Welcome to a new edition of Five Dollar Dives! Today I am going to be looking at the indie horror game There’s a Butcher Around.
If you have played a horror game then you might know what to expect, but for the most part, I can say what you have in mind is not what this game is. While it does feature an interesting premise there are some things about it that cause the game to fall short.
If you have played hide and seek, then this game will be easy to pick up on. You move to a suitable location in the house to hide, the Butcher comes out and picks a hiding spot and kills whoever is hiding there. Then Bill the butcher, who shall be called the killer henceforth, drags their body out of the house. Simple premise, but the execution is lacking. I am not really sure about how this game could be improved as my personal opinion is that first-person games offer the best horror experience.
So with that being said is “There’s a Butcher Around” a bad game? No, but it is a mediocre game. When playing it I found myself attempting to dissect it rather than to have fun with it. For example, I spend five minutes waiting around to see if my character, Vinny, would get caught by the killer and killed on site. I set a timer and waited, nothing happened. I was a little disappointed by this, I thought it would be interesting to have the killer pop out have my character scramble to get away only to be killed. That did not happen, I was a little disappointed as I think something like that would help escalate the tension in the game.
I also attempted to figure out if there was a pattern to how the killer went about killing people in the house or selecting locations at least. I was unable to distinguish a pattern. That does cause a problem with this type of game. You wind up with a situation where the tension is lost because you are not really putting effort into your personal survival. Although if you could easily predict the killer’s next target then you would run right back int the same problem with regard to lack of tension. You could select one spot and continuously hide there, waiting to see if that spot gets picked or not, as there does not seem to be much reason running around trying to select different spots.
Graphics and Sound:
The game is pixel art, so nothing about is visually stunning. There is a nice touch when it comes to the floor when you start its perfectly clean but as the game progresses and bodies are dragged away, the blood on the floor accumulates resulting in more and more on the floor. There are also a few easter eggs to notable movies and cartoons of the ’90s but you will need to pay close attention to spot them.
The sound also does a good job of setting up the tone of the game. The music is eerie as you attempt to find a location to hide, but after the last person has found a spot to hide. The music stops, and you watch as the killer makes his way through the house.
The game has no pause screen or ability to control the sound. Not to mention I had to Alt + F4 to close the game every time I wanted to close the game.
It does have controller support though, so that is nice.
I will admit I am not one for horror games, but I thought I would give this one a chance. It did not manage to impress me at all. I was hoping it would be able to pull off something interesting but in the end, the only thing it had to offer was a surface level concept that wore off quickly.
In doing a little research to add the games information I came across some interesting information on this game.
This game was developed for GameJam ‘365indie Jam 2018’, the theme was ‘Every choice is a sentence’ in November 27, 2018.
This does explain a few things about the game. While I personally am not sure I see the theme very well, it is interesting that this game was developed during a game jam.
Name/Link to Store Page: There’s a Butcher Around
Developer/Publisher: Bad Coffee Games
Release Date: May 17, 2019
Price: $0.89 USD
Time Played: 0.7 Hours