Slayer is a first person dungeon crawler utilizing a random map generator. There is virtually no story to speak of. It is just a simple action RPG.
Players can select from a range of pre-generated characters or create their own from scratch. The standard D&D stats (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, Charisma) can be rolled, but all these can be manually maxed out regardless (a bug perhaps?). Sex and Alignment are superficial options. Race and Class help determine what abilities your character may possess. There is also a limited range of portraits to choose from.
The developers claim that over four billion different dungeons can be created. Players can simply elect to choose from Easy, Moderate or Hard difficulty for their dungeon, or they can finetune the following settings.
- Dungeon Levels: 10 - 20
- Monster Numbers: Few, Handful, Lots, Too Many
- Treasure Availability: Poor, Comfortable, Rich, Filthy Rich
- Poison Strength: Annoying, Sickening, Deadly, Lethal
- Food Availability: Starving, Healthy, Well Fed, Stuffed
- Monster Theme: Variety, Mundane, Magical, Undead, Bug
- Trap Frequency: None, Few, Lots, Too Many
- Potion Availability: Some, Some More, Lots, Tons
Seed is a field that allows you to enter upto nine characters that determine the layout of the dungeons. If the same seed code is entered at a later date then the same dungeons will be created as previously. The default seed code is Slayer, but any code can be entered.
A mini-map in the lower left of the screen assists the player in navigating the current dungeon. Bringing up the pause menu enables the player to access the full map of the level they are on. The full layout is only displayed once the player has fully explored it. Both the full map and mini-map will show the location of pickups, nearby monsters, teleportation squares and landmarks. The critical item to find, in order to progress to the next dungeon, is the key that will unlock the exit.
It can be relatively easy to encounter monsters that you simply can't defeat. For example, undead monsters can only be hurt by magical weapons. Various characters don't start out with magical weapons and so may find themselves in combat with something that is immune to all their current attacks. Obviously, escape is the only option in this scenario but isn't hard to accomplish providing you aren't cornered.
Melee combat is performed by facing the monster and pressing the A button (weapon in left hand) or B button (weapon in right hand). Attacks can be avoided by merely moving away from the creature. Ranged combat works in a similar fashion. It is made possible by the use of Bows, Spells and Special Items. Spells need to be selected from a list before they can be cast, but pressing the L and B buttons simultaneously will automatically cast the last spell used.