Laid-Back Camp -Virtual- Lake Motosu Review – Let’s Just Chill

    Title: Laid-Back Camp - Virtual - Lake Motosu
    Developer: Gemdrops
    Release Date: March 3, 2021
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: Clouded Leopard
    Genre: VR Experience

Camping with your best friends may be rather challenging to do in the real world right now due to current circumstances. However, Laid-Back Camp -Virtual- Lake Motosu, based on the popular and wholesome Laid-Back Camp anime and manga series, aims to pull you into a relaxing experience through the eyes of Nadeshiko as she takes a camping trip at Lake Motosu with her best friend, Rin. Together they take in the sights and enjoy their time. While there are some positives to note, there are also a few caveats to this comfy experience.

Beginning with the positives, Laid-Back Camp -Virtual- Lake Motosu looks gorgeous. From the character models, which are very on-point and accurate to the anime, to the location itself, which is lovingly recreated from the real world Lake Motosu located in Japan. Further, the performance is really smooth at a steady 60FPS, and I really enjoyed the voice acting a lot with the various voice actors reprising their roles which adds to the experience.

The game pulled me into its warm and homely atmosphere. It made me feel like I was on a camping trip with a friend, just chilling and taking in the sights, albeit a very short camping trip clocking in about 30 to 35 minutes which is about the length of an anime episode. The experience is very laid-back, no pun intended.

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It also helps to note that while this is a VR title, Laid-Back Camp -Virtual- Lake Motosu has a Non-VR mode implemented, making the game more accessible for those who don’t have a VR Headset like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. This is something I can praise the developers for since not many VR games have a Non-VR mode.

That brings me to the aforementioned caveats. During this experience, for what is supposed to be an interactive anime VR game, interactivity was somewhat limited. Some interactive features include looking around Lake Motosu and looking at objects to trigger an event. It’s also possible to go near the lake or talk to Rin. One of the more entertaining features allows you to take photos of Rin and the various things you see with Nadeshiko’s smartphone. But the experience is pretty much on-rails as you are limited to only looking around.

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The controls also took a bit of time to get used to as you control the camera with your mouse on the PC version. Still, the camera doesn’t entirely move along with the mouse cursor, but rather, whenever you move your mouse, making for some rather clunky motions from time to time as you try to aim for the various points of interest.

In addition to that, the game doesn’t have much replay value as you can 100% it in one sitting. However, that’s pretty much expected considering what this game is.

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Laid-Back Camp -Virtual- Lake Motosu is a cute, comfy, and wholesome experience. While fans of the anime and manga might enjoy it, those on the fence may want to wait for a sale due to the minimal and limited interactivity in the content department and not to mention, the strange control scheme.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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