These along with the game receiving updates often give the game breath of fresh air on a regular basis.
A clever and addicting experience
Slayaway Camp is an extremely clever game that you become quite addicted to. It is gruesome and horrifying while at the same time containing a cuteness to its design. It is the art style that allows the game to be as entertaining and hilarious in all its morbid glory.
It is a game that puzzle fans will love and even those who may not be puzzle fanatics but like gore may enjoy it with a few bits of patience, thanks to the walkthrough mechanic. It certainly isn't an absolute must play game but it is brilliant never the less.
Disclaimer: A copy of the game was provided to the writer for the purpose of this review.