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Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut (Xbox)

Developed by Blue Wizard Digital, Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut was initially released last year on PC and is now available on Xbox One for £13.59 (Currently on sale at only £10.19!)

A puzzle game with a dark and often gruesome twist, you are the psycho killer “Skullface” and your objective is to slide your way around, getting revenge by killing the innocents and then making a swift exit through the portal.

Although it is listed as a “horror” game, its more gruesome than it is terrifying (for the player anyway!) but a feature that I liked is that you have the option of turning the gore off at the beginning of the game which is particularly useful for people like me who would like to play video games without having to worry about the content the kids may see! It is still clear that killing is happening though, there are just no cutscenes with special kill moves, so even in PG mode, it may be worth waiting for the younger ones to be elsewhere when playing!

Slayaway Camp looks to me like a cross between Minecraft and Roblox with its large block designs. Each of the puzzles have been designed well enough so that they increase in complexity so you’ll have to use a good amount of logic to get you through some of them! They are also varied enough that you don’t feel like you’re playing the same levels on repeat with each film introducing a new hazard to use to your advantage whilst avoiding your own demise. You can change between having the game as top-down or more angled down, making it more “3D looking” with a simple press of the X button, which is a nice touch as it certainly helps you to plan your route through!

The puzzles (of which there are hundreds!) have been divided up into “scenes” which ultimately create one horror film. Each time you complete a film you unlock the sequel which I thought was an awesome way of portraying the levels. One of the films is called “Faces of Killed 3” which is different to the others in that it is essentially a mini-game where you have to stop the skull on the red part of the kill zone bar which changes size with each kill you get. I have to admit that I have become quite addicted to it! I think it is helped by the hair-metal, original soundtracks by Gnü Truntion being so perfect for the game, it almost spurs me on and helps to bring out my inner psycho!

Gameplay is smooth and framerate is consistent so I am happy to report that I haven’t encountered a single problem whilst playing through any of the levels! The controls are simple, you slide around the puzzles using LS. You can undo the previous move by tapping LB or restart the puzzle completely by pressing LT which is incredibly quick and has been used well throughout my experience! I love the fact that you can press RB to “fast forward” through a puzzle which if you are stuck, will give you a hint at first or show you how to complete the puzzle move by move (for a price, of course!) which I really appreciated. There is nothing worse (for me) than getting stuck on something and then having to wait for a walkthrough to be made or to go trawling through the internet looking for a solution. It also gave me another way to spend my coins!

For the most part, controls are responsive and will do what you tell them to without any issues however when I have been playing the mini-game (Faces of Killed 3) I did notice a few inconsistencies which at first I thought was just me and playing it for too long but even after going away and returning later on, there are still issues. You have to be precise when stopping the skull (by pressing the A button) and I have noticed that sometimes it will stop immediately (great- that’s what I want!) but other times there seems to be a slight delay between pressing A and it actually stopping, it is almost like you’ll need to press A just before you actually want it to stop but there is absolutely no way of predicting when the responsiveness will change and it usually ends up with missing completely and thus, ending your run. Thankfully, I’m not the only one to feel like this is an issue because I was seriously starting to question my reaction times!

It surprised me just how much content Slayaway Camp has, you can tell that a lot of love has been put into the game which shines through at all times. Completing puzzles and playing the Faces of Killed 3 mini-game will earn you coins and believe me, there is PLENTY to spend it on! You can unlock more psycho killers to play as and you can also buy gorepacks which unlock more kill scenes for you to enjoy. There are even bonus killers available to claim by using "Killer Kodes" which are released monthly (subscribe to the developers' mailing list to stay up to date!)

Overall, Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut is a game that initially I didn’t expect to have much fun with but I spent 7 hours straight playing it. That in itself should speak volumes! If I had to give it a score then it would have to be 9/10! Definitely get this game, especially whilst it is discounted!

Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut has a gargantuan 50 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. For the most part, the achievements are progression based and will be unlocked through natural gameplay, there are also achievements for killing people in a certain way, for obtaining all of the gore packs as well as obtaining high scores in “Faces of Killed 3”. It may take a while depending on how much time you put into the game and whether you focus on achievements or just playing for fun but ultimately, it’s a pretty straightforward completion. If you need any help or guidance with any of the achievements then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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