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Silent Slayer: Vault of the Vampire

Developer / Publisher – Schell Games
Price – US $19.99 / CAN 24.99 / EU €19.99 / UK £17.99
Release Date – June 6th, 2024
Input – 2 x Motion Controllers
Play Area –  Sitting, Standing
Store Links – Meta
Reviewed on – Quest 3

So I’m not gonna lie, I was totally going to pass on this as the idea of a stationary VR puzzler really didn’t excite me too much despite Schell Games being the developer.  However, with summer coming soon and the game releases slowing down I decided ‘what the heck’, gave it a look and I’m happy I did!  There’s a decent amount of story in this told almost entirely by a talking book that not only explains what’s going on but how to slay each of the 9 vampires resting in a large castle but to quickly summarize it, you are a Vampire Hunter and you’ve found some vampires….nuff said!

Killing sleeping vampires is not as easy as it sounds.

The opening stage teaches you the basics needed to bypass the many defences that prevent you from an easy kill with the first being to reassemble a busted stone statue that contains the runes needed to remove the spells protecting the coffin.  I struggled more than I thought I would on these puzzles though once I (finally) matched 2 pieces the rest typically fell into place rather fast…think Puzzling Places, just with busted rocks and the further you get, the more pieces you’ll have to deal with.  With that out of the way you’ll be teleported to your next target and must go though a series of simple and complex tasks that get steadily more challenging with each successful kill.

When you are in front of the coffin is where the game truly begins.  The book will also be floating above a table to your right, there to help guide you as new tools are introduced or to chide your efforts should you screw up.  The first step is to get the coffin open which could be sealed by sliding bars, nails, key puzzles or something more supernatural with the main goal being to make as little noise as possible.  Smaller sounds will let you know not to move much faster, but should you accidentally make too loud a commotion, you’re screen will go a bloody red, your heart will pump and any more loud noises or accidental slips will spell your doom as the vampire awakens and attacks you, resetting any progress you had made on that particular Nosferatu.

The book will help you use all the tools needed to open each coffin.

That is the core gameplay element as no matter what obstacles the game throws your way, silence is key so rushing any particular task could spell your doom and playing through the same puzzles honestly drove me nuts though this is admittedly my fault as I was trying to dispose of the undead as fast as possible causing some rushed mistakes.  This is a stationary affair with the only way to adjust your in-game position beyond moving in the real world is to grab a bar on the edge of the table near you and drag yourself to your desired position.  Getting into the coffin is half the battle but once opened, there will be even more barriers ahead of you that include locating the vampires heart (yup, they can move them), cutting tripwires, using your stake to write runes in the air to break protective magic and many more tasks that make every stage just a little more challenging. Should you remove all the traps in your way, locate the heart and successfully pin the vampire with those runes, an oh-so satisfying plunging of your stake into its heart puts and end to the fanged horror before you.

The later rune stone puzzles are a challenge.

It’s addicting in its simplicity and a little frustrating during the latter half of this 3-hour game as it becomes much less forgiving and adds some more surreal challenges that will almost assuredly spell your doom on (at least) your 1st attempt on any given stage.  With that said, if you knew exactly what to do and never messed up, each stage (minus the rune building) would probably take 10 minutes or less but much of the fun really is in screwing up once or twice and learning how to not only be quiet, but doing things as fast as you can.   I don’t think there is an actual time limit but it seems like when I took my time the book didn’t like that and implied I should be moving faster but I’m pretty sure this is just artificial motivation.   The later stages consistently up the challenge and build upon your previous lessons making for an overall game loop that is satisfying with every successful stabbing!

Visually, there’s not a whole lot going on with each of the vampires’ coffins being tucked away in different locations in a castle.  In no way does it look bad, it’s just simple in design with everything having a slightly cartoonish look not unlike the I Expect You to Die series, but instead of spy stuff, it’s gothic vampires and what it lacks in flare it makes up for in polish.  Each coffin looks fairly similar with the traps adorning it making each look unique.  The vamps themselves are much more distinct with each looking typically macabre with many having additional backstories that match your surroundings like portraits on the wall or hanging metal cells that hammer home that you are doing right by dispatching these monsters.  Creatures may also get too close with bats flying nearby or spiders moving around which are just there to make you flinch and possibly screw up turning this into a light-hearted comedy horror affair.

You’ll need this to locate the vampire’s heart

For those looking for more mixed reality fun, there is a pass through mode in the options menu that removes everything but the coffin, table and book.  It’s fine enough I suppose but removing the backgrounds really hurt immersion for myself so while it’s here, it’s nothing special.

Ambience is the name of the game when it comes to the audio side of things as outside of the book chatting you up it’s all about not making noise and you will make what seems like a ton of noise.  Metal brackets scrape, keys will squeal, pulling nails will squeak and if you drop something you’re in for trouble.  Should you make to much noise or screw up in some other fashion, not only will you see red but some intense music will chime in to help heighten your anxiety with some more dramatic music and audio queues kicking in to keep the tension high.  Spatial audio is here but for the most part is irrelevant thanks to nearly everything happening in front of you making for an overall complete and satisfying package when it comes to audio design.

Each stage gets successively harder.

I quite enjoyed my time with Silent Slayer and while it can be occasionally frustrating thanks to those later, less forgiving stages and more complex rune puzzles, what’s here is still a great use of the medium, especially considering it’s a stationary affair.  It’s a bite-sized environmental puzzler and one that would work great sharing with friends for a good time and a cheap thrill and well worth the asking price…oh and if you are afraid of spiders, you can toggle them on or off in the options menu which I thought was a hilarious addition.

Meta provided The VR Grid with a press code for this title and, regardless of this review, we thank them for that!


  • A solid casual environmental puzzler
  • Every stage increases the challenge
  • Decent presentation
  • The Vampires can get right in your face


  • The rune stone puzzles get a little annoying
  • Properly positioning yourself in game can be awkward
  • Repeated failures can be quite frustrating


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