Samurai Slaughter House is a physics-based combat sandbox from indie developer Tab Games, and it’s looking to shake up the genre with some seriously stylish visuals which the studio calls “half inspired by manga and half traditional Japanese ukiyo-e paintings.”

It’s still early days for Samurai Slaughter House; the ambitious single-player title is promising a large “metroidvania-style open world” where you collect items, power up your character, explore towns, and interact with NPCs. It’s slated to release on all SteamVR headsets and Oculus Quest in 2022, but also the next-generation PlayStation VR too whenever that arrives—we still don’t know.

Taking to Reddit, the game’s creator explains that its core gameplay loop revolves around killing mythical Japanese monsters, called yokai, and grinding them up at slaughterhouses to turn them into crafting items. You’ll be able to accomplish goals with brute force, stealth, and creativity.

Check out some of the black and white action—dotted with more than a splash of crimson gore—in the game’s latest trailer below:

Tab Games’ sole developer Justin Rosete says that, although it won’t have “a crazy amount of depth,” he’s aiming for an experience somewhere between The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and the original Dragon Warrior games.

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“The way I’m able to create content quickly and cheaply is by buying assets and modifying them to fit the game whenever possible,” Rosete explains. “The dialog system is mostly a purchased framework. I had to do the UI myself but the branching dialog, quest system, and a bunch of other features were built in, so adding story content in my game is as easy as adding story content to an RPG Maker game. I’m also an artist and a musician, so I’m able to do most things myself without having to wait on someone to do it for me.”

Tab Games is slated to release a free demo on the game’s Steam page in the near future. We’ve also seen a playable prototype on Viveport, although you need Infinity to access it. While we wait for the proper demo, we’ll be keeping tabs on Tab Games via the studio’s Twitter and YouTube channel.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Anonymous

    The concept is certainly cool. I have always felt that a Bushido Blade (from Squaresoft in the 90s before Enix merger) styled game would be great for VR.

    However I hope the black and white graphics is just a toggled feature, not the standard. Just like Ghost of Tsushima it may be cool at first but quickly loses its charm in a few hours.
    Also although not that I don’t like blood and gore, i find this game needlessly bloody to the point of distracting. If I am fighting first person melee in VR I really want to focus more on the enemy than getting distracted all the time by a stream of red liquid spewing randomly across the room.

    • Justingoska

      Hi there! I’m the developer.

      Bushido Blade is a definitely a huge inspiration for me. So are the Way of The Samurai games.

      The game will only have one color scheme, but it will have splashes of color in the environment and all the interactive objects and also some of the enemies.

      The blood effects will be able to be toggled on and off (and you’ll also be able to change the color of the blood if you want).

      • Anonymous

        That is very cool!
        Although it is a little disappointing that the majority of the game is black and white, I respect the decision and trust that there is something you really want to achieve. I will definitely buy and hope to be proven wrong.

        As for blood, as I said I do not shun blood in games completely. I just prefer the amount toned down a bit and probably less “liquidy”. Maybe it is too much to ask but if the amount can be adjusted via a slider it would be great.

        Please keep up the good work.

      • Joey – Slydev

        I remember seeing your early stuff on one of the VR subreddits, really glad you have stuck to this one its looking good. My concern like all VR is that it will end up like a ‘wave shooter’, in saying that I know what scope creep can end up doing to a project too. Either way love the work and excited to see a release when you are confident with it all!

        • Justingoska

          It’s definitely not a wave slasher.
          It’s in am open world and you can interact with NPCs to get quests and things like that.
          Beating certain quests will open up new areas.
          Nothing too fancy but it’ll have a gameplay loop similar to Zelda or a JRPG where progress opens up new areas to explore.

          • Joey – Slydev

            Very keen, will be a day one purchase from me. Unlike OP I think the style is bang on (black and white with colored blood and I assume other things to stand out). If you need beta testers let me know. Best of luck!

  • silvaring

    It’s an excellent trailer, I can see your priorities (enemy animations, visual appeal, light forward dash with marks to indicate momentum) are all spot on, and I expect your biggest challenge is now going to be keeping the scope of the project small enough for you to handle, and making the difficulty rewarding enough for the hours of play time you are aiming for.

    Have you thought yet about whether you want to focus on high score, wave based gameplay, or something more story based?

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      • Justingoska

        It’s story based but not too heavy on the story. It’s on the level of an old Zelda game or a pokemon game. Just enough story to propel the game forward.
        You talk to NPCs to get quests and certain quests will open up new areas or give you abilities that let you access new areas.
        It sounds like a lot for someone without a large team but thanks to creative coding during the groundwork phase and some amazing tools I’ve bought, adding content is really quick and easy to do.
        I’m also adding some extra particularly grindy quests for special items so after you beat the game, there will still be stuff you can work towards if you want to keep playing.

  • david vincent

    Looks great ! There is never enough games with physics-based combat.

  • Gorn but in Japanese