When you think a game called Friday the 13th, you’d be fine to think about the less than stellar Friday the 13th: The Game. In that other version, you and either some friend or online randoms would get together to kill or be killed using the classic killer Jason Voorhees. What you will never expect is that using the same killer in a puzzle environment using cute graphical sprites in the same style of Minecraft would be so much more fun.
Name: Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle
Platform(s): Steam, Android & iOS
Publisher(s): Blue Wizard Digital
Developer(s): Blue Wizard Digital
Release Date: April 13, 2018
Price: Free (with some paid DLC options)
Genre(s): Puzzle, Horror
Mode(s): Single Player
To be honest there really isn’t much story to be had in Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle. You will get small scenes involving Jason in some way. Things start out with sort of a recap of the Friday the 13th story, where Pamela Voorhees killed a bunch of teenage campers as revenge for her drowned child Jason; whom himself was resurrected to get revenge on the campers of Camp Crystal Lake for the beheading of his mother… Yeah, this doesn’t make sense and the first scene where we are told the story actually points this out too… Right before Jason slaughters everyone. In other chapters you get a small scene setting things up, like Jason in a prison looking to escape, or taking down some ice fishers in the winter fields, and some other chapters that sorta work off the films themselves like Jason in Manhatten or Jason X. Other then that there is no story here at all, but more framing devices for the puzzles themselves.
Gameplay in Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is pretty simple yet complex. You take control of Jason and you have to kill people. You achieve this by moving Jason around a board sort of like you would a Tower (or Rook) in Chess; meaning that Jason can only move in one direction and he can only go across the full field of play. You use objects in each area to work out the path you need to take to get to your kills, then one more path for the “Final Girl/Boy/Jock/Nerd/Person” in order to clear each level in the chapters. You also get some troublesome obstacles in your way like Prison Guards who can kill you if you take them on head on, water which makes you drown, holes you fall down, bear traps that kill you and other things of that nature. All of this combines into challenging puzzles that will really make you think about every move (when you’re allowed to move freely. Some levels are limited in the moves you can do) you make on each level.
Once you achieve your targets and take down the final person, you get a small timing mini game where you have to get the pointer into the right spot; getting this correct will result in a kill animation for that person, get it wrong and you miss… Though there is no repercussion for missing. Though if you do want to get some training in for your timing, you can dive into the excellent and amusing Murder Marathon mode where all you are doing is those gruesome but cute kills over and over again.
If you do find things getting a bit too much for you, you can ask the head of Pamela Voorhees for either skip the level, a hint, or to just show you how the puzzle is done. I’m not too sure if it’s because my copy is a review one, but I never had an issue asking for the solution to the puzzle anytime I wanted. I hope that this is something that is one of those microtransaction things for the retail player or this is going to be a really abused feature.
However, if you are wanting a challenge, then you can head into The Daily Death mode where you are given a bunch of extremely complex level puzzles to go through. I found these ones particularly challenging as you have to not kill the cats in the level, something I had a hard time not doing. However I’m challenged enough to keep pushing forward and getting better at the puzzle solving so I can kill those that need to be killed in this mode.
Graphically, Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle doesn’t have too much going for it. The game does look pretty simple and cheap, but that’s what works in it’s favor. Even with the R rated violence turned on, it’s still a very cute game to watch. It’s almost comical really. Jason himself is a large square type creature but has enough detail in all his versions that you know it’s him no matter what outfit you put him in. The environments, presented in a diamond type shape, are also very simple. They are comprised of things like benches, trees, water puddles, holes and other simple objects that will not tax your GPU or you phone. This is how it was designed, and it makes things enjoyable.
Sound… There’s screams, yells and gurgles. Not too much in the realm of music, except in the Murder Marathon mode where you get a nice rock anthem to Jason and his adventures. But all you really need to know is that there is a button in the options that allows you to repeat the classic “chi-chi-chi ka-ka-ka” sound effect to your heart’s content, and that’s fucking awesome!
At the end of it all Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is one of the better puzzle games that I have played in recent years. It makes me think about each move, and when I get things wrong I do not get frustrated but feel challenged and get that need to give it one more go. The framing of using Friday the 13th is a good move by the developers which I think is going to pay off big time. Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is a game I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who is in need of a good puzzle game or something that features the Friday the 13th license. Who would have thought that someone so deadly could also be so cute?
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Scary cute fun
Challenging puzzles framed with one of the most recognizable serial killers in film history mixed with cute graphics would be a weird mix, but it works. Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is a great experience that makes you want to give it one more go to get that sweet kill instead of turning you away in frustration when you miss that final character.
- Good simple graphics
- Addictive gameplay
- The "Chi-Chi-Chi Ka-Ka-Ka" button
- Limited kill animations
- Solutions can be done too easily
- Needs more background tracks