Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 09.12.2017

Review for Slayaway Camp: Butcher

There's a lot of new releases that have come out since your last new year's resolutions. However, there's also been a whole mess of ports. Slayaway Camp has come over to the PS4 in the form of Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut, introducing console gamers to the sliding madness that comes with slaughtering helpless citizens. The parody of 80s slasher films is still loaded with humour, and now, you can massacre camp counsellors, miners, and astronauts while glaring into your television screen. However, for first timers, it's important to know that there's definitely a lot of challenge and enjoyment to be had here. Sadly, the investigation grows stale a little too quickly.

For those who've never heard of it, Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut is a sliding puzzle. Victims are placed around an area, and you control a sociopath by moving them in one of four directions. They will slide until they hit something. That something might be a wall, a victim, or something that effects the environment. These can be light switches, fridges, or even portable toilets.

Learning to navigate the environment is important, not only for slaughtering the innocent, but also staying alive. Despite being a hardcore killer, you seem to have an aversion to killing animals. It would help a lot to get that brunette to run into a campfire, but if the killer slides into it, it's game over. The "friendly fire" of environmental traps adds an additional layer of strategy that is both smart and problematic, forcing the player to send a victim to their doom without following shortly after.

Screenshot for Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut on PlayStation 4

Honestly, the gameplay is fantastic. Sliding puzzles might be one of the less utilized types in the puzzle genre, but Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut makes a strong argument for why it should be more prevalent. Puzzles remain impressively complex as time goes on, finding new methods to utilize old lessons throughout. Controls are perfect, which might not sound impressive given the small amount of work they need to do. However, they are tight and responsive, resulting in the joystick feeling like a direct translator for your finger, perfectly mirroring intentions into actions.

There's also a ridiculous amount of content to explore and unlock. There's the base 10 movies, each a spoof on some horror film (though they seem to be taking particular aim at the Friday The 13th series). Additionally, those have NC-17 levels (sort of like Dark levels in Super Meat Boy), as well as Deleted scenes to play through. There are three more movies, such as a mining town, to wreak havoc in. Couple this is with special killers and new types of kills to unlock, and there's a lot of extra content.

Screenshot for Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut on PlayStation 4

That cost of most of those unlockables (except for levels) is in-game currency, which is earned a little too slowly. Since you gain currency so slowly, it's frustrating having to replay levels over and over again because you finally found the one that gives out the most coins. Furthermore, there are in-game hints that cost currency as well. At this point, completionists are better off using YouTube videos, since that currency would be better spent on in-game content, most of which is just aesthetic changes, though many of the alternate kills can be pretty funny. Sadly, with the slow earning of the coins, it can often feel like you're earning a lot of money for very little reward.

The game's big problem is that so many of the mechanics are largely just the same thing in new clothes. Holes are no different than fire places or water. Fridges act just like bookcases and outhouses. Now, there is an argument to be made that these are changed to match the theme of the area the player is exploring. However, the space station has fridges. Furthermore, some of the mechanics that are introduced are much more diverse. Light switches change how most enemies see you, SWAT Team Members are much more dangerous than their small town counterparts. These highly diverse mechanics make the reskins of earlier mechanics all the more jarring and, frankly, boring.

Screenshot for Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut on PlayStation 4

That's really it, though, in terms of complaints. Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut gets away with murder by being adorable. You can even turn the gore off and further sanitize the experience, which was a brilliant decision. The sound effects are pretty ingenious, as a helpless camper screams "NOOOO!" It's both funny and chilling. Every inch of this game is saturated in the darkest of dark humour, but thanks to its vector cartoon look, it never comes off as hostile or mean spirited; instead, it's genuinely beautiful.

Despite the lack of mechanical changes, the puzzles remain consistently difficult throughout. Thanks to the inclusion of NC-17 and Deleted scenes, even after completing the game, there's still a ton to do. Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut is easily one of the best puzzle games on the PS4, for both its interesting puzzle layouts and its charming artistic display. If only so many of the mechanics weren't just reskins, it might have easily been considered a masterpiece. Even though it isn't, it's still pretty close to being perfect.

Screenshot for Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut is as good as you heard it was. Thanks to a great wealth of content, not all of which is as exciting as others, it would be easy to get lost in the seemingly endless list of new levels and character unlocks, without feeling overwhelmed. Really, the game's biggest strength is how smart the puzzles are and how it balances a lot of content without feeling like there's too much. Unfortunately, some of that content feels underwhelming, almost like the game is ripping itself off.


Blue Wizard Digital


Blue Wizard Digital





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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