One Military Camp has one major issue that makes it very difficult for me to recommend it, and that is just how broken the economy is, with players being required to often spend more money on wages and utilities required for a mission than the mission itself rewards, often to a startling degree, with some missions costing as much as 100k to prepare for while rewarding a miserly 9.5k.
A reward so paltry that even running two or three missions concurrently would not come close to the amount of gold required to train and pay the wages of the up to 18 specialists required to run said missions.
This sorry state of affairs is made even worse by the long downtime between missions, which results in players having to finance up to three wage cycles per mission downtime, resulting in wage costs of as much as 18k per mission team, not including base support staff required to keep them in good condition.
What makes the unrewarding mission payouts more baffling is that at the start of the game, completing missions rewards players with around 9k gold per completed mission, which is decent value for money because players are only required to spend around 4k gold to staff and run each mission.
However, once tier 1 missions run out (which happens fairly quickly, things take a turn for the worse, and mission costs quickly start to balloon to as high as 18k by tier 4 mission, not including the massive overhead of maintaining such a large team of specialists and support staff between missions, and the ever-present risk of death or injury that can result in tens of thousands of additional investment to recover from at worst (deaths), and thousands of gold in delays at best (injuries).
What makes this so frustrating is that the developers could easily fix this issue by increasing each respective tier’s reward to roughly 150% of the previous tier’s reward, ensuring that players can progress without constantly juggling loans or resorting to using unauthorized third-party cheat programs.
How the current reward structure looks.
Tier 1 Mission.
Tier 2 Mission.
Tier 3 Mission.
Tier 4 Mission.
Example of how a revised reward structure could look.
Tier 1 Mission.
Tier 2 Mission.
Tier 3 Mission.
Tier 4 Mission.
These increased rewards would help to cover not only the cost of the mission but also the costs required to supply the soldiers with all of the utilities and training they require, which often can run as high as 8k per wage cycle by tier 4, ensuring that missions remain rewarding until the end of each campaign.
Mission rewards aside, One Military Camp lacks the ability for players to be truly self-sufficient and turn a profit due to the buildings required to produce resources being so expensive to research, staff and operate that players would have to play well north of 50 hours per campaign to break even, let alone make a profit, something which rarely ever occurs with most campaigns lasting at best 20 hours, and most being able to conclude in 8 hours or less, meaning that for the vast majority of players, attempting self-sufficiency is less cost-effective than purchasing resources from vendors.
Another downside of the low mission payouts is that completing missions and progressing the narrative feel unrewarding. Except for the occasional titter at the mostly static cutscenes and text-based dialogue, there is nothing to reward players for spending their time and often 10s of thousands of gold to prepare for a mission, other than some badly written dialogue and a payout that doesn’t even cover half of the research costs for even a single required unit, let alone cover the cost of training and feeding said unit over an extended period of time.
The developers kindly supplied me with an Epic Game Store code for One Military Camp, and my review is based upon that build; however, one thing I have noticed is that One Military Camp appears to not play nicely with the Epic overly, and I have encountered around 20 instances where the mouse pointer disappears, forcing me to restart the game, and occasionally restart my PC before I can use a cursor in full-screen programs.
Cursor issues aside, One Military Camp also has issues with the latest recommended AMD drivers for the 5700XT series, which can result in crashes and the occasional lockup; however, the latest optional AMD drivers work well, and I was able to play for 6 hours in a single session without any further issues.
Over the last six years of reviewing games, I have had the pleasure of reviewing games from all around the globe and have begun to recognize certain similarities between games created in any single country, and upon playing One Military Camp for the first time, my initial thought was “this has to be a Spanish game”, and upon looking up the developer, my suspicions were confirmed, it is indeed made by a team based in Barcelona.
My first clue was the visuals, with many Spanish game developers opting for a semi-realistic cartoon aesthetic that is affordable to produce and looks great for a very long time due to its non-reliance on looking photo-realistic visuals, and not being a copy of any single popular aesthetic trend, which, as we all know can age badly, such as the overly coloured and edgy aesthetic of the early 2010s.
My second clue was the humour, which often fell flat, likely because the jokes were originally written in Spanish, and something was lost in translation, a common occurrence in games made in Spanish-speaking countries, where the limitations of non-latin languages can result in hysterical Spanish language jokes being barely worth a titter in English.
Often, when a joke was on screen, I almost felt bad for the writer, and I wondered if they knew just how unfunny it was in English, with the most egregious offenders being wordplays that would make sense in Spanish but caused little more than confusion in English.
Despite being British, I often find games made by British developers lean too hard into British humour, making the games and jokes contained within less palatable to a non-British audience. I in no way mean to imply that humour not translating well between cultures is an issue that only affects Spanish-speaking writers, nor that every joke of Spanish origin would fall flat with an English audience.
One Military Camp’s narrative is decent, and its obsession with cabbages is amusing initially. Still, after 10+ hours of movie references and cabbage jokes, I found myself skipping every cutscene, as a joke that is over-told is not a joke at all, and while pop culture references in moderation can be very amusing, a constant barrage of such references can become irksome.
One Military Camp is a great-looking game most of the time, and I feel the developers chose a fantastic aesthetic that is reminiscent of beloved management titles such as Theme Park and Theme Hospital, titles which, in the eyes of many, are the epitome of the management genre.
Great aesthetic aside, there is a fair bit of clipping on most character models, and it’s not uncommon to see a solider with part of their hair or even their head protruding out the top and sides of their specializations headwear.
While it’s not a game-breaking bug, it should have been addressed long before leaving early access.
One Military Camp is a management video game developed by Abylight Studios and published by Abylight Barcelona, it was released on 20 July 2023 and retails for $29.99.
One Military Camp is available exclusively on PC.
On average One Military Camp takes between 40 and 55 hours to complete.
Estimated completion times are derived from various sources and may vary based on the skill level of each player.
The following peripherals are officially supported:
One Military Camp is rated unrated and contains no mature content.