As I remarked a few days ago when it hit the App Store, I love me some Slayaway Camp, so I was very excited that developer Blue Wizard Digital was buddying up with Netflix in order to release a new entry in the series. There was in fact already a full-blown follow-up to the original 2017 Slayaway Camp in the form of Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle, which was officially licensed with the classic slasher flick IP and released in early 2018. Sadly, because of licensing shenanigans, the game was pulled back in January, but if you bought it previously you can still download and play it (and even buy the IAP packs, as I just recently discovered). After those first two titles there was Slashy Camp, which was Blue Wizard’s homage to a Crossy Road-alike with their particular brand of slasher flick aesthetic and humor.
All of this history lesson is in fact going somewhere, as it’s important to help understand my initial mixed feelings about Slayaway Camp 2 Netflix & Kill. The OG Slayaway Camp and Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle are both sliding puzzle games. Meaning they’re built around the mechanics of those gridded puzzle boards where you slide an object and it keeps going until it hits another solid surface, and you’re tasked with solving levels within the confines of that. I always forget if this type of puzzle has a proper name or not, but chances are pretty good you’ve played or at least know the type of puzzle game I’m talking about. In these first two games your job is to kill every target and then make it to an exit all while strategically sliding around the board.
Then there is Slashy Camp. It used the mechanic that Crossy Road popularized all those years ago (and Frogger many decades before, if you want to go there) where you’re playing on a gridded playfield but you can only move one square at a time. This worked well as a Slayaway Camp spinoff game that was more an arcade experience than a puzzle one, and happily coexisted with its puzzle-oriented siblings. Now we have Slayaway Camp 2, which feels like a combination of the two game types. It’s once again an isometric game built around specific puzzle-like levels, but the sliding mechanics appeared to be gone and replaced with single square movement like in Slashy Camp.
At first, I did not like this. Not one bit. I loved the slidey puzzles and was looking forward to more of them, and being able to move wherever you wanted on the board kind of felt too easy. I was bummed, but the pedigree of the series, the incredible humor, the fake Netflix app UI and interface, and the gobs and gobs of levels and content I could see locked away waiting for me had me continue on to see if maybe things would change. And they DID change. As I worked my way through some more levels I started seeing some new mechanics in play that were built around the single-square movement, and I realized that there was some fantastic puzzling to be had here, it was just a different sort of puzzling than I was expecting. I was happy again and looking forward to continuing on my bloody journey of murder.
Then I beat the first movie, which unlocked a bunch of additional goals for each chapter I’d played through, and it’s THEN that I discovered that there ARE slidey puzzles in Slayaway Camp 2. In fact there’s even levels with mixtures of slidey and not-slidey surfaces, which opens up all kinds of interesting strategies. So really, this feels like a culmination of all things Slayaway Camp, with various blends of all the different mechanics, and with the gobs and gobs of content I mentioned earlier I’m sure there are even more surprises and new things for me to discover. I’ve now done a complete 180 after initially being down on Slayaway Camp 2, and now I’m absolutely delighted with it.
Just wanted to share my experience in case anyone else tried this one out real quick, was turned off, and then never ventured any further. Keep going! This game is freaking epic and I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface. I also love that it plays in portrait mode which just feels right for this type of game. I can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend before Halloween than slashing a bunch of dopey teenagers in increasingly over-the-top gory ways, so if you’ve got a Netflix membership already Slayaway Camp 2 Netflix & Kill is one you’re going to want to download and check out for yourself.