It seems that even in fifty years, people will still make tons of games, reminding of that one generation in gaming that popularized the genre – of course, I mean 8-bit consoles and games. It’s not a bad thing, definitely, but sometimes I wonder if we lose on some original and fresh styles and trends, just because developers go a safe and trusted way of primitive pixel art and chiptune music. Slayin is an arena RPG, with a twist that it happens in a platformer-like 2D environment. Your level is an extremely limited area, with enemies coming literally from all sides.
The gameplay is less RPG and more running around with a sword/stick and poking everyone with it. The game controls are, as expected, simple. There are two arrows to the left that let you turn the direction your hero is running to and a button to the right for jumping. The somewhat unusual thing in the game is that the hero is constantly running to either side, whether you press a button or not, meaning your only job is to turn him around. There’s not even a button for attacking, as the only condition to killing an enemy is to simply point the sharp end to him and he will evaporate immediately. There are three heroes in total, each one requiring even more grinding than the previous – although they’re not exactly hard to get, since Slayin is, by design, a grinder. Speaking of variety, there are tons of different enemies, each one of them having its unique behavior and attack. Slayin basically consists of running around the twenty centimeters of game area and avoiding stepping on/being stepped on/catching the bullet of the many monsters that will swarm the screen really quickly.
Every ten levels you get, a different boss will spawn on you that you actually need to find a way to attack for, as they won’t be simply staying around, waiting to be kicked by you. Of course, there are several power-ups on your side, as well. The most important ones are purchased from a vendor, who spawns in either side of the screen every once in a while. He can sell you equipment that will improve your properties – say, running speed – or give you armour and heal you. These are purchasable with gold you collect from the fallen monsters and the higher combo you get from killing them and not hurting yourself, the more this gold is worth. It’s a pretty solid system, awarding smooth killing sprees. Apart from that, there are also all the standard power-ups available at the main store, between the games. Wrapping up, Slayin is a very minimalistic action, just having enough mechanics to have a compelling gameplay and compelling it is. I’m rather fascinated by how many interesting tidbits the developer managed to cram into such a simple-looking project and how it all somehow manages to work together.