[iOS] Camp Myth is a charming visual novel with a mythological twist

mzl.dovitghf.320x480-75Not too long ago, we reviewed Juniper’s Knot, a haunting and atmospheric visual novel app. With gorgeously rendered characters, an intriguing story, and an intuitive design, this visual novel definitely whet my appetite for more apps in this underappreciated genre. So when I heard about Camp Myth, I jumped at the chance to check out this intriguing story.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Based on the Camp Myth series of books by Canadian author Chris Lewis Carter, the Camp Myth app is a visual novel. The story takes place at a summer camp for mythical heroes and creatures, and features characters like a cyclops, a kitsune, and a faery.

Pros

  • Kid-appropriate, but interesting for adult readers as well (title is rated 9+ by the App Store for mild cartoon/fantasy violence)
  • Unique array of familiar and lesser-known creatures from global mythology
  • Integrates with the stories from the Camp Myth universe
  • Reading is incentivized by your ability to earn merit badges
  • Like the game? You can buy Book One in the Camp Myth series from within the app
  • Engaging music that complements the action in the story
  • Smooth transitions between speakers in the story make it simple to follow along with the action

Cons

  • While the artwork for the characters is charming, the characters are not as polished-looking as they are on the covers of the Camp Myth books: some users have argued that the characters could be designed with more detail and enhancement
  • Response of buttons when selecting a scene in the story can be slightly laggy, making you wonder if your input was recognized: some sound effects could help improve this aspect of the UI
  • You either need to wait until certain parts of the story are unlocked due to the passage of time, or pay 99 cents to unlock all the currently available chapters.
  • Only one story, Hydra Raising, is available now. However, it appears that new content will be added weekly.

Discussion

mzl.tdxwyfso.320x480-75If you’re the kind of person that loves it when a series gets an “expanded universe,” the Camp Myth app will definitely appeal to you. It looks like new content will be added weekly to keep things fresh. Future “merit badge” challenge stories will include Golem Building, Kelpie Racing, and Basilisk Tracking.

The characters are interesting, unique, and each have their own voice. The story is well-written, and the serialized nature of each adventure makes the experience quite addictive.

Since the character icons are static, it’s up to the text and the background music to convey the appropriate moods and emotions. I think the music helps to build a good sense of atmosphere! Some users have argued that the character art could be a little more polished (a complaint I understood after comparing the cover art of the books to the character design in the game.) That being said, the in-game art isn’t bad, and in fact it’s quite charming!

Whether you’re a fan of the books, or coming to the app with no prior knowledge about this charming cast of characters, Camp Myth offers an engrossing experience. Think of this supernatural tale as Hogwarts: Summer Camp edition, and you’ll get an idea of the antics you can look forward to as the story progresses. I love the clever way that this visual novel integrates with the existing story series: it’s a clever idea that I wish more authors would embrace.

Conclusion and download link

For a brand new, Version 1.0 edition, this app is surprisingly bug-free. It runs smoothly, and the story really draws you in. Whether you’re picking up this app for your own personal enjoyment, or as a fun story for your kids to read, Camp Myth is worth your admiration.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.0

Requires iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, iOS version 5.0 or later

Download size: 105 MB

Camp Myth on Apple App Store

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