My exposure to summer camps is entirely through movies and games. The summer camp culture is not that strong in the UK, perhaps because we are happy enough to allow our children to learn to tie knots on their own, by tying themselves together others on disused railway lines or diseased trees. In any case, the summer camps I’ve seen depicted are generally unhealthy, as they’re good horror fodder. Camp Canyonwood is a Camp Counselor Simulation, now available in Early Access, where you (a bird) tend to a flock of small, demanding birds. It sounds like twee, except the owner takes shortcuts and you dream of a talking jackalope. I haven’t explored that much because I’m constantly trying to feed the kids.
Since Early Access is for this stuff, I highly recommend that the devs at Deli Interactive improve the energy bar, as much of the rest looks potentially very cool. I can’t do anything but eat berries or force my proteges to fish right now.
Your job at Camp Canyonwood, after creating a very cute little bird avatar, is to entertain the bird children and look after them in general, while helping them earn badges. They will learn to fish, for example, if you tell them to go fishing, or to fish in front of them (provided you or they have the necessary tools). However, every activity takes energy and children start to get hungry and fall asleep very quickly.
I don’t have a fishing rod yet, and the kids aren’t good enough at fishing, so we’re stuck in a cycle of failed angling attempts and successful berries. I’ve been here before, but this time I legitimately think it’s not my fault and the counters need a little rebalancing.
Currently, my daily projects are very boring and the children let me know. I understand! I say! I would hate to fish and eat berries too! But despite that, I think Camp Canyonwood is worth watching. My charges are, without too much effort, already good enough for picking up bugs, and I like the prospect of a simulation game where I develop both a group of people and the camp itself, which is currently a group of tents. Each of the children has a different personality and arrived with different things in their inventory. I really like this!
Plus, there’s a cast of other staff to do things for you or set tasks for you. The owner keeps hinting at things like disappearances. And there are the bizarre dreams! Alien abduction! The bees! In other words, Camp Canyonwood is a little rough around the edges, but full of potential. Like a child advised by a camp. It’s on Steam and Humble now normally £15/€17/$20 but currently on sale.