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My exposure to summer camps is entirely through films and games. Summer camp culture isn’t as much of a thing in the UK, possibly because we’re fairly happy to allow our children to learn to tie knots by themselves, by affixing each other to disused railway tracks or sick trees. In any case, the summer camps I’ve seen portrayed are usually unwholesome ones, because they’re good horror fodder. Camp Canyonwood is a camp counsellor sim, out now in early access, where you (an bird) look after a flock of demanding smaller birds. It sounds like it would be twee, except the owner is cutting corners and you dream about a talking jackalope. I have not explored these aspects much because I am constantly trying to feed the children.
Given that early access is for this sort of thing, I heartily recommend that devs Deli Interactive buff the energy bar, because a lot of the rest of it seems potentially very cool. I’m just not able to do anything apart from grub for berries or force my charges to fish right now.
Your job in Camp Canyonwood, after making a very cute little bird avatar, is to entertain the child birds and generally look after them, while helping them earn badges. They’ll learn to fish, for example, if you tell them to go fishing, or fish in front of them (providing you or them have the tools necessary). Each activity takes energy, however, and the children start to get hungry and sleepy very quickly.
I don’t have a fishing rod yet, and the kidlets aren’t good enough at fishing, so we’re just stuck in a cycle of fruitless angling attempts and frutiful eating berries. I’ve been here before, but this time I legitimately think it’s not my fault and the meters need a bit of rebalancing.
Currently my day plans are very boring, and the children have made this known to me. I get it! I know! I’d hate fishing and eating berries too! But despite that, I think Camp Canyonwood is worth keeping an eye on. My charges are, without too much effort, already pretty good at gathering insects, and I like the prospect of a sim game where I develop both a group of people and the camp itself, which is currently a group of tents. Each of the kids has a different personality, and arrived with different things in their inventory. I like that a lot!
Plus, there is a cast of other staff members to make stuff for you, or set you tasks. The Owner keeps hinting at things like disapperances. And there are the weird dreams! Alien abductoin! Bees! In other words, Camp Canyonwood is a bit rough around the edges, but is full of potential. Like an un camp-counselled child. It’s on Steam and Humble now, normally £15/€17/$20 but currently on sale.