Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Visitor: Massacre at Camp Happy

Part of a series of similarly-titled-and-grotesquely-themed browser games, The Visitor: Massacre at Camp Happy reminds me a hell of a lot of The Thing. Alien creature comes down from the heavens, starts killing stuff and taking on their attributes, and ultimately... well, people die. What more noble goal can their be for a voracious space worm?


Though I do believe I JUST summed up the game, I'll toss in more background for clarification. It's night. A group of campers are hanging out near Camp Happy, and their numbers are slowly dwindling as they wander off on their own, true to any horror story - and all because they keep getting snagged and murdered by a race of malicious parasites who, after crashing down on meteors, proceed to eat everything they can find and take on new genetic attributes.

The story also neatly sums up the game play. Playing as 'The Visitor', or rather several different 'Visitors', you must slime your way through various levels, eating animals and stealing their evolutionary benefits. Do so in a sufficiently organized and strategic manner and you'll find your way to a human. Chow time! I've always enjoyed evolutionary games (E.V.O. was one of my favourite all-time SNES titles), so this formula works for me.

Oh, yeah, and eating things. That's always cool too.


The Visitor is half-and-half puzzling and moving your worm around, and fortunately for you movement is damn simple. Arrow keys guide the parasite, and the space bar prompts a vicious bite that will consume anything smaller than the creature. You gain new body parts (wings, fins, claws) that will allow you to circumvent different obstacles in each level (pits, water, trees), but using the arrow keys never changes. No glitches, and aside from being thrown a liiiittle too far when hit, I never had any control issues.


The Visitor is okay aesthetically. It does its job without going overboard. The animals all look as they should, the environments are okay (if repetitive), and the worm itself is appropriately gruesome. I took some issue with the humans, who don't reeeeeally look like they belong with the rest of the game, but since you don't see 'em that often it's no big deal.

Oh, and blood. Lots and lots of blood. This is not a kids' game, so don't let your eight-year-old start mucking about with the keyboard unless they really enjoy sci-fi horror bloodbaths.


The music in The Visitor is campy horror fare. Good, solid, alien tunes... or perhaps I should say tune, since it's a fairly repetitive game. I did, that said, appreciate the gruesome sound effects accompanying your worm's frequent meals.

Challenge Rating

The Visitor is much more of a puzzler than you might initially think, as you must eat the right animals in the right order to proceed through levels. These animals will respawn after they're consumed, though, so you can go back and right old wrongs with impunity - you just won't get extra points for eating the same animal.

This is not a terribly difficult game. Though you do need to dodge animals in action-esque fashion, none of them are terribly cruel, and you shouldn't experience huge difficulties circumventing the levels. Don't dismiss the game as TOO easy, though, 'cause some of the later puzzles are moderately devilish.


If you enjoy monster movies, you'll have fun in The Visitor: Massacre at Camp Happy. It's chalk-full of horror movie conventions, right down to the idiotic victims, and the game play is pretty fun to boot. Om nom nom!


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