Sequel to The Hookman even scarier than its predecessor.
One year ago, GameHouse Studios thrilled us with the first title of their trilogy Campfire Legends: The Hookman. But with a slightly less ominous title, does Campfire Legends: The Babysitter compare? It’s with absolute certainty we can say yes, it most certainly does. Follow the urban legend of a young college student on a night of babysitting that holds much more sinister notions in store.
As is characteristic of the Campfire Legends games, the story starts off around a campfire, with the same group of girls as the last game. The storyteller has a much darker tale to share than that of the Hookman however, and so the story of the game begins. You’ll be following a young college student, who’s signed on for a night of babysitting for the college Dean in hopes of securing a good recommendation. There’s much more to just babysitting the twins, however. A seemingly normal night quickly takes a turn for the worse as one odd occurrence after another takes place in this chilling urban tale.
Campfire Legends: The Babysitter is a hidden object adventure with a twist of horror. Boasting a gameplay time at least twice as long as the previous title, this game has a lot to offer. The first half of the game will take you through the nightly duties of an exasperated babysitter dealing with a cumbersome set of twins.
From making hot cocoa, picking up after them, and fixing the household possessions that have seemingly fallen prey to their antics, every single object and task in this game has a purpose. There’s no “finding twelve listed items only to take one key item away.” That being said, every single object that must be found is also hidden or located in a very reasonable location, as if you were really rummaging around looking for them. Not to worry though: only half the game is of such an “innocent” nature: the second half holds horrors beyond even that of The Hookman.
Helpful goals are always readily available, and hints, though unorthodox, are unlimited. Like hte previous title, hints in Campfire Legends: The Babysitter come in the form of fireflies that appear randomly. You can catch them and store them for later use (in which case you can hold up to five at a time), and if you’re low or empty, they will occur more frequently. Fireflies can also be used on puzzles, which allow up to three hints before giving you the possibility of skipping them entirely.
Hints, if they cannot be used in an area, will be saved. However, the hint system in this game has a drawback: if you’re looking for numerous items of the same type hidden throughout numerous locations, i.e. “lizards,” using a hint will only remind you of the goal and not actually give you a heads-up as to the next item location, and it will be used up anyway. Seeing as there’s more than a couple such items in this game, it’s a frustrating gap in an otherwise very good system.
Puzzles are well-spaced and plentiful, and very well designed. At least half the puzzles are unique, or hold unique twists to common formats used in hidden object games. Not all of them are obvious either: puzzle difficulty and challenge increases throughout the game, as does the game difficulty itself.
One of the most important questions about Campfire Legends: The Babysitter though is “Is it scary?” Without a doubt, this game not only introduces beautifully rendered and haunting environments, but will throw numerous in-your-face scares your way, to the point where you very well may actually jump or shriek in surprise. Couple this with a haunting soundtrack and quality voice-acting, and you’ve got a formula for an outstanding and suspenseful horror-based casual game.
Unfortunately, despite the game’s numerous good qualities there are some notable drawbacks. Along with our beef with the hint system, the second half of the story strays somewhat from the same feeling as the first half. While it’s all about escaping, it still contains a lot of backtracking which derails the sense of urgency somewhat. And, while the objects are well hidden and boast a good difficulty level, some of them will be too small or difficult to find, particularly for players slightly hard of vision.
These drawbacks are no reason to overlook Campfire Legends: The Babysitter, though. This sequel features a new mode called “Haken’s Journal Mode,” which will be unlocked upon completing the game. In this mode you’ll revisit some of the locations to find a list of items before time runs out. Succeed, and remnants of Haken’s Journal will be revealed to you, shedding further light on this haunting tale. Campfire Legends: The Babysitter is an excellent sequel to a promising trilogy that leaves us shivering, and yet dying to know more.