Sometimes, there are certain things that just click. Blue Wizard Digital’s debut title Slayaway Camp masterfully combines challenging puzzles with a loving tribute to 80s slasher movies, and the result is a darkly humorous joyride as you plan out how to hack and slash through the numerous, young adult fodder.
Slayaway Camp, at its core, is a simple game. You play as a killer, and there are victims to slaughter. Moving in any direction will slide you across the map, up until you hit a wall or some other obstruction. Upon physical contact with a victim, you stop and kill them. Once all victims are killed, you must make your way to a portal to move onto the next level. You have the ability to rewind your actions if you make a mistake or find yourself stuck.
Often times, to complete a level, you’ll need to kill all of your victims in a certain way, in a certain order. Otherwise, you may not even be able to exit the level. Things start off easy enough, but it doesn’t take long until more elements come into play. Cops can kill you if you end up in their range. Campfires, bodies of water, and pits can kill you, but they can also be used to your advantage. Being a scary killer means that if you land nearby a victim, they’ll get scared and run away in the opposite direction, and that could mean running straight into a pool full of hungry piranhas.
That’s all just the start of what you’ll encounter in this game. Puzzle elements are introduced at a steady pace so you won’t be overwhelmed. There are ten “movies” in total, each holding ten or more levels. Once in a while, you’ll come across a level where you’ll need to kill all of your victims and reach the portal in a certain number of moves. These aren’t too common, but they do add a layer of spice to the gameplay when they show up.
On top of all this, you can also unlock “Deleted Scenes” as well as “NC-17” versions of each movie. Deleted Scenes offer up a number of difficult bonus levels, and NC-17 will have you go through each movie again, but with significantly harder puzzles (and shower scenes… that’s a thing). All of this combined gives you well over 200 puzzles to solve.
As you complete levels, you’ll be treated to a mini-game where you need to press a button at the right time to kill a victim. Succeeding will give you coins. If a puzzle proves to be too difficult, you can pay coins to get helpful hints on what to do. If you still can’t figure things out, you can pay another fee to watch exactly how to complete the puzzle. Eventually, you unlock the option to play an endless version of the mini-game, so you’ll always have a way to make more coins. This all makes for a good way to eliminate frustration if you’re stuck on any particular puzzle.
The coins can also be used
Speaking of the 80s slasher theme, it’s clear that Blue Wizard Digital put an awful lot of love into making Slayaway Camp feel like a genuine, cheap slasher flick with a humorous spin. There’s VHS effects, a hammy narrator, and even a theme song that sounds like it came straight out of Friday the 13th. To make all of this even better, everything is portrayed with block people. The horrendous, gory violence suddenly takes on a silly tone thanks to this. If you have an aversion to ludicrous amounts of gore, you even have the option to play in “PG Mode,” so you can enjoy the puzzle gameplay with minimal amounts of blood.
Just ask two questions. Do you like puzzle games? Do you like 80s slasher films? If you answered yes to both of those, then there’s no need for debate. The fun atmosphere, the numerous amounts of levels and unlockable content, and the challenging gameplay all makes Slayaway Camp’s $9 price tag an absolute steal.
Hi, I'm James. I like to play video games and then scream at people's faces about them. I started getting into gaming around the PS1 and N64 days, and I've been addicted ever since.