The Cutest Horror Game You’ll Ever Play
CasualBox has been pretty smart with their release of There’s a Butcher Around, a terribly flawed but charming hide and seek game in which the butcher, Bill, has escaped from an asylum and is looking for victims to kill. Sounds brutal, right? That’s exactly what the game intends to be; an eerie experience vibing a climate of terror and suspense.
You start off by choosing your character and the setting you want to play in. You can choose between 17 playable characters and seven settings. Once you’ve declared your preferences, you and your NPC friends are taken to your desired setting and given a few seconds to hide. There are always multiple props you can choose to hide inside, under or behind. After you’re all well-hidden, Bill comes out and starts his killing spree. The character who manages to be the last survivor wins.
More Luck, Less Strategy
Here’s the catch, though. The game is purely luck based which leaves the player pretty unmotivated to improve. As I progressed in the game, I genuinely wanted it to be intellectually challenging. I wanted to use tactics, devise an approach and, thus, get progressively better at hiding. But the game didn’t offer any nuance in terms of game mechanics, nor was there any discernible pattern to the butcher’s movements. Ultimately, the game is void of tension and suspense. Sure, the first few rounds are enjoyable, but at some point, you start questioning the purpose of the game.
A few days into playing, I was completely put off by There’s a Butcher Around’s utter lack of strategy, not just in my attempts to hide but in the overall progression of the game. Had the title incorporated a plot, I may have been more invested and felt as if my successful hiding attempts were taking me somewhere. Ultimately, even my best attempt to hide, felt worthless when I was taken back to square one and had to start over.
Too Cute to Be Scary
The graphics of the game are pretty cute; too cute for a game that intends to offer a tense atmosphere. I was intrigued by the title’s description and downloaded it in a jiffy. But upon playing it, I was torn between appreciating the title’s adorable visuals and being disappointed by the utter lack of dread it provided. The graphics and sound effects are a confusing mix. The latter is rather ghostly and tries its best to create an uncanny premise, but the former undoes that effort. As a mobile game reviewer, I’m mentally prepared for mediocre visuals and a restricted color palette, but the inclusion of a couple of horror elements would have been nice.
Get ready to watch a lot of ads
Sometimes ads in a mobile game are just a nuisance, other times they’re a serious problem. In the case of There’s a Butcher Around, the latter is true. You are forced to watch an ad once you click on pretty much anything while playing the game. If you wish for an ad-free experience, you have to buy the $5 paid version of the app. However, giving players a highly bothersome free version and making them pay for a less bothersome version of a substandard game isn’t really fair at the end of the day.
Is it Hardcore?
Not at all.
There’s a Butcher Around is a weak attempt at a mobile horror game. Graphics, plot and design all fall short of the mark. If you like finding yourself aimlessly hiding for the hundredth time in a row; achieving nothing, going nowhere, then this game is for you.