Slain: Back from Hell. A heavy metal inspired arcade combat with puzzle elements and gore galore. Stunning visuals and true old school gameplay accompanied by the most metal soundtrack you've ever heard.
User reviews:
Very Positive (182 reviews) - 87% of the 182 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mixed (568 reviews) - 65% of the 568 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 24, 2016

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Recent updates View all (90)

August 19

Slain: Back from Hell now live on GOG

Slain: Back from Hell is now live on

All existing GOG customers will receive a free gifting code too. Go to Slain: Back From Hell in your library and click on the box for a message that contains your gift code.


Apologies for posting about GOG on here guys but since we have had a good number of requests about the GOG version on updates and patch notes on here I thought it made sense!

12 comments Read more

August 13

Linux version out now! + new patch

Hi everyone,

The Linux version is now available!
Sorry for the wait Linux users, and thanks for your patience!
Due to lack of resources, it's been hard to test this version to the extent that I would like, and I'm unsure of how well it will work with different control pads. Please let us know any problems you experience in the Bugs / Glitches thread on the discussion board.

Here's what's changed in the latest patch (which is applicable to all 3 platforms):

  • Support for 4:3 and 16:10 aspect ratios has been added!
    Please note that these options will give the game a letterbox effect as the playable window needs to remain at a 16:9 ratio.
  • The Blood Hound's blood breath attack now has a less unfair hit box.
  • Lord Vroll no longer teleports pointlessly small distances.
  • The option to headbang now occurs after decapitating the Thorn Beast. The main reason for this change is that you could end up performing a coup de grâce on the Thorn Beast when you were intending to headbang.
  • Hogre will no longer be frozen in the air if you kill him mid leap.
  • The boss health bar now has a dark background to help it stand out. It was quite hard to see on the Castlebridge stage!
  • When pausing the game or upon dying, any text on the screen would remain there. It now disappears, making things look a bit cleaner!
  • You now always die if you fall into a Blood pit, even if you're temporarily invincible from taking damage.

GOG versions are coming soon!
: )

11 comments Read more


“The landscapes are beautifully drawn, as are the monstrous inhabitants of this forsaken land; but it’s the animation of Slain that is truly amazing”
9/10 – GameSpew

“...a gothic action-platformer with a none-more-metal soundtrack, buckets and buckets and gore, scrummy pixel art...”
PC Gamer

“....a game that lived up to its gnarly, brutal art direction”

About This Game

Slain: Back from Hell

You control the fate of Bathoryn, a doomed hero in a Gothic world, who seeks to liberate six cursed realms from six deadly overlords.

He must battle his way through this blighted land, packed with gruesome pixel art foes before ascending (or sometimes descending) into a stronghold, all the while defeating fiendish traps and vile monsters alike.

At the heart of every domain Bathoryn will confront a mighty foe - defeat it and his quest continues to its ultimate destiny. Fail, and you’ll die gruesomely – mauled by werewolves, disintegrated by floating monstrosities, squashed by great weights or torn apart by hidden blades. And you will fail…

There are 3 key areas to be mastered in order to vanquish Slain: Back from Hell.

- Learn to wield 3 deadly elemental weapons, each one exploiting weaknesses in different enemy types. Each has a different combo, timing and use. Mastering quick switching between weapons is the path to victory!
- Glean the placement and timings of enemies and booby traps.
- Generate, conserve and unleash your Mana wisely.

Accompanied by the heavy metal visuals is an even heavier metal soundtrack recorded by Curt Victor Bryant (formally of Celtic Frost).

  • Challenging ‘elemental’- based melee and magical combat
  • 6 hours of bone-crushing, metal-fueled mayhem & gore
  • Choose from 3 unique weapons in your fight against the demon hordes.
  • Full soundtrack recorded by Curt Victor Bryant formally of Celtic Frost. \m/
  • Cunningly concealed secrets (shhh).
  • Boss fights, mini-boss fights, sub-mini- boss fights & macro-sub- mini-boss fights.
  • No laborious levelling, no tedious grinding, no wimpy crafting!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8
    • Processor: 1.5 Ghz or faster
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7+
    • Processor: 1.5 Ghz or faster
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ Compatible Card
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10+
    • Processor: 1.5 Ghz or faster
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ Compatible Card
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (182 reviews)
Mixed (568 reviews)
Recently Posted
VergiLina 🐤
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
Almost broke my keyboard out of rage. Thank god I didn't.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
♥♥♥♥ AMAZING !!! Obrigatório pra quem gosta de jogo de ação/plataforma !
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
It's very challenging and kicks your butt majority of the time. So get used to it happening a lot lol :P
The pixel graphics are very appealing to the eyes...and it's hella gory! I like it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
This one of those games where i just wanted to stop and write a quick review mid play

because I LOVE IT!!!

now i have been playing many side scrolling and pixel art games recently because i spent almost my entire childhood playing only 3d games, spare a few. the first game that really hooked me was rogue legacy, and ever since then i have been looking for a solid 2d game, with heavy metal, swords, demons, and a decent story.

this game delivers that for me! the visuals are not held back by the pixel art, and can be quite gruesome at times. the story is tongue n cheek, while not being silly. combat feels tight and responsive, and the difficulty curve has been alrite so far. i have died many many time, but it has never felt cheap, i usually only fail at most 10 times before getting my timing right, im not good at these games. a nice blend of fighting and platforming.

a heavy soundtrack that totally fits the game.

only thing i could ask for is a more complex character progression system, but the simplicity of the mechanics makes it so you focus 100% on the action and not wasting time calculating some sort of build.

very solid game for side scroller fans/hack and slash/gore/demon fans! im going to go back to playing now.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
You don't buy this game for the gameplay. You buy it for the art style. This game is pixel art done right. Thats enough for me to be able to recommend slain.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
I wanted to get this game before but the reviews stopped from doing so, now with the updates and postive reviews I finally took the chance on getting it, and I must say, if you like classic Castlevania without the need of holding ones hand, this ones for you.

I applaud the developers for not throwing a temper tantrum and actually listened to the audience and fixed the game. I also appluad Steam for their new review system, if I relied on the old system and not reading the reviews, I would have still stayed clear of the game.

So, yeah, get it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 21
It's as if Slayer made a game that was inspired by Castlevania and Ghouls 'n Ghosts, then decided to throw in Ninja Gaiden platforming while avoiding projectile cancer

Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 21
Product received for free
It's definately hard - if you're looking for a cool and challenging platformer with decent combat - this is the game for you
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 21
So back when this was first released, it ended up being a big disappointment. Long story short, the only thing it had going for itself was the visuals; I received a refund from Steam. But now, the latest "re-release" with a ton of work done to it, I'm glad to have re-purchased Slain. The combat, audio, and visuals all compliment each other now. It's not an easy game though, be warned, or be slained

It's unfortunate how it launched, which earned them some poor ratings that are sticking around. But you are completely safe buying Slain now. They've redeemed themselves.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mumen Rider
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 21
I didn't play Slain before the relaunch so I cannot comment on the state the game was in at that point, but currently the game is pretty great. The bosses are challenging, but fun. The environments are cool, and the metal soundtrack is interesting if not exactly memorable. There are check points in the right places for this kind of (somewhat difficult) action-platformer.

There are a few level sections that could use some re-balancing. Especially towards the end of the game, there is one level (Hogres area) that eschews level design in favor of simply throwing waves of enemies at you. On the technical side of things, the game ran great on my PC, although the store page claims "full controller support", there is in fact a launcher that you can't navigate with a gamepad. It's a minor thing, but it sucks if you play games on a TV through Big Picture Mode.

Despite those weak points the overral experience is excellent. Get it if you enjoy classic action games like Castlevania.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
369 of 384 people (96%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
This game was a mess at launch, but the devs instead of acting like brats burying their heads in the sand, like many other devs would, they took the criticism like men and worked their ♥♥♥ off to fix the issues. I'd say thats an attitude that should be supported. Bugs were fixed, gameplay was balanced and improved to feel satisfying.

The main selling point of this game is stil the aesthetics, this is like an artwork of a heavy metal album made videogame. It's 100% metal
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91 of 94 people (97%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
This game is excellent (now) I have it since launch day and it was awful but now all the awfulness is gone, devs have done an incredible job bringing it up to be a fantastic game.

-Great music
-Beatifully done pixel art
-Satisfying combat
-Challenging enemies
-Awesome bossfights

and many more thins that you will discover for yourself my metal friend, BUY IT NOW!!
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55 of 58 people (95%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Its what it was supposed to be! .. its FINALLY WHAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE!

After the most recent update and change to "Slain: Back from Hell", this revamped version is everything we wanted from the game. Its a hardcore trial by error slog that feels challenging and rewarding to succeed. The music is amped up, the animations have been made even better and the combat system is much more fleshed out and intuitive.

If you already have the game but was dissapointed by it, now is the time to play it.

If you liked the look of the game but never bought it (understandably), now is the time to try it out!
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49 of 50 people (98%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 14
Hail the Great Horned Metal God!: Headbang after every single boss has been defeated.
Achievement in 'Slain: Back from Hell‘


Several months after the initial release you can definitely claim that 'Slain: Back from Hell‘ has done an interesting evolution: back in march critics totally 'slayed‘ the game, branding it as a bug-ridden mess with bulky gameplay and a massive lack of variation. Overall it was more a lame attempt on side-scrolling-arcade-games from the 80’s and 90’s than a great memorial.

However 'Slain' provided one aspect that even a lot of bigger and better games lack: a team of developers that was willing to see bad decisions, accepted them and did their best to improve the game. They started releasing lots of updates and fixes to improve nearly every aspect of the game and listened to the (small) community: the gameplay was improved and the fights became more diversified, they re-wrote the mostly 'meh‘ dialogues, eliminated most of the bugs and added some more content to improve the games‘ overall length (e.g. additional bosses).

At least once a week there was a new update and now in August they re-released the game as 'Slain: Back from Hell‘ (and even handed out a gift key copy for persons who already bought it). And to cut a long story short: their work was not in vain - Slain has improved massively over the last months.

Graphics and Audio

One thing that can be seen nearly instantly is that the graphic style and the design definitely looks beautiful. It‘s not only colorful and dark at the same time but it also fits the overall metal-gore style perfectly. In combination with the (mostly badass) metal soundtrack Slain is definitely an interesting retro-arcade-adventure for ears and eyes.


Take your sword and start slicing skeletons, witches and other demonic beings into little bits while trying not to be killed by their weapons, spells or some nasty traps. Every now and then you will be confronted with a jumping passage or a boss fight to bring some diversity to the way you die.

The battle system comes with handy charged attacks, blocks, ripostes and some (chargable) mana powers and you will definitely need their help to get further in this hellish realms. At first some timings and hitboxes seem a bit weird but you get used to it pretty fast and then the system feels easy and mostly comfortable – there’s not much to complain about though I’d have liked some more depth and some additional weapons (the metal sword, the fire blade and the ice axe feel quite alike).

The difficulty level is set pretty high and you will see the 'You have been SLAIN‘ screen a lot. Everything (aside from probably one or two NPCs) wants to kill you and the enemies and traps are quite capable of doing so. You’ll die a lot and if you plan to get all of the achievements you can probably say goodbye to your nerves and patience - the menu option 'Restarting from Checkpoint‘ will become your best friend when trying to beat some nasty bosses without taking damage (yes, I'm talking about you 'Mother Beholder').

The overall length of the game is approximately around five or six hours. Sadly there’s not much replay value aside from some hidden talisman parts and the achievements. Some more hidden rooms and stuff to explore would have been an interesting addition to the game.


As already mentioned the levels are quite linear and there’s nearly nothing to explore. That's a shame as the areas look interesting and provide a bit of lore as well - the potential for additional paths, rooms and secrets is definitely there. Moreover the game has some annoyingly hard passages due to spamming mobs or difficult ambushes. This can be very frustrating and even if you're used to challenging titles and tough sequences, you will probably end in hating the game or at least some areas as much as you like other parts.

In addition the game has some achievements that are right out of hell as well. One example here is to finish the whole game without loosing a life. Sure…
...I love challenges but that sounds like a total nope.


'Slain' is a great example to show what can happen when developers care about their product. After their failure with the initial launch of the game (they released it early due to internal problems) they accepted their mistakes and made lots of patches to fix the problems. Now the game is very different compared to the first release and it’s finally the game it should have been from the start: a nice little homage to oldschool arcade-action adventures.

Maybe the Metascore of 44 was deserved back in march when it was first released, however now the game is a lot of fun, the developers care about their product and still continue to support it - I’d give the game at least an 7.5 out of 10. Because I bloody love gory-retro-hellish-viking-styled fantasy-metal-monster-slayers (...even with some flaws and a lack of depth).

By the way: your character is able to headbang to celebrate the victorious slaying of a boss and his hair is definitely fabulous. Metal as f*ck.

This endorsement was approved by The Reviewers' Union, providing better standards for reviews and reviewers.
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32 of 33 people (97%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
I'm a huge horror nerd and, though so far I haven't found many Heavy Metal artists that I enjoy, I really appreciate the aesthetic. I have also always loved the Castlevania games. From the origional on the NES, all the way up through the 2d DS classics.

I will admit I got scared off by this game's initial reception. Everything I read painted it as a real failure. I read that a big patch was coming in a few days though, and as a birthday gift to myself I picked this up. This is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Gorgeous pixel art, a heavy-handed, pulpy tale brimming with purple prose, geysers of blood, burning witches, vast lands of demoniac, blasted beauty, more Metal iconography than even King Diamond (Hallowed be his name!) can shake an inverted cross at.

Now, clearly you can tell from my time played that I've not beaten this, but there is a fair challenge that never gets TOO unfair in my experience. I'm an old guy and, well, ol' grey mare she ain't what she used to be. My reflexes aren't going to get me into e-sports anytime soon. We have here very generous load points that respects the player's time, though, so don't let the relative difficulty scare you off. Even when you get your head handed to you for the tenth time by a radioactive giant skeleton you'll find that death's sting is never too severe.

The music, as well, warrants mention. Chunky metal by way of Curt Victor Bryant, formerly of Celtic Frost. Maybe that means something in your world? I've not previously heard of them, yet I'm listening to them as I write this. The soundtrack is excellent and quite fitting. It truly helps set the grimdark mood.

Overall even at full price I suggest picking this up if you want to be transported to a world of monsters and steel, of blood and flame, of cheesy horror comic writing and album covers.
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28 of 30 people (93%) found this review helpful
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 4
First review ever, but I think there's some justice to be done. This is not my mother language, so expect some (I hope) minor mistakes.

I'm not going to talk about the more than flawed release, just about the product as it is right now. First of all: it's worth it. If you're thinking wether to spend your money or not, don't think it twice and grab this. Here are the reasons why:

-Art is awesome. And yes, let's not fool ourselves; it's the main reason to play this game.
-Music is not bad. I've listening to metal for more than 20 years so there is little room for surprises here, don't expect it to get better than most metal music you can find out there. But it's good enough and it clearly delivers what's intented to, without being too repetitive.
-Gameplay... Well, it has its up and downs. It's really fun once you get used to it, but during the first two hours or more timing is a bit odd, blocking and reflecting projectiles is not as intuitive as it should, and a bit of practice is required. Also, it relies heavily on trial an error. If you don't like to be killed, reloading the game and trying something else until you find the way to be more effective and survive, I'm not sure I'd recommend this, because sometimes it can even get frustrating if you just go swinging your sword mindlessly, which is the top 1 thing you should never do.
-Story is Meh. Epic ending though, pretty much what a heavy metal story should have.
-Challenging bosses, at least some of them.
-Sound desing is awesome. I still hear those banshee wails in my mind.

Personally, I think it lacks some more speed. There are too many moments in Slain in which you'll find yourself waiting for that platform to get closer, then jump over it just to be killed by an executioner after missing your block for 0.1 miliseconds: repeat again. Fortunately, there are moments like the Wolf Run too.

A forewarning: the game only last 5-6 hours if you're good, but I'm replaying it quite a bit. As I've already said, it's worth it, as it comes with the best pixel art I've ever seen, and one of the best concepts too.
Hope you found this review useful.
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23 of 24 people (96%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Slain's pixel art is on par with Metal Slug in terms of quality and distinct style. Everything has this dripping, practical-effects-in-an-80s-horror-movie look that brings satisfying kinesthetic weight to combat. Gnarly creature design; heavily detailed environments; and flat-out *beautiful* backgrounds.

Gameplay is smooth; run, jump, attacks all feel good. Solid encounter and enemy design require the player to make meaningful use of Slain's simple mechanics. Reminds me of Shovel Knight in the sense that the available actions serve multiple purposes (such as using your sword to attack or to bat away projectiles).

Not too far into it yet, but very fun start. The art I've seen so far has already been well worth the price tag.
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
Product received for free
I stood up, controller gripped in my white knuckled fist, ready to hurl the accursed thing into the television, the ground….anywhere that might produce the catharsis that comes from rage-induced destruction. Then, as I calmed myself, I looked back to the screen where I faced the bold, bloodstained lettering I would come to know so well while playing Slain: Back from Hell, which simply read, "You have been Slain"

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Slain: Back From Hell:


The story in Slain: Back From Hell is fairly simply gore pulp fare. You are a heavy metal viking all-around awesome warrior brought back from your restful, almost eternal slumber to once again vanquish the evil that has risen in the lands. You would rather just sleep, but the fates have determined that would not be so and as such you are determined to take out your frustration on said evil…and maybe even do some good while you are at it.

Often juvenile yet humorous, Slain doesnt try to pretend the game is something it isnt. It is quite simply an over the top tale being told around equally over the top gameplay. In this regard, Slain carries itself well. Despite simplistic and (at times) intentionally bad writing which features a lot of “I’m the best”, “nah-ah, I’m the best” sort of banter, it works well given the intent and presentation. I would give the story an 8 out of 10. Could it have been better? Possibly. Should it have been? Probably not.


Gameplay is really the heart and soul of a game like Slain. So, how does the gameplay actually stack up? Quite well, as it turns out. This is not a game for the faint of heart. You will hack, slash, and cast spells on a path of gory destruction to the backdrop of chunky, guitar driven metal riffs. You will also die. Often. Like a lot. Probably every minute or two. Maybe even more frequently than that. It can be rage inducing without a doubt but when you finally calm down and get back to it, you end up persevering and that comes with a definite feeling of satisfaction. This will be a rinse and repeat scenario however, so as I said before, Slain is not for the faint of heart.

Combat is handled in simple and yet effective fashion. You can attack, block, cast an attack spell, jump, and dodge left or right with the simple push of their respective buttons or trigger. There are also power attacks featured for both attack and spell casting which require you to hold down the proper button or buttons for a charge up. The spell will automatically discharge once it has charged. The power attack must be charged and then released with a timed second push of the button. Everything else related to attacking is simply based on judging space and terrain.

Slain also features light platforming such as jumping over traps and onto elevator platforms, jumping to trigger certain events, and of course jumping to avoid or better position yourself against enemies.

There is a fairly wide variety of enemies from your basic skeletons to spectral wolves to ghostly women with knives, gigantic bats, and so on. Each area features its own unique set of beasties and bad guys. There are also a fair amount of mini-bosses and each area also features an actual boss fight as well. Learning their patterns is essential to success although even having done so, you then must also execute your moves, sometimes flawlessly. I have found that sometimes after having died 20 or 30 times to a single boss or scenario, that often the best solution is the most basic. Increase your level of aggression and go for it!

Each enemy also has a weakness. For some, basic physical attacks or spells are the thing that will do them in quickly. Others require something extra such as spells. Fire, Ice, and so on. These spells become available one by one as you finish sections of the game. For example, you will receive a fire sword early on and an ice axe a bit later. These can be switched at will via the right thumbstick on your gamepad (and while I’m thinking about it….use a gamepad for this game. I can’t see wanting to play this with keyboard and mouse).

There are light puzzle aspects to this game, mostly centered around finding switches or defeating certain enemies to unlock new areas. There are also some secret areas you can find and unlock as well.

All told, gameplay was completely solid and highly intuitive in Slain. I think a 9.5 is the perfect rating for this.


As you can see already in the screenshots I have provided, Slain hearkens back to an older style of graphics in gaming. A bit muddier, a bit less distinct, but no less compelling and evocative. You are travelling through nightmarish realms and the graphics in Slain absolutely help to put you in the proper frame of mind.

I found the graphics to be ideal for this game. 8 out of 10


The soundtrack in Slain lives up to its billing as, and I’m quoting here,

the most metal soundtrack you’ve ever heard.

Awesome. 10 out of 10. In fact, if you look at some of my screenshots, you'll see that our hero agrees. He does the Megadeth hair spin after each boss fight.


The initial release of Slain: Back From Hell saw a lot of criticism for some broken gameplay and being a general buggy mess. Since then, the developers have diligently continued to improve and polish the game until it finally saw what amounts to its re-release. I can affirm that the game offered today is a superior experience and one of the better games on Steam at this moment.

All told, this game earns 8.9 leather clad, long haired, metal loving, sword and axe swinging, viking warrior guys slaying their fill of banshees, hell hounds, and bone-eating madmen on their way to retribution out of 10 possible.
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18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
After awaiting this game's release for months, I bought it the week it was released and like many others, was severely dissapointed. I contemplated getting a refund which I've never done with a Steam game, but after seeing the developers' posts about recognition of the game's flaws and upcoming updates, I decided to stick it out. Best decision I've ever made. This game is damn good. Until hell freezes over and Konami releases the Castelvania library on Steam, this is about the closest you can get to the pre-SOTN style games. The game is difficult but give you plenty of mechanics to use and they work well. Useless mechanics like the beheading feature are gone and replaced with useful ones like blocking and a better timed back-dash. The music is great, the combat has been finetuned, and the graphics are as amazing as they were when the game first released (about the only thing it had going for it back then) Also, my main complaint has been fixed: you can now play using the D-pad. Plus you have 2 CRT options a la Megaman: Legacy Collection, so your SNES dreams have been fulfilled.
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Bought the game, loved the game, and now that the 2.0 patch has been released, I have another reason to go through this great title again. I just wanted to let anyone know who purchased this game before the patches were released and didn't like the present state, you might want to take a second look since the developer has made some outstanding improvements. This title has really evolved in a positive manner.
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