Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit expands wonderfully upon assisting spirit bears

New gadgets, expanded islands and ghostly abodes, and more await players that return to the daily charm of being a Spirit Scout.

Image via Spry Fox

Cozy Grove was one of my favorite games of 2021. Its ridiculously chill and wholesome vibe, Animal Crossing-like campsite, gathering, and friendships, and its surprisingly heartfelt stories all caught me in a way that led me to carry the banner and vote it for Best Strand Game of that year (in part because you connect and revitalize a dismal island and its inhabitants to make it and them much better). Camp Spirit was a delight to see announced as a sequel to the original Cozy Grove. While I’m a bit disappointed it can only be played on mobile right now, it’s hard to be too mad at Netflix Games for supporting Spry Fox and bringing this game to fruition, especially for all the upgrades it makes to the original game and the new stories it tells.

A new island and then some

Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit starts off very similar to the first game. You are a Spirit Scout and your purpose is to go out there and assist the denizens of the spiritual world in whatever they may need, whether it’s bringing them what they want, listening to their story, or helping them craft something. The twist? Most of the ghosts you come across are spirit bears that have taken on qualities of the things they loved or did in life. For instance, there’s a bear that’s essentially a giant box of colored pencils with a bear face. You’d be right to think they were in artist in their life, but that’s something you’ll have to unravel more of by interacting with them.

New to Camp Spirit are expanded play areas. The first game’s island was expandable as you met more spirit bears and assisted them (for which they’d unleash an array of color and life to the island around their area), but you mostly stayed outdoors helping bears out and managing your camp. This time around, there are multiple islands you’ll get to explore to help bears in addition to the starting one you still get to expand. Moreover, some bears will have abodes that you can go inside and interact with. It adds a lot more flavor and exploration to the game that is very fun to discover day by day.

Washing a house in Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit
Source: Spry Fox

Your campground also returns in Camp Spirit. In between helping out spirit bears and scouring the island space available to you for resources, you’ll have to expand your camp with a variety of furniture and decorations that add flavor to your camp. It also helps you with things like farming, cooking, and eventually, fostering new pets. The first Cozy Grove had a few animal friends like various birds, but Camp Spirit adds to that as well. This time there are animal pals like spirit dogs and snails that you can tame to be your campground pets and friends, and interact with them in new playful ways, like a game of fetch.

There are new gadgets with which to interact and harvest resources from your adventures across the islands too. One of the funniest is a new power washer, which is just a fish that you can squeeze to shoot water out at high force. Cleaning up houses or important landmarks is part of the fun in Camp Spirit and it’s quite satisfying at that. Don’t worry about the other activities from the first game, though. Foraging, farming, fishing, and more have all returned and are as relaxing as ever.

Inside a ghost bear's home in Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit
Source: Spry Fox

It's also worth noting that the controls feel good and simple to interact with in Camp Spirit. Moving, interacting with inventory, talking to spirit bears, engaging with your camp, and more are just a poke away and it’s fairly responsive across the board. I kind of wish I had the option for a knob on the touch screen that could be used as a digital joystick to move. However, it’s also worth noting that this game has controller support if you have a device to connect. One of the main features of Cozy Grove that also returns is that you can only advance so much of the story in one day, then it prompts you to come back the next real day for more content. Those who want to marathon this game won’t be able to, but I feel that’s always been a fun part of the day-to-day in Cozy Grove.

Earn your badges, Camper!

Hugging Kyli, the spirit bear in Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit.
Source: Spry Fox

Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit is a lot of things I thought it would be. Nearly everything I liked about the first game is intact here, and the things that are improved upon and expanded add to the fun. Touch controls can be a bit iffy at times, but it’s still not hard to handle (especially since it’s such a low-stress game). Finally, I just love all of the new stories and bears. Helping them has always been a heartwarming experience, and there’s a lot of help to give as you build up your camp, farm, forage, and decorate. Put all of this together and Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit is quite the fun sequel.

This is based on an early iOS version of the game supplied by the publishers. Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit is available now on mobile devices for Netflix subscribers through Netflix Games.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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