I’ve gone camping a few times, when I was younger, but never in the stereotypical manner depicted on television or in movies. You know, when everyone gathers round a roaring flame in one big circle, roasting marshmallows on sticks and whispering the beginnings of stories whose only purpose is to ensure you have even more difficulty falling asleep on the ground in a sleeping bag possibly crawling with critters. Instead, I slept in a cabin and had lights out by like nine p.m. or it was with my father, and we’d eat hot dogs and beans and then I’d play my guitar in the murky darkness of the woods before the sound of its strings–the guitar’s, not the wood’s–would quickly freak me out. Yup, I’m kind of a big scaredy-cat.
Campfire was created by Adam Hartling (XenosNS) and Chris Last-Name-Not Known (rogueNoodle) for the Halifax Game Collective back in February 2015, which sported the theme “ghost stories,” and the player weaves these spooky tales by matching four icons on a grid and increasing the meter on the bottom of the screen. Seems easy enough. If you don’t match four similar-looking monsters, the meter will deplete and those around the campfire will grow bored, even sleepy. Basically, like a multiplier, you’ll want to keep matching four after four after four to ensure all are properly frightened from start to finish.
Honestly, it’s a bare bones match four puzzle game, but I’m in love with its design and aesthetic. The crackling campfire, the sounds the monsters make when matched, and the cute, children’s book-esque illustrations are a sight to behold. They remind me of someone‘s artwork that I look at weekly, though the name refuses to hop off the tip of my tongue. Unfortunately, you don’t really get to view what is going on with the campfire and kids as you match, since your focus and eyes are looked into the grid, always searching for the next set to clear. Okay, I went back to see, and all that happens is the main bear thingy, the one with the darker fur, just speaks a speech balloon featuring the monster you matched. Be cool if the monsters changed expressions as they grew more scared or bored.
I’ve not played anything else from rogueNoodle, but looking through his games list gets me excited to try out a few others. The same can be said about Adam Hartling. Gah, too many cool-looking indie experiences to experience, and not enough time in this universe. Curse you, Warp Door, for revealing yourself to me today. Curse you, and also thank you.
Anyways, if you enjoy matching adorable vampire bats and often listen to a soothing soundtrack that is burning wood on loop, give Campfire a try–in your browser, mind you–right over this way.