Camp Marshmallow Review: Dark And Twisted Must-Play On Quest

Camp Marshmallow on SideQuest is a dark, twisted VR experience about life, death, and s’mores created by solo developer Chris Pavia that’s available for free on Oculus Quest. You can finish the whole thing in just about 10-minutes and it’s a must-play for fans of dark humor and introspective stories.

From the Camp Marshmallow SideQuest page:

“Four young Scouts and their Scoutmaster venture into the forest to sing campfire songs and assert their dominance over nature. A chill breeze pushes through the branches, carrying hushed whispers about the curious newcomers. The fire sizzles and pops as shadows dance across the trees. With sticks in hand and visions of gooey marshmallows in their eyes, the Scouts look to their leader to provide them with the forest’s bounty.”

NOTE: Spoilers for Camp Marshmallow follow. It’s impossible to talk about this experience without discussing the details, so if you are at all intrigued thus far I urge you to stop reading and go download it for yourself!

You can watch me play through Camp Marshmallow in the video above (it’s only about 10-minutes long after all) during the latest episode of our VR Roulette random-selection live VR game show. After spinning the wheel this was the game I landed on for the episode’s finale and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

In Camp Marshmallow you take on the role of the Scoutmaster, presumably an adult that’s taking a group of kids out on a camping trip — similar to something you might see in the Boy Scouts. Everyone is sitting around the campfire, singing songs, and blissfully enjoying the ignorance of childhood.

It’s nostalgic and sweet, but something feels off.

“The fire is roaring and our sticks are sharp, Scoutmaster,” one child says. “The only thing missing are the marshmallows. Here, consider this the Spear of Destiny. It can transform an ordinary marshmallow into a beautiful memory.”

The child then hands you a stick as you walk to a clearing between some trees where a collection of anthropomorphic marshmallows stand waiting, smiling, and dancing. Apparently they didn’t get the memo about why they’re here tonight.

What follows can only be described as graphic violence — at least, in so far as you consider impaling a screaming marshmallow to be violent. Instead of blood gooey, sugary fluffiness drips onto your hands and splatters out. Screams of pain, pleas for mercy. It’s got it all.

And yet despite it all, it’s hard not to laugh. The way the little creatures beg for their lives is tongue-in-cheek at first and quite silly, but after the second or third mutilation it starts to take a turn. The children get creepier, the song gets stranger, and the marshmallows become more lifelike. Instead of just shivering as you cower over them they’re running away and hiding.

I don’t want to spoil things too, too much here but suffice to say you should absolutely let the marshmallows speak, listen to the children, soak in the song, and pay close attention to the small details to really enjoy this brief, but insightful VR experience.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=71YtddqrCtw%3Ffeature%3Doembed%26%23038%3Bshowinfo%3D0%26%23038%3Brel%3D0%26%23038%3Bmodestbranding%3D1%26%23038%3Biv_load_policy%3D3%26%23038%3Bplaysinline%3D1%26%23038%3Benablejsapi%3D1

Camp Marshmallow Review Final Impressions

Camp Marshmallow feels like an early experiment from a rare talent with an eye for atmosphere. During my playthrough I couldn’t help but be reminded of the unnerving scenarios in Accounting from Squanch and Justin Roiland and I can’t wait to see what this experience’s creator, Chris Pavia, does next. If you enjoy dark and introspective stories that make you both laugh and feel uncomfortable at the exact same time, then Camp Marshmallow has you covered.

 

Camp Marshmallow is available now to sideload on Oculus Quest, for free, via SideQuest. When downloading the game, you can opt to donate a custom amount to the developer via itch.io to help support efforts. Fore details on how to sideload games using SideQuest, check out our guide here.

This review was conducted on an Oculus Quest, using v1.0.0 of the game. For more on how we arrived at this score, check out our review guidelines. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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