Vaultman is bringing us back to summer camp with the newest version of Camp Pinewood, a dating sim featuring many of your favorite cartoon gals.
Harkening back to the days of Newgrounds Flash games and many an hour spent trying to get into a girl’s pants through an inordinate amount of time in the gym, Camp Pinewood is a true-to-form dating sim that places heavy emphasis on simplicity. Vaultman makes it clear before the audience even has a chance to download the game that Camp Pinewood is “NOT a Visual Novel,” and that though there is a story and there is dialogue, both of these things are second fiddle to your ability to meet, impress, woo, and ultimately bed your favorite cartoon girl.
Camp Pinewood‘s art, code, and writing were all done by Vaultman himself — a process he describes as being “the only way (that) works for me.” The effort clearly shows in its consistent art style, with keen attention paid in particular to each of the girls’ models. Though certain creative liberties are taken — such as changing a few of the outfits to fit a summer camp setting and the aging of certain characters to be portrayed as above the age of 18 — each of Vaultman’s interpretations of characters remain largely faithful to their in-show counterparts.
Gwen (Ben 10) as she appears when interacted with (left) and while navigating through the camp (right).
Getting to the meat of the dating sim, you are Jack (a character whose name you can change), a young man sent off to summer camp because, and I quote, “all I do is sit at my computer every day and play video games.” You find yourself alone on a bus because you missed the first bus to the camp, and after a brief interlude, you are greeted by the wooden gates of Camp Pinewood.
You’re greeted by Francine Smith, a familiar face from American Dad who informs you at the gate of that the bus carrying all the boys had an accident. Though all aboard were injured and sent to the hospital, there were no casualties — meaning you are the only boy at a summer camp full of girls.
It’s all in the flyer, really.
The character introductions to Francine, Madeline from Danny Phantom, and Frankie from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends also serve as a primer to the game’s mechanics. Selecting one dialogue option over another allows the players to make progress on certain character’s moods and their relationships with the girls at the camp, status bars which affect your interactions with characters and how successful you are at flirting with them and making saucy requests later down the line. Soon after, you’re given free reign to explore the camp and make friends, with most characters you meet for the first time having some small quest that increases their relationship with you substantially.
You begin Camp Pinewood sharing a cabin with Frankie, where you learn a few things through experience — first, interacting with a girl progresses time forward unless you’re accepting or turning in a quest. Days are broken up into four time periods: morning, day, evening, and night. It is during these divisions you discover that certain characters have schedules — for example, Frankie is only available to speak or flirt with during the day and evening time periods. True to its dating sim roots, you’ll find that certain interactions are determined by your level in four skills: pervert, charisma, smarts, and luck. Smarts, for example, determine your handiness with tools; the cabin you start in has a broken thermostat, and with a five in smarts and a screwdriver on hand, you can fix the thermostat and set it to high heat during the night, allowing the player to see Frankie stripped down to her underwear while she’s sleeping.
Finally, you learn that nothing comes free at summer camp. Much like Shawshank, there is no clear way in or out of those tall wooden walls, so you turn to the one girl in the camp who can get you anything from a portable music player to a vintage Merlot.
Jessica (The Simpsons) is known to locate things from time to time.
Jessica becomes your go-to gal for basically everything. She has magazines that increase your stats (which are not consumed upon use, making their steep price a worthwhile investment), gifts you can give to the girls to increase your relationship with them, and certain quest-related items (e.g., a screwdriver to fix your cabin’s thermostat). You quickly find out, however, that the $10 you brought with you from home can barely get you a screwdriver — so, the question then becomes “how do you get money?”
Simple: work for the camp.
Living the dream — working for under minimum wage at summer camp.
If you open up your map, you can make your way to the office building and work for Francine sorting paperwork, earning a generous $15 each time you dedicate a time period to her that quickly bumps up to $25. From there, wooing and interacting with girls becomes a breeze: buy them fancy gifts, chat with them every now and then, and soon they’re flashing their panties at you — which you discover very few of them actually wear.
As of the time of writing, version 0.5.1 has the core mechanics of the dating sim laid out and the sex scenes are all static images, with later releases promising animation. All girls have at least two images or scenes, usually involving flashing, though the girls with more quests and dialogue options (Frankie, Gwen, and Raven, for example) have more saucy scenes featuring blowjobs, titjobs, or even a 69 in public, depending on your relationship with the girl. The dialogue options are fairly bare-bones, with most invitations to chat amounting to “[girl’s name], let’s talk!” and the girl responding with a quaint “Okay! Let’s talk!” Despite this, what dialogue and story there are more than make up the difference and give the audience much of the agency one could expect out of a dating sim.
Version 0.5.1 also introduces a clothing mechanic that allows certain characters to wear outfits you can find hidden away in the nooks and crannies of the cabins, the dining hall, kitchen, and medical supplies closet among other places. Once you progress the story past a certain point, you will be able to find these little black bags containing outfits which are unique to each character, which include Frankie in a bathing suit and Raven in her classic Teen Titans getup.
No matter the getup, Velma carries her lack of 20/20 vision to the pool with her.
You can check out version 0.5.1 (with 0.6.0 due for an early December release) of Camp Pinewood for free over here on Vaultman’s Patreon, by selecting the Google Drive download link. If you like what he’s doing, you can support him by pledging monthly or by checking out his blog here.
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