Run profitable camps that are gentle on Mother Nature with Campgrounds for PC.
It’s a familiar scene: Scowling land magnate in bulldozer levels forest to build money-making something-or-other. Bright-eyed do-gooders step in, save planet. Such is the case in Campgrounds, in which a girl named Addie proves her tree-killing boss that you can still run a profitable campsite while staying on Mother Nature’s good side. Well, smarty pants, if only it were that easy, as Addie and players find out in this challenging resource management game.
The goal is simple. Build a campground that will rake in the dough, without leaving any big ecological footprints. In each level, simply click on a plot of land to erect a tent, factory, greenhouse, or some other structure that will be useful to you and your park-goers. Reach goals, like building five three-star tents (you can upgrade tents so they make more money), in a limited amount of time to achieve a gold star rating. (You can still complete the level without getting the gold star, though.) Your time limit goes by fast, especially considering you have to hire workers, have them create material to build other buildings, grow gardens, and all the rest of it. You must keep your park’s “eco rating” high, and you’ll do so by carrying out Earth-friendly tasks, like planning gardens at each of your tents.
The game’s presentation is bright and fun, but nothing particularly special. It also would have been cool to have some kind of online or social aspect. Maybe have a two-player co-op mode with a particularly sprawling campsite and lots of things to tend to. A mode like time trial or some sort of expert mode would also have been cool, but the various objectives keep things pretty lively as it is.
On the plus side, this game is not a cakewalk, especially if you’re going for the gold star each time. I often find myself scraping barely by and nabbing the star with fractions of a second to spare. There are also lots of levels, so the play time you’ll put it will be pretty decent. There’s a tutorial that guides you through new challenges as they come, and it was tastefully peppered around to avoid being too annoying.
Whether your tastes lean toward resource management games or if your style is more simulation, you’ll still find a solid game in Campgrounds. Good luck in running your eco-friendly empire—think of it as environmental advocacy without leaving your living room. Or nearly getting run over by some crazy evil rich guy’s bulldozer.