By Chris Picone, 14 September 2022
Camped Out! is a hectic couch co-op game that sees you and your friends or family working together to set a campsite before it gets dark. It’s a lot more fun than it probably sounds!
Low poly art, but nicely done, and it fits the mood of the game perfectly. My only complaint is that the game’s made by an Australian developer but the forests are rather generic – I would love to have seen the great Aussie outback represented; paperbark trees, gums, eucalypts, it’s a really beautiful place that rarely appears in video games. Having said that, this choice allowed the developer to get a bit crazier with the environmental challenges – there are no bears in Oz!
The premise is very simple; you need to set up your tents and cooking area and then catch and cook dinner, all before you run out of light. Camped Out! allows up to four players, and has a very natural scaling system in place; while you might have more hands to help out, you also have to set up more tents and cook more food. You’ll quickly discover that you need to work together. Not just in the normal co-op sense – I mean you really need to work together. As a team, coordinating your actions. Building a tent involves placing the blueprint and then gathering the rope, timber, stones, and hammering it all into place. If you take too long, it falls apart and you have to start again. So you really need one person setting up the tent while another person goes and chops some trees down for wood. But it would be boring if it were that easy! After beating the tutorial level, the game ramps up immediately, offering you two new locations: Whimsical Creek, where the campsite’s split with a creek running between that you have to jump over floating logs to cross; and Pinefall, where you have to dodge pinecones falling from the sky. These levels also introduce bears which attack you unless you feed them fish, and some sort of rodent that sneaks in and steals any bits of wood or stone you leave lying around too long. I’m not far enough into the game yet (it includes a whopping 20 levels!) but I gather it gets even harder, with the addition of fire and even ghosts as new challenges.
You know those silly team-building games corporations like to implement? Waste of time, they should all play Camped Out! instead. Seriously though, Camped Out! is a heck of a lot of fun. It definitely won’t be for everyone but it’s a fun party game and terrific to play with your kids.