A Killer Game
40 years ago, Pamela Vorhees got stab-happy on the shores of Crystal Lake. She lost her head that day but inspired one of the most iconic slashers of all-time. Jason didn’t let his canonical young death prevent him from avenging his mother. He stabs in Manhattan! He disembowels in space! And now, for the first time, thanks to Blue Wizard Digital, he’s adorable. Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is simultaneously a loving, wry tribute to a beloved series and cute as hell.
His Name is Jason
Jason’s back and he’s still bitter about the whole dead mom thing. Naturally, horny teens pay the price. Jason lumbers through various locations-the woods, prison-slashing everyone crossing his path. Once he finds, and summarily murders, the final girl/boy/prisoner/etcetera, Jason moves onto the next level.
He Was a Weak Swimmer
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle keeps things simple. It is, primarily, a maze. Jason needs to get from point A to victim B. Jason, built mostly of rage and hockey mask, lumbers mindlessly forward. Players use walls, tables, and whatever is available to steer Jason.
Slide Jason towards the wall necessary to redirect him. Repeat as often as necessary to get him to victims. He automatically murders everyone he comes face-to-face with.
The controls remain simple and straightforward. Mazes, however, increase in difficulty as the game progresses. Early levels can be completed quickly, in three swipes. As the body count rises, Jason starts having to avoid obstacles. Avoid prison guards, random holes, and sometimes fire to move forward.
Today is His Birthday
Jason is defined by two things: his lumbering and his stabbing. Players get to be a little stabby when confronting the Final Person. Jason swings his weapon of choice. A cursor goes back and forth on the bottom of the screen, and players must try to tap the cursor in time. Timing that tap precisely is the game’s greatest challenge. Failing to kill the Final Victim has no deleterious effect. But it is disappointing.
The killing part of Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is mostly passive. This should be a huge liability in a Jason Vorhees game. It’s not. It’s filled with little inside jokes and nods to the films. Clues are offered and provided by Pamela Vorhees’s disembodied head. And the design is wonderful. All the characters have the adorable squatness of cartoons who have been flattened by anvils.
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is not at all scary. Players pick the level of gore they want, PG or R. The R is pretty PG, so hardcore horror fans may be disappointed. The game is a loving tribute, not an attempt at a new entry into the series. It is, however, a lot of fun, both the inherent value of the mazes themselves, and watching the world advance.
Is it Hardcore?
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle will appeal primarily to existing Jason fans. It isn’t scary enough for genre fans. It is too esoteric for non-fans. The mazes are fun on their own merit, however. And for the target audience, it’s a can’t miss.