Review: Camp W

VN Game Den was provided with a review code for Camp W.

Camp W puts you in the shoes of a young Witch at the start of summer vacation in the Witching Realm. Although all the other kids will soon be attending summer camp, you know you’re in for another summer of studying under your mother’s watchful eye. But when you accidentally fall through a portal to the Human Realm, you find yourself spending your summer in a way you never imagined—at a summer camp for humans, putting a twist on the usual sort of fish-out-of-water premise.

You can choose between a male and female protagonist, with their respective default names being Ly and Lil, but this doesn’t have much of an effect on the game itself. Whichever you pick, you’ll quickly start making friends at the summer camp as you pretend to be a normal human like everyone else. Since the characters are all in middle school, there is no romance in this visual novel, but instead you’ll choose characters to spend time with in order to befriend them. Your progress toward a character’s friendship is tracked through drawings in your magical grimoire, which adds a cute touch.

Since this is a summer camp, the main way you’ll choose to spend time with other characters is by choosing activities to participate in. The story offers up an excuse about why you’re the one picking every activity, and each activity improves your relationship with the character who suggested it. At other points, your choices will earn you merit badges. You can’t see every activity or get every merit badge in a single playthrough, so you’ll need to play multiple times in order to see everything.

However, your character relationships don’t impact the main story, so you’ll see the same story scenes on every playthrough. There is a skip function, but as far as I can tell you need to hold down the button to skip text, making it not quite as easy to jump in for new character scenes as you might expect. With that said, the story in Camp W is cute and entertaining. Strange incidents around the camp lead you to begin investigating a mystery, and you learn things aren’t quite as peaceful there as you thought. It’s a pleasant story with some funny moments, and although it doesn’t do anything earth-shaking, it’s the sort of simple summer camp adventure that can be enjoyed by all ages.

For the most part, it’s a pure visual novel with only the occasional choice to make, but there is one additional gameplay element: casting spells. You have a number of spells available to you that you can cast by tracing a design in your grimoire. (There is also a no-fail option if you don’t want to trace them carefully.) This might sound like a significant gameplay aspect, but you can only use specific spells at specific points in the story, so all it really does is add a light bit of interactivity.

Overall, Camp W is a wholesome friendship story about a young Witch at a human summer camp, and it’s a pleasant way to spend a few hours.

You can purchase Camp W from Steam.