Look alive, campers! It’s time to earn your wilderness badges! Yupp, all of them … yupp … all at once … Well, don’t look so down about it. This is great news! We’ll explore, use our supplies wisely, master our scout skills, and make it to Badger rank in no time! It’s gonna be a pretty busy day, so you’d better get cracking!
What Is It?
A card game for 2-4 camp leaders. Players must manage the supply cards in their hands, spending them to bring out more campers, and to earn badges as they move around and explore different locations on a grid. Badges will grant them new abilities to help them continue toward the highest camper rank. Players can also upgrade these badges to make them even more powerful! It’s a race to level up as the first player to reach Badger Rank will win!
Who Is It For?
- Ages 8+
- Families; works well at any count
- Fans of gateway level games
- Solo gamers who like a bit of a puzzle with varied gameplay
- Fans of games that ramp up as you go (earn more & more abilities to continuously increase what you’re able to do)
Components + Quality
Settle in for a big section, gamers, cause there’s quite a few components in this moderately sized box!
The player boards are thin, but they’re fine. I like that they’re double sided for the solo game, very convenient. The cards (map, supply, mastery, weather) are all nice quality, easy to shuffle. All the symbology on everything is also very clear.
The player pieces (campers, rank tokens, mastery tokens, 1st player) are all great quality wooden pieces. I love the campers most of all; they are a really cute design and very detailed. Achievement patches are thick, nice quality cardboard. They flip along the short edge, which kind of threw me off, but it works. The abilities are all very clear. The additional patches (friendship tokens/expert patches) are small but fine quality. Expert patches symbology is, once again, very clear.
The tracking tokens for the nature expansion are small and can be a little hard to see when out on the board amidst the other symbols. Can be easy to forget about if you aren’t actively looking for them. The observation tower is thick cardboard, easy to put together, and looks cute out on the table!
The rules are split into two books – main game and solo journal – which I think is a great choice. Both are well written and easy to learn the game(s) from. I also like how the 2 sets of expansion rules are built into the main booklet. The flavor text story in the solo mode is also very engaging, which is a big bonus for the solo game. Finally, the box is a nice size, and everything fits snugly inside, all bagged. The cover art is enticing as well and gives you a good feel of the theme.
Variants / Expansions
Solo – The solo variant was really cool! You play through 8 different scenarios with different set-ups, mechanics, and goals, making each a unique experience. Games are pretty short, so the set up can seem like a lot in between each, but if you like the multi-player game, and want a solo experience, it works well and makes for an interesting little campaign.
Observation Tower Expansion – A very simple addition to the game, this adds in a few supply cards with double symbols, and an Observation Tower. The double supply cards make earning badges a little easier, and the tower may grant you additional movement if you begin your turn in the same row/column as it.
Nature Expansion – This expansion adds in various weather patterns and wildlife that will affect the board and either help or hurt players along the way, affecting movement, spaces, and more. It added an interesting layer to the gameplay and gave players more to strategize about on their turns, but it also had a fair bit of randomness with when things would move around, so that’s worth keeping in mind.
- Quick turns / plays quickly
- Cute theme/art/meeples
- Plenty of variability in locations and mastery cards
- Drawing cards is done in a unique way
- Some badge abilities seem so strong that there almost becomes an “obvious best” strategy, so someone who’s played before may be more likely to do well than a new player
Overall, I love the look and theme of this game and I think it will appeal to a lot of gamers, especially if you’ve ever been a scout. It definitely seemed like you could continuously catch yourself going for the same strategy time and again, even though the cards may change, but that will depend on who you play with and, potentially, what expansions you may throw in. There’s definitely good replay value here, regardless. It’s pretty light, very approachable, and a solid game in general.
My Final Ratings:
Overall Game – 6/10
Aesthetics – 8/10
Replay Value – 7/10
Difficulty – 3/10
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
If you like what I do, consider Supporting Me.
If you like what I do, consider Supporting Me.