Oh look, an ancient artifact! Addie serendipitously stumbles across the only surviving evidence of an ancient, forgotten civilization. Markings on the outside depict the path the nature-minded Endorus took across the islands. Intent on proving their existence, Addie and a group of explorers set out to retrace the steps the ancient peoples took so many centuries ago.
If you wanna unearth a long lost civilization, you’re gonna need some tents. Lots of tents. Campgrounds: The Endorus Expedition works with a vaguely Build-a-lot style formula that provides you with empty plots of land, gold and resources to manage, and a handful of goals to complete. Tents are the basics of your camp, so you’ll need to pop some of those suckers up to start earning income. Just like renters in their shiny new houses, explorers will pay gold each turn for the luxury of a flappy roof over their heads.
Upgrades let you turn ordinary buildings into better-than-ordinary buildings. Upgraded tents pull in more money, for example, giving you plenty of cash to create resource-generating buildings. Build a factory and you can purchase supplies, Campgrounds’ go-to resource needed to do just about everything. Build greenhouses and you can create seeds. Seeds are used to plant gardens, raising your eco point score so you can meet those level goals. We’re assuming the Endorus had, like, a really high eco score, so don’t skimp on those gardens!
Campgrounds: The Endorus Expedition deploys an extremely basic resource management formula. There are only a few kinds of buildings to create and a few resources to manage, so you don’t have to worry about how many factories to build or if your tent to greenhouse ratio is off. As long as you’ve got a decent income, you can persevere through just about any situation. Campgrounds keeps the difficulty on the low side, as well, creating a pleasant time management atmosphere well-suited to the outdoors theme.
One interesting thing Campgrounds does that most casual strategy games don’t is resource piles that trade one resource for another. Oak trees, for example, can be harvested for a big seed bonus at the expense of a chunk of eco points. Depending on your needs at the moment and the level’s goals, you might reach for the axe as soon as the stage begins, or keep it tucked away in the shed.
Campgrounds: The Endorus Expedition plays it safe by not taking any huge design risks. Oddly enough, that pays off, largely thanks to the casual eco theme and some snappy controls that just plain work. The pacing is great, the visuals are pleasant, and the gameplay keeps you engaged without building frustration or boredom. It’s a straight arrow when it comes to time management games, but Campgrounds delivers where it counts.