Mass murder has never been more adorable…
Recently I’ve been playing Slayaway Camp on the Switch, it’s a puzzle game where the basic idea is to move your character around a map to murder the various characters positioned within the map and once all characters have been suitably despatched exit the level. I hadn’t heard of it prior to getting it and I have to say it was kind of nice going into a game with no preconceived notions of what it was going to be like.
It’s a simple enough concept, and I will admit that after the first level I thought that was literally all there was to it but I’m as happily mistaken. While the core concept is there the game adds obstacles to proceedings to make sure that the game keeps being challenging. These vary in levels from police officers, to hazards such as fire, limits to the number of moves you can make and characters you can’t kill.
Aesthetically the game uses blocky kind of cute characters and the violence is over the top to the point of it being cartoonish which is definitely a good thing as some of the kill animations are very funny. It also acts as something of a tribute to laser films as each level is classified as a movie and each movie has a playable character seemingly inspired by movie killers with the first couple of levels being influenced by Friday the 13th and Jason Voorhees.
As I’ve progressed through the game some levels have been pretty tricky, there is a hint function that will give you a clue to help you or failing that there’s an option to see a sped-up walkthrough of the level so there’s always an option if you get stuck which is a nice touch. These hints cost coins which can be earned during the course of the main game or there’s a game mode available from the main menu where you can earn coins. These coins can also be used to unlock new kills so there are multiple reasons to be earning the coins.
There’s a lot to like about the game but I think the two things I like most about it are that as discussed there are options available should you get stuck on a level, so it never gets to a point where it gets frustrating which can be pretty common in a puzzle game. The other is that there’s a genuine sense of achievement when you spend a little while on a level trying to suss it out and you manage to do it, either by luck or by noticing something you’d previously been missing.
It’s priced around the £14 mark on the Xbox, PlayStation and Switch stores which I think is pretty reasonable for an indie game like this. Realistically though I paid the full retail price for Aliens: Colonial Marines so literally everything is reasonably priced by comparison. All in all, it’s definitely a game I’d recommend and it’s a game I’m pleased I tried, there’s definitely something to be said for trying games that you’d maybe not normally consider.
Beard Score: 7/10