It’s Time to Go Camping in Camp Pinetop!

Camp Pinetop is one of those games that puts a smile on my face when I get to play it. Be aware as behind this cutesy art style is a tight brain burning game.

The aim of the game is to level yourself up from a lowly possum to big strong badger. You do this by collecting badges by exploring the whimsical and slightly death defying places including “Whoopsie-Daisy Bridge” and “Bearclaw Cavern”.

This Map is such a great design choice.

To start off the game you will deal out a randomly generated 3×4 or 4×4 grid map of cards. I really like having a new map each game as it adds replay value, and I played this 4 times before writing this review and each game felt very different. The map really is a key part of the game because you have to sit there for a second and be a scout and map out the best route as each map requires supply cards to complete badges, this is very thematically pleasing.

The Mechanics interweave with each other perfectly.

The map interweaves the badge mechanic perfectly. Each map tile has 4 badge icons on each side (N,S,E,W) and to collect a badge you must cross over to that map tile and depending on the direction you came from you unlock that badge by paying supply cards. I think this is incredibly clever because you need to think which badges do you want to collect and in what order, and you also have to check if there are any other scouts currently occupying the space because if you land on the same space as another scout you must pay them a supply card. This create a very tense and tight atmosphere where you really got to consider how to position your scouts and what badges your opponents are trying to collect.

In Camp Pinetop everyone loves collecting badges

The Badges come in three types, green, blue and grey. Each one breaks the rules in some way by giving you an advantage weather that’s moving extra spaces, drawing cards or allowing you spend supply cards as wilds, this adds a lot of variability and tactics you can employ during this game. As you collect badges you climb the ranks and as a consequence you get a ever decreasing hand size making it a little bit more tricky each level which is quite tense when you’re neck and neck.

Thank you Kalchio for the awesome photos via BGG

To Conclude Camp Pinetop

Overall I think Camp Pinetop is a solid game. It scales incredibly well as it feels tight at 3 and 4 players, the artwork is adorable and very family friendly, mechanically sound and well thought it, this could very easily be top family game of the year contender.