Being the younger brother of the family, I got to watch things that were wildly inappropriate for my age. My personal favourite of these films were the Slasher flicks, movies which featured unstoppable killers hunting down teens who broke the “rules” in creative ways. Of those movies, Friday the 13th always stood out, I cheered whenever I saw Jason on the screen and laughed at some of the deaths which would have scared most adults at the time.
Yeah, I was a disturbed little sicko.
While we have plenty of Slasher based games that puts us in the shoes of these unstoppable killers (see Dead by Daylight or the upcoming Friday the 13th video game) none of them capture the comedic value that some of these deaths had, rather going for more shock and gore. This is where Slayaway Camp comes in, a game developed by Blue Wizard Entertainment and created by one of the co-founders of PopCap games.
Slayaway Camp puts you in a fake film under the same name as a psycho murderer/Jason wannabe Skullface. Following the unstoppable killer trope, Skullface is out for blood of the teens and counsellors who are at the camp. Your goal is to help guide Skullface through various puzzles to get them all.
The game plays as a Slider Puzzle, as Skullface players choose a direction to slide until they hit an object in their way, be a wall, a object or teen. The goal is to kill all the teens on the map before making your way to the portal to bring you to the next level. Of course this isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Levels give specific obstacles which can help or hinder your progress. As the Teens tend to run if you appear on the square next to them, you can cause them to run into water, landmines or fire-pits. Other objects can block paths and deliver a crushing blow, like bookshelves and port-a-potties. Players have to plan their path right in order to get the gory special kills.
Each chapter is set up as a special Slayaway Camp video, each one of them telling a self-contained horror trope. The chapters contain around 13 episodes each with several bonus “NC-17” levels after completing that are supposed to be harder and give more Skullcoins to unlock new killers and Gorepacks, which will give you more special cinematic kills.
What makes the game alluring is the simplistic design, the gameplay is one that is easy to learn and even easier to screw up, while the Minecraft style character design make the violence more comedic then horrifying. One of the better features is it’s aesthetic, as a fan of the old 80’s VHS slashers, the audio features some great synthesizers and a great Narrator that is pulled from every horror trailer ever.
The best thing about Slayaway Camp is that it doesn’t take itself seriously and is more of a light-hearted homage then a parody of classic Slashers. For someone looking for something different in their puzzle game, I highly recommend this gorefest.