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Camp Grizzly

Camp Grizzly

Game Information

Game Name
MSRP $
50.00
Genre
Ameritrash Games

 Who, if anyone, will survive?

Camp Grizzly is a semi-cooperative survival horror board game for 1-6 players. The year is 1979, players take the roles of Camp Counselors who are being stalked through a maze of cabins and camp trails by 'Otis', a homicidal killer with an unhealthy bear fetish. Working together, the Counselors explore the camp grounds while searching for a combination of objectives that can trigger one of four different game endings. Those who survive the finale win the game! It won't be easy. After every round of player turns, the NPC killer, Otis, stalks the closest targets around the board, attacking whenever he gets the chance. Unarmed players PANIC, are injured and forced to run away. Those lucky enough to have found protection are able to fight Otis with a dice roll. Better weapons mean higher value dice and a greater chance of success. Beat Otis and he disappears form the board until re-emerging from the woods on his next turn. Be warned, as the body count rises, Otis gains strength, moves faster and becomes more deadly. Just when you think you're safe, you may find him waiting right in front of you! If that's not bad enough, players must draw Cabin Cards which have a wide variety of game changing effects, both positive and negative. They contain Plot Twists, Cameos, weather changes, special Otis cards, clever Campers, helpful Weapons and Items, and fate tempting "foolin' around" cards. The Counselors won't give up so easily. In addition to their own inherent talents, Survival Cards grant the players unique abilities and tactics to help elude or confront the killer.


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Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #211837 03 Oct 2015 22:20
After a couple of people mentioned Camp Grizzly a week ago here at F:AT, I briefly looked it over at BGG and then impulsively bought it from the publisher's website. The publisher, by the way, calls itself Ameritrash Games. Camp Grizzly is a co-op game where players control camp counselors who are attempting to survive a killing spree by Otis, a serial killer with a disturbing fixation on bears.

Even though I didn't pay for fast shipping, I got Camp Grizzly two shipping days later, in a battered shipping box. Fortunately, the game was shrink-wrapped and wrapped again in bubble wrap, so it was in immaculate condition. Good production values for all the components, except that the playing card stock is a bit flimsy and will likely need sleeves after a few plays. The style of the art is a bit cartoonish, but I really liked the look of the board and the pseudo-weathered card backs that simulate various signs at the camp.

The rulebook is colorful and interesting looking, and seems organized at first glance, but I could tell that this was originally a Kickstarter game once I started reading the rules. There are numerous gaps and mysteries in the rules, including explanations of such basic mechanics as movement and combat. The FAQ posted at BGG helped us figure out most of the rules, and the rest were reasonably easy to guess at based on the theme. Unfortunately, the rules issues slowed the pace of our first game, causing a 90 minute scenario to play out in just under 3 hours.

The basic structure of the game is simple. Going clockwise around the table, each player moves, and if ending movement in a cabin, draws a cabin card. Cabin cards include campers, cameos, weapons, plot twists, and surprise attacks by Otis. Campers are like sidekicks, and each one has a special ability and/or weakness. Cameos are wandering NPCs who have a limited AI based on a specific goal. Otis functions the same way, stalking campers according to a limited AI that focus on targets who are alone, afraid, and/or wounded. Otis and all the cameo characters move and act in a turn in between the first and last player.

Otis levels up, which is neat. Every time he kills somebody, a token advances on the body count track, and certain spaces increase his movement, attack, or damage ability. In combat, a counselor can only fight Otis if armed with a weapon. If the counselor wins, Otis temporarily leaves the board, to return to a random location the following turn. If Otis wins, the counselor takes damage and panics, getting one free move away from Otis. Each counselor has a damage track which affects movement (like the Speed attribute in Betrayal at House on the Hill), with the final space indicating death.

The board features a variety of cabins and other camp-type locations, with campfire in the center. Half the paths connecting cabins are well-marked and easily traversed, but the other half are tricky shortcuts called nature trails. Get lost on a nature trail and you end up in The Woods. It only takes one turn to return from the Woods, but you might get injured or even attacked on the way back.

To win, the counselors need to collect a set of three objective tokens that correspond to one of four possible finales. Things like car keys, a car battery and a gas can. The finales are interesting because they can break down the co-op element. If most of the counselors are ready to flee the board for one finale, they might resent waiting for stragglers as the bodycount rises or Otis draws near. So some of the counselors can bolt early and try to win via a finale, abandoning the rest to a cruel fate. But if they assay a finale and fail, the surviving players back at camp can try to gather a different set of objective tokens and try to win via a different finale. If nobody wins via a finale before the bodycount hits 13, Otis and the counselors are all sent to the campfire for a final battle.

Aside from the rules struggle, our 6-player game was very thematic and fun. But based on one play, it's hard to say if this game will continue to be fun after a few more plays. 90% of the cards got played in our game, not counting finales. We tried to get all the players out together with one big try for a finale, but two of us got cut down and the bodycount was up to 12, so they left one counselor behind. Their finale involved a swimming chase, and due to good die rolls and some permanent bonuses, they all easily escaped Otis. So the ending seemed a bit easy and anti-climactic, though only half the players survived. I wouldn't warn anybody away from Camp Grizzly, but I wouldn't give it a strong recommendation unless somebody particularly liked horror-based games with a sense of humor.
R.P.Kraul's Avatar
R.P.Kraul replied the topic: #211882 05 Oct 2015 09:06
The rules: minimalism is great, but the rulebook is too minimalist. It doesn't really say how to resolve fights with Otis in the finale. You sort of have to take hints from barn finale. The cards are flimsy. After only 8-10 plays, the tops of mine are dinged. I will be sleeving them.

Honestly, the replay value is high. The cabin cards, like AH mythos cards, can push the game in one direction or another. And although the game seems simple with limited options, I've never had two games that played the same. In one solo game, I was forced to resign when Otis reached maximum stats, and I had only two badly injured counselors left--and neither of them had a good weapon. Items, campers, board setup--these things provide nice variety. If the game has a replay weakness, it's the number of finales available (only four). I'm hoping that the expansions--if Ameritrash Games ever releases them--address this issue. More counselors would be nice, too.

I agree with you on recommending Camp Grizzly. This game is for folks who love horror--and especially for those who appreciate the tongue-in-cheek American slasher films.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #211883 05 Oct 2015 09:06
Back when I reviewed it a few months ago we played four times in a pretty short span (3-4 weeks) and were still having fun. Some of the card did get repetitive but the sheer fact that Otis can be so damn lethal always kept us on our toes. The finales go a long to way to differentiate plays as well.

Outside of the context of playing it repeatedly for a review, it's a game I plan on playing once every few months.

The mechanisms are simple and solid, but the game rides on its quirkiness and unique feel. It's what I wanted from past Flying Frog games like Last Night on Earth to be honest.

Good game and I'm looking forward to the expansions.
Scott Rogers's Avatar
Scott Rogers replied the topic: #288197 14 Dec 2018 19:44
If you don't know CAMP GRIZZLY, it's a great horror themed game by Ameritrash Games. The art is gorgeous, the game play is delightfully dark and the whole product drips with theme.

Despite having to wait a very long time for final expansions, this game is one of my favorites and one I'm glad I have in my collection.

Any one else own or have played this game?
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #288201 14 Dec 2018 20:00
Some discussion of this one over in the boardgame played thread, very positive opinions in general. There was also a brief thread on it ages ago:

therewillbe.games/forum/10-ameritrash/19...-camp-grizzly#211883

But feel free to continue here! I haven't played it so couldn't say much but it has fans here.
engineer Al's Avatar
engineer Al replied the topic: #288204 14 Dec 2018 20:06
We are all big fans of it out here in the CT camp. Josh & I talked about it in a recent podcast:

therewillbe.games/podcasts/6179-it-came-...18-halloween-special
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #288208 14 Dec 2018 20:53
I missed out on the original Kickstarter and will probably never get a chance to buy the expansions, but I bought the base game from their website 3 years ago. Camp Grizzly is a great game, and even non-gamers like it. It quickly moved into the top five of my collection and remains there.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #288211 14 Dec 2018 21:49
Going out on a limb here and saying that I am the world’s #1 Camp Grizzly fan.
hotseatgames's Avatar
hotseatgames replied the topic: #288216 15 Dec 2018 00:45
With all the recent buzz around here, I'd like to grab a copy. So can someone detail what the options are for this? Sounds like it needs a reprint Kickstarter?
Scott Rogers's Avatar
Scott Rogers replied the topic: #288217 15 Dec 2018 02:05
Camp Grizzly is a great game and I really love the art syle of the cards. Every slasher film cliche is well represented. I somewhat recently finally received the expansions which adds more cousellors, campers, cards and best of all, ending scenarios.

The entire concept and execution is great although the cards could be bigger to show off the art and the core game with expansions doesn't fit it the original box. I'm thinking about scanning and photoshopping a bigger box to fit everything.

Regardless if you like horror games, I highly rcommend it.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #288224 15 Dec 2018 08:35

hotseatgames wrote: With all the recent buzz around here, I'd like to grab a copy. So can someone detail what the options are for this? Sounds like it needs a reprint Kickstarter?


There are usually a few for sale on Amazon, and the company might still sell it direct from their website. But I suspect that they ran into an expensive production problem with the original Kickstarter and didn't make much money from the game. Otherwise, why would it take three years for them to finally send out the stretch goal expansions? So I don't expect a reprint Kickstarter. The best hope would be if a bigger company like Asmodee were to purchase the rights to Camp Grizzly and publish their own edition.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #288225 15 Dec 2018 09:02
Did you back the Kickstarter? They said expansions would be available for purchase this fall/winter, but I haven’t seen them yet.
drewcula's Avatar
drewcula replied the topic: #288227 15 Dec 2018 09:47
Which I guess begs the question; how necessary are the expansions?

Tangentially related; can anyone offer a compare and contrast to Last Friday?
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #288228 15 Dec 2018 09:51
Interesting question. FFG in particular used to publish base games that looked like they needed at least one expansion, and that expansion was likely ready to go as soon as sales of the base game passed a threshold. The base game for Camp Grizzly is very solid and doesn't need anything to complete it. However, there are only two scenarios for each escape route, so I could see those eventually wearing out their welcome with enough repeat play. Maybe the whole game might become too familiar with repeat play, and that's where the expansion material would become valuable, especially if they add in additional scenarios for the escape routes.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #288230 15 Dec 2018 10:10
It’s still available. I wouldn’t worry about the expansions, I’m hoping they come out eventually, but the base game provides more than enough play, which is a surprise because it doesn’t look like it would at first blush. $50 is too much if you’re looking at it from a material value, but it’s a steal from a play standpoint.

A bigger publisher, even a small time one, would actually be the worst case scenario for this game. There’s a certain charm to how low budget and DIY this game is, it’s perfect given the films that inspired it and their similar history. I want the game to be successful but at the same time, I love that it’s this somewhat hard to find, not well known thing that you have to hear about word of mouth.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #288231 15 Dec 2018 10:19
My verdict on the Last Friday/Camp Grizzly thing:

Buy both.

They’re completely different games and they’re both really good. Last Friday is a rough gem, but so is CG. Last Friday has some really great, interesting role reversal twists on the hidden movement that I think really shows off the strengths of the genre. It got maligned by the hobby because the rulebook makes the idiotic suggestion that you can play one of its four chapters as a single game, which is 100% a bad idea. You need to see the big picture and you need to play it several times for it to crystallize.

Such an underrated, misunderstood game.
drewcula's Avatar
drewcula replied the topic: #288234 15 Dec 2018 10:46
I laid my hands on the LF components at a convention. Origins? Gencon? I don't remember.
Regardless, I do remember not being impressed with the graphic design, and illustrations. At all.

Camp Grizzly appeals to me more visually, but as you said (or I'm interpolating), it has some rough edges.

CG is on my BGG wishlist. If Santa doesn't surprise me, I may get a copy for myself in the new year.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #288236 15 Dec 2018 10:54

drewcula wrote: Which I guess begs the question; how necessary are the expansions?


I'm starting to feel the need for more endgame finale cards.

I believe that the expansions shipped in Sept-Oct to people who backed them on Kickstarter. The publisher said that copies would be available on their website, but I haven't seen them yet. If the expansions never get offered for sale to non-backers, I may hunt down people who got them (looking at you Scott) and beg for scans of finale cards.
Scott Rogers's Avatar
Scott Rogers replied the topic: #288238 15 Dec 2018 11:24

ubarose wrote: I may hunt down people who got them (looking at you Scott) and beg for scans of finale cards.


I'm sure that could be arranged.
Dr. Mabuse's Avatar
Dr. Mabuse replied the topic: #288248 15 Dec 2018 13:23
I recently got a copy upon listening to Josh and Al's podcast and I love it for all the reasons already stated. Getting ahold of more cards would be terrific in order to keep replayability high.
Scott Rogers's Avatar
Scott Rogers replied the topic: #288288 16 Dec 2018 00:55
I have a set of the "intermediatary" cards for sale if you are interested. These were sent out to Kickstarter backers to keep the peasants from revolting about the long wait. Most of them don't have final art but they do have the gameplay.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #288304 16 Dec 2018 11:31

Scott Rogers wrote: I have a set of the "intermediatary" cards for sale if you are interested. These were sent out to Kickstarter backers to keep the peasants from revolting about the long wait. Most of them don't have final art but they do have the gameplay.


I want to see if they live up to their claim about the expansions coming soon, but put me at the top of the list of interested parties.
Vysetron's Avatar
Vysetron replied the topic: #297058 15 May 2019 08:32
Resurrecting this thread because it's relevant to my interests.

A friend recently asked me if Mixtape Massacre was worth their time. I steered them away from that and towards Camp Grizzly or Last Friday, but made it clear that I've played neither. I'd like to fix that.

One of my wife's favorite games is Fury of Dracula so I'm leaning towards Last Friday, but Camp Grizzly looks really popular around here. What's the feel of each round like? It looks like you run for cabins and try to dig through the decks, but I know that's not all there is.
dysjunct's Avatar
dysjunct replied the topic: #297061 15 May 2019 09:07
The other main part is managing Otis’ movement and your health. You try to kite him around, away from the really hurt people, all while racing against the clock to find the things you need to escape. That part is pretty dynamic, since your health and movement are in flux, and it keeps things fresh.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #297074 15 May 2019 11:16

Vysetron wrote: Resurrecting this thread because it's relevant to my interests.

A friend recently asked me if Mixtape Massacre was worth their time. I steered them away from that and towards Camp Grizzly or Last Friday, but made it clear that I've played neither. I'd like to fix that.

One of my wife's favorite games is Fury of Dracula so I'm leaning towards Last Friday, but Camp Grizzly looks really popular around here. What's the feel of each round like? It looks like you run for cabins and try to dig through the decks, but I know that's not all there is.


Once again, It Came From the Tabletop has you covered.

ICFTT 2018 Halloween Special

FWIW, I own Camp Grizzly, Last Friday, and Mixtape Massacre and I wouldn’t give a one of them up.