Parents' Guide to

Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

This puzzler's killer theme makes for a bloody good time.

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Puzzle games seem a dime a dozen these days, but every once in a while something finds a fresh take on a familiar formula to become a new killer hit. Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut is, quite literally, that new killer hit. After all, if you're going to wrap a puzzle game in a new coat of paint, why not make it the bloody carnage of a campy '80s slasher flick, right? As absurd as that may sound, the cheesy horror setting and over-the-top humor give the game a wild personality that makes it hard to put down. Collecting the different slashers, watching the different kills, and just laughing at the cartoonish insanity of it all never gets old. Watching a slasher try to run someone down with a street sweeper all in pixelated, pseudo-3D has to be one of the funniest moments in recent gaming memory.

Personality can only carry a game so far. There's got to be some substance to the gameplay if it's going to have any staying power. Strip away the dark humor and Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut looks like little more than a basic slide puzzle, quick to fall into the trap of repetition. But the game seems to have mastered the technique of the slow burn. Over time, it introduces more moves, trickier obstacles, and more mind-bending ways to interact with the environment. This gradual build doesn't just keep things from feeling stale, but also keeps adding extra layers of difficulty to consider, giving players a constant sense of both challenge and accomplishment. Put all the pieces together, and you wind up with a bloody balanced brainteaser and one truly killer puzzle game.

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