Camp Canyonwood is a life sim about running a summer camp

Camp Canyonwood

Where “nothing strange ever happens”

You know, for every kind of business I’ve (attempted to) manage in simulation games, I’m not sure I’ve ever been on the hook for an up-and-coming summer camp. Cities, zoos, prisons, and farms, sure, but never a summer camp. Camp Canyonwood is coming to Steam Early Access on August 4, and it’ll task us with keeping campers in line, expanding the campground, and exploring mysteries in a Don’t Starve-ish world. I’m intrigued.

The best part of the trailer is arguably the end, where it’s confirmed that ghosts, UFOs, and other oddities are in the mix. And who’s that ominous figure?

Everything up to that point looked fine, in a familiar way, and I’m hopeful that the story isn’t afraid to get dark and weird and a bit more unique. Either way, Camp Canyonwood looks like a decent time-sink for people like me who find these sorts of games cozy, even if the mechanics tend to blend together (and only have so much staying power).

According to developer Deli Interactive (whose last game was the submarine roguelike We Need To Go Deeper), the main “summer-to-summer” loop involves guiding new campers, keeping them happy, and collecting a (hopefully generous) paycheck from the parents at the end of summer to build up the camp. Naturally, there are activities and badges.

Camp Canyonland screenshot

So much room for activities

“From fishing and archery to rock collecting and stargazing, teach your campers well while discovering their distinct quirks and preferences to ensure they have the best time possible,” according to the Steam page. “Protect them from the dangers of the great outdoors such as snakes, bears, and aliens.”

Camp Canyonwood will be playable starting August 4 in Early Access with a “fully functional game loop” and the first four biomes. The developers expect to take in feedback and pump out updates for “roughly a year” before an eventual 1.0 release.

I’m not completely convinced yet, but I’ll be keeping tabs for sure.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.