We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Blue Wizard Digital Ltd for the review copy of Slayaway Camp used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review.
In Slayaway Camp you play as Skullface and his friends. In a situation reminiscent of many 1980s slasher horror movies, Skullface and his friends decide to go on a killing spree of promiscuous teenagers in and around the Slayaway Camp.
Slayaway Camp is first and foremost a puzzle game. Your goal in every level is to kill all of the teenagers in the level and make it to the demonic symbol in order to escape. The game is similar to a lot of other puzzle games where you slide your character around and they don’t stop until they run into an obstacle. The object of the game is to figure out the path around the level that lets you kill all of the teenagers and end up on the escape symbol. As you get further into the game additional mechanics are added. You will have objects that you can use to help you kill your victims. The police and SWAT teams will be present to arrest you if you stop in front of them (for some reason they don’t hear screams from nearby teenagers being killed though). The FBI will occasionally show up which limits the amount of moves you can make in a level. Some levels even have cats which you can’t kill since even if you are a serial killer you aren’t a big enough monster to kill poor defenseless cats.
Being a fan of puzzle games I had a strong feeling that I was going to enjoy Slayaway Camp since I usually enjoy these type of puzzle games. Not surprisingly I did enjoy my time with Slayaway Camp. Slayaway Camp doesn’t revolutionize this genre of puzzle games but it does a good job utilizing what works for these type of games. The mechanics are easy to get the hang of and are fun if you like the challenge of figuring out these type of “sliding” puzzle games. If you don’t really like these type of puzzle games, Slayaway Camp probably won’t change your mind but if you like these type of games you should really enjoy your time with Slayaway Camp.
The key to these type of puzzle games is good puzzle design. For the most part the puzzle design in Slayaway Camp is quite good. The game doesn’t have a ton of mechanics but the game does a good job utilizing them in order to make good puzzles. I especially like when the game forces you to use your victims as obstacles in a lot of the puzzles in order to reach the next victim or the exit. As far as difficulty I would say the puzzles are moderately difficult. You will encounter quite a few puzzles that you will figure out pretty quickly but there are puzzles that will stump you to the point where you will have to try quite a few different combinations before you come upon the right solution.
At this point I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of the horror genre. I can even say that I have never watched any of the horror slasher movies that have inspired Slayaway Camp. I probably didn’t get all of the game’s references but I could still appreciate the game’s tongue in cheek look at the genre. The game does a really good job a spoofing the genre. The game’s story is told through a bunch of VHS tapes on a store shelf with each VHS tape being a different set of levels based on a different “movie” in the same Slayaway Camp horror series. The cutscenes at the beginning of each “movie” do a pretty good job making fun of the tropes from the genre. I especially enjoy the jokes that make fun of how many movies were made of this fake movie franchise. I think fans of 1980s slasher horror movies will get quite a bit of enjoyment out of the game’s story.
One thing I was a little surprised by was the amount of violence in the game. The game has you playing as a serial killer so violence is to be expected but it is also a puzzle game. While Slayaway Camp is far from one of the most violent video games, the game is also not for children. If the game were to have an ESRB rating I would guess that it would get a rating between Teen and M. With the game being made with voxel style graphics the violence is pretty cartoony but there is a surprising amount of blood as well. I don’t see the violence really offending a lot of people but I wanted to warn people that don’t care for a lot of violence in the games that they play.
As far as length is concerned, Slayaway Camp has quite a bit of content for its’ price. The game includes 10 different worlds and each world has around 10-20 levels. The Steam page claims the game has 200 different levels. How much time you get out of the game is really going to depend on how fast you can solve the puzzles. I solved quite a few of the puzzles pretty quickly but there was the occasional puzzle that took quite a while to solve. So far I have finished between five and six of the worlds and I have been playing the game for around four and a half hours. I would guess that the game will take most people around 7-10 hours to complete. If you are into collectibles Slayaway Camp has quite a few different killers and special kills that you can unlock with coins that you earn in the game.
Overall I enjoyed Slayaway Camp. Slayaway Camp is a good puzzle game which is shown through good puzzle design. Slayaway Camp is not going to revolutionize the genre but it is a good game. Fans of slasher horror movies will probably love the game’s story/theme. If you like these type of puzzle games I can’t see you not enjoying Slayaway Camp. It is a puzzle game though so if you don’t like these type of puzzle games Slayaway Camp is probably not going to be for you.