Mini-game collections are abundant this time of year. With the holidays coming up, and motion controls of various forms coming into more and more households, it’s easy to see why. You’ve been treated to a carnival-themed collection, now behold Cabela’s take on mini-game action with Cabela’s Adventure Camp. Replacing hunting with various camping activities, you’ll compete for the top spot amongst either the AI or your friends.
After a brief introduction to camp and the festivities that are about to take place, you can get started with either a Free Play session or the Cabela’s Cup. Free Play lets you pick from the events, but some of them are locked and you have to play a different event first. Events are broken down into two main types; racing and shooting. There’s usually always more than one type of sub-catergory too. For example, there are two of each race type, and four of the two shooting games each.
While they share the same name, Archery 1 and Archery 4 are very different, mind you. Archery 1 has you shooting at targets (some stationary, some mobile), while Archery 4 mixes it up with cardboard cutouts of deer. You can’t shoot the doe (teaching trophy hunting ethics early!), and wolves can appear and make the targets start moving. Skeet shooting is clay shooting, with powerups (like shooting a green balloon that makes your crosshairs gigantic for a set amount of time). Both types of shooting control by pointing the Move wand at the screed as the crosshairs, but arrows have drop. Archery was more difficult because of that, and the fact that skeet shooting has a bigger crosshair.
Using a simple trigger pull for arrows seemed a little lacking in the creative department, especially since they were shooting for a camping experience. A modification to make the controls a little more realistic in the motions would have improved the feel of the game considerably. They added a “reload” motion, so you get the gist of drawing a new arrow, though.
Racing events range from kayaking through river rapids, avoiding boulders and trees in the river, to bicycling down a mountain path taking jumps. All racing events have you collecting coins, so you want to collect as many coins you can, and do it quickly because there is a hefty bonus for being fast. All racing events controlled with the wand pointed at the screen, and veering it from left to right while pressing the T button to gain speed. It wasn’t anything strenuous, but it worked, and the events were fun during their short duration.
The only other thing besides those two catagories is fishing. Fishing is tossing a line out (underhand for close, overhand for far), and catching fish; either of a certain color (Fishing 1), or by swapping baits for certain sizes (Fishing 2). It was one of the only event types I had a problem with the motion controls, as I couldn’t get the overhand throw right. I tried to avoid these events after failing multiple times. Perhaps it was just my Move setup (though every other game I played during that sitting worked fine).
You don’t gain much from Free Play, but can play mutiplayer. I only have one controller, so I couldn’t do the “grieving your opponent” that is a highlight on the back of the case. Also, while it says “hotseat” multiplayer (which tells me only one controller is needed), you can’t play by passing the controller, you have to have at least 2 controllers. Free Play is also a great place to earn the awesomely easy trophies.
Cabela’s Cup first has you selecting a character; though there is no importance outside of what you look like (I played as a girl, as there is a trophy for completing all events as a girl. A gold trophy. Remember, Girlz Rule!). The first of seven events is always Bear, Hunter, Ninja. Think Rock, Paper, Scissors. I won’t go into detail, but it seemed silly as you gained no points towards the cup, and didn’t loose anything either. But my seven-year old loved it, so he obviously got what I didn’t.
You can choose to pick the next five events, or have them chosen randomly. You get points and medals for the events based on your score, and a running score for the cup. Event seven is a whack-a-mole style game that takes cues from Simon Says. Four groundhogs take turn singing notes in a particular order, you have to follow the pattern. After this event ends, the cup is given to the winner, and a stylish postcard is written by the winners avatar. End.
The events are fun and I personally enjoyed the whole game. I’d like more content, which is pretty much the only drawback. Yes, there are multiple variations of games, but I played through them all in a few hours. I loved the theme and the games, and I could see myself breaking this out for various get-togethers if I had more Move controllers. My son, seven, loved the opening game and all of the racing games, and he was quite good at them, but he hated the archery. I must add, it was also fun cleaning up trophies in the game after I finished. So while Adventure Camp was fun, like real summer camp, it goes by a little too fast.
- fun games, fun theme
- trophies make the replay value
- too short, not enough substance