This game perked an interest for me when I read the title. I wondered how the concept would work and what way this could be implemented into a game where the novelty would not wear off. Doing a little bit of research beforehand I found that the concept was interesting and the thought of having a game based around a mechanic that is rarely seen anywhere other than smart phones or tablets, I thought this could be an interesting experience all in itself when being used on the PC.
The scenario the game is based around is quite simple. You are a ninja that has to traverse through a different stages by defeating all the enemies in each stage without being killed. There are a mixture of monkey based enemies that are in the form of zombie pirates, monkeys in a barrel and even monkeys with a jetpack. As the player progresses the enemies become more difficult, being able to take a greater amount of slashes from the player and even introducing interesting defences, such as the monkey in a barrel can only take damage when the head is visible and has to be attacked, attacking the barrel causes the player to rebound straight back.
The gameplay is quite straight forward and easy to pick up. Clicking left or right of the character will force this spot, being useful to approach or dodge enemies. To attack, the player clicks and drags the mouse which creates a visible red line across the screen, demonstrating where the character is going to slash. Wherever the point the drag starts from is where the character will begin its attack. For example, if the character is on the left of the screen, starting the slash from the right of the screen will lead the character to run normally from one side to another before launching the attack, so best to consider this before each attack is made. The slash mechanic can also be used to jump, drawing a slash higher in the air will cause the character to jump to this point before following the drawn line for the attack being made.
As the player progresses, attributes can be upgraded with points that are gained through the different stages. The most important I found was the stamina trait, as the more stamina you have, the longer the line you can draw for an attack, which when you have a large amount of enemies on-screen it is useful to be able to draw a line which goes through them all at once. Enemies poses a range of different attacks which need to be considered. Some need to be up close and personal so they can inflict damage through melee but others carry weapons, such as guns, where they can shoot you from a distance or when flying across the top of the screen, are able to shoot down at the character. The mixture of different enemies is important as I felt that the novelty of this mechanic would wear off quite quickly without this. With new enemies bringing new tests to the player, this is kept quite fresh and interesting for much longer.
The graphics are not overly detailed but work well with the comedy of the game, using a cartoon visual fits in with the theme quite nicely and makes the player not take it too seriously. The overlay imagery used for the scenes also keeps it simple, making it possible to be able to have a large amount of different stage backgrounds with good effects and consistency. The visual representation of the line drawn when the player attacks is probably the best artistic decision in my own opinion as it is made to look like a physical slash, making you feel that the character is quite powerful as there is no way to control the power of an attack, the visual representation makes it always feel like it is full force.
The sound for this game also fits in well with the theme. They carry the expectation of a ninja game, the background music almost feels oriental which is quite fitting. The sound effects for attacking and an enemy taking damage are basic but did not need to be anything more than this, they give the appropriate feedback. The voice acting was a little strange for me, it felt a little bit forced as personally I would have preferred something that fit in a bit more comical rather than a generic expectation that felt a little out-of-place for me.
I quite enjoyed playing my way through Draw Slasher but personally I didn’t feel like there was much pulling me back to want to play again. The progression is linear with not a large amount of areas for which upgrades are able to be attained. If there was some factors of maybe being able to unlock interesting gear for the character or a large mixture of weapons then I think I would have had more interest on returning but personally the “everyone should play it once” attitude is very much created for this type of game.
Initially I had fun playing Draw Slasher but after a while even though new enemies did keep some factors quite fresh, with difficult also increasing through progression, I did lose interest and start to become quite bored by the repetition as there is only so much attention that can be kept by a click and drag mechanic used in a combat orientated game. The game itself is not bad, and the few hours of enjoyment that was taken away from it felt worth the time and left me feeling a little bit of satisfaction but I would be in no hurry to return any time soon.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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