On June 10, 2022, British video game developer Supermassive Games released their new horror game The career, which takes place in a summer camp. Although it’s over 40 years since the original 1980 Friday 13 movie, this new game and others prove that the summer camp setting has remained a popular horror premise.
Whether it’s the innate fear of the wilderness or the fact that summer camp is one of the few times children are away from their parents, the setting continues to be used in books, movies, shows and even video games. Some games, like Friday 13: The Game, are particularly noteworthy.
ten Otter Island (2021)
Although otter island isn’t exactly set in a summer camp, the setting has a similar vibe as it’s a summer vacation home on an island. Developed by Mizzen, who also created the ocean theme Yume Nikki fan-game Silent Infinity, Otter Island is a short 2021 RPG Maker horror game available on Itch.io that follows three friends named Zachary, Connor, and Jeremy who are staying on Otter Island, which is owned by Connor’s family, for the weekend.
But, while gathering items for their night of beer, grilling, and relaxing in the sauna, Zachary begins to notice some weird things. Over time, it is slowly revealed that this isolated island is home to a deadly creature that doesn’t want them to leave. Inspired by classics like lb and the witch’s house, this 30-minute experience has a great atmosphere that will keep players hooked until the end.
9 Shtriga: Summer Camp (2014)
Released in 2014, Shtriga: summer camp is a traditional hidden object game with a loose supernatural mystery plot. The protagonist is a detective who has been hired to find a mother’s missing son, who recently disappeared along with many other children at a summer camp. According to the children, they had seen a strange ghost, which could be linked to the disappearances.
After the detective crashes his motorcycle into a ghost, they arrive at camp and must solve both hidden object and adventure puzzles to find the lost children. Although not as in-depth as some other hidden object games, the core gameplay is still enjoyable for fans of the genre.
8 Oak (2018)
While indie horror walking sims are extremely common now, some of these games manage to stand out from the crowd by incorporating something new. Although only about an hour long, the 2018 game Oak wood is a great example. When the protagonist, Madison, arrives late at the abandoned Oakwood campsite, she finds that her friends are missing and the campsite is completely destroyed.
While exploring the forest, the player discovers that the area is now overrun by dinosaurs. Madison must search for her missing friends, avoid the dinosaurs, and escape Oakwood alive. Although the gameplay is fairly standard for the genre, the game’s use of dinosaurs, sound design, and perfect pacing make for an interesting experience.
seven Friday the 13th: The Game (2017)
Unlike the 1989 NES game simply titled Friday 13, which was just one of the many terrible LJN games released at that time, 2017’s asymmetrical multiplayer survival horror game Friday the 13th: the game is a well made and appreciated contribution to the popular Friday 13 franchise. Set in a semi-open world version of Camp Crystal Lake, players control either one of the Counselors, who try to escape, or Jason Voorhees, who tries to kill them all.
Despite complicated development, the game was an outright hit and proved that asymmetric multiplayer survival horror games could be profitable.. Unfortunately, licensing issues halted the game’s growth indefinitely.
6 Lakeview Cabin Collection: Lakeview Cabin III (2015)
After the success of the free Flash game of 2013 Lake View Cottage, the developer, Roope Tamminen, created a sequel in 2015 titled Lakeview Cottage Collection. In this pixelated survival horror puzzle game, players must navigate with four characters through different levels, each based on classic horror movies. The first level, Lakeview III Cabin, takes place about a decade after the original game and follows a group of counselors at Camp Lakeview.
During this summer camp, players control each of these four advisors to help or hinder their survival against the three antagonists, which includes the first game’s protagonist “Red”, his son “Babyface”, and his wife “Eleanor”. Although this game has several unique levels, including a Christmas-themed horror level, this first level is important to continue the spirit of the original.
5 Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp (2020)
Created as a sequel to the original 2018 game Monster Prom, Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp is a 2020 multiplayer dating sim where up to four players try to date one of the various monster-inspired characters available. Unlike the original game which takes place in a high school and the goal is to attend prom with the player’s crush, this game takes place in a summer camp and the goal is to watch a meteor shower with the player’s crush. player.
Along with many new characters and romance options, this sequel also features new gameplay mechanics, such as a daily campfire event and a drinking mini-game. With plenty of dry humor, random events, and secret endings, players will keep wanting to return to this monster-filled camp.
4 The Quarry (2022)
After showing off the launch trailer at the launch event for Summer Game Fest, Supermassive Games’ latest title, The career, released June 10. Created as a spiritual successor of Until dawn, This interactive drama horror game follows nine teenage counselors as they try to survive one last night at Hackett’s Quarry summer camp, which ends up being filled with werewolves.
Like previous Supermassive Games titles, players make choices, find items, and navigate fast-paced events that determine each character’s personality, relationships, and ending. All characters can live, die or meet another fate. While the writing isn’t the best, it’s still an enjoyable B-horror movie experience.
3 We Know the Devil (2015)
While it’s still rare to see LGBTQ+ characters in Triple-A games, many indie games have started to feature more LGBTQ+ protagonists in recent years. One of those great games is the surreal psychological horror visual novel We know the devilwhich was released in 2015. Set in a Christian summer camp, the game follows three LGBTQ+ teenagers named Venus, Jupiter, and Neptune who are often ostracized by the rest of the camp.
Within this framework of magical realism, it’s only fitting that everyone can fight the devil, and every group in camp is meant to do so at some point. With summer camp almost over, it’s now time for these three girls to face the devil. But, depending on the player’s choices, this encounter could be a good thing that allows him to fully embrace his unique personality.
2 Sun Camp (2016)
Released in 2016, camp sun is a 16-bit horror and puzzle RPG inspired by classic 80s horror. The protagonist, Jez, is a teenager who has just been dropped off at Camp Sunshine by his mother. On his first night at the camp, he wakes up in the middle of the night to find that everyone has been brutally murdered and, if he’s not careful, he’ll be next.
As he explores the large campgrounds, he avoids the main killer, who is dressed as the camp’s mascot, and slowly uncovers the mystery behind what is going on. Towards the end of 2021, the game received a prequel titled Manor of the Sun, which follows a girl named Ada who dared to spend a night at the titular mansion.
1 Killing Camp (2016)
Another 80s throwback game released in 2016 is isometric puzzle game Camp Slayaway, which puts the player in control of a serial killer called Skullface who kills councilors at the titular campground. Over 200 different levels, Skullface must navigate through the different stages and kill anyone who stands in his way.
Despite all the gore and death, Slayaway Camp’s the voxel graphics make the overall experience quite light rather than awful. With multiple kill scenes, DLCs, and killers to unlock, this weirdly adorable parody horror game can easily keep players coming back for more.
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