The Slaughter: Act One review
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The Slaughter: Act One review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on July 8th, 2016
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SURREAL ADVENTURE
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With a decent amount of charm and interesting storytelling, this buggy, old school adventure game still manages to stand out.

Developer: Brainchild Studios

Price: $3.99
Version: 1.0.323
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Adventure games are fun an all, but sometimes they get a little too goofy or obtuse to keep you pushing forward. The Slaughter: Act One is a game that seems custom made to combat these issues specifically, which mostly works to its benefit.


The Slaughter: Act One follows detective Sydney Emerson as he investigates a suspicious string of murders by "The Ripper" in 1800s England. Despite sounding like a pretty standard (and tired) setup, the game goes out of its way to make the story unique.

Some of the ways it does this are kind of baffling, like the dream sequences peppered throughout the experience, but then there are also some genuinely interesting dynamics that get explored throughout this first act that (hopefully) are examined further in subsequent episodes.

Putting the pieces together

If you're wondering what kind of adventure game The Slaughter is, the easiest way to describe it is old school. You'll frequently find yourself talking to characters, gathering items, and combining them to get certain events to trigger and push the story further.

Unlike a lot of experiences with similar design though, The Slaughter manages to keep puzzles challenging without seeming completely "trial-and-error" based. For the most part, you'll always have some hint of dialogue or only a few items to work with that really help you focus on the task at hand and how to get to the next plot point, which is weirdly a refreshing change of pace given my experience with the genre.

Contaminated evidence

The only real bummer with The Slaughter is that it has some bugs and glitches that can make it a little annoying to play. Black boxes appear around characters occasionally, sometimes the sound cuts out, sections of rooms never loaded properly, and -- in the most egregious issue I experienced -- I was unable to do anything in-game unless I force quit the app and reloaded my last save point.

Of all of these problems, only the last one actually impacted my ability to play the game, but the lack of polish in The Slaughter is a real turn off.

The bottom line

The Slaughter, despite its bugs, is one of the more compelling adventure games I've played, primarily because its puzzles aren't infuriating. It has also managed to start a pretty interesting story that hopefully a second act can really take advantage of. I'd recommend picking this one up, but maybe after it's received some bug fixes.

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