This van life-themed unpacking game promised me pure relaxation, but I got so angry about a paella pan it kept me up at night

Camper Van: Make it Home is my newest venture into the world of unpacking simulators. As someone who notoriously despises anything to do with unpacking, it’s unusual for me to have such an obsession with games that emulate the experience. But, I guess when I’m responsible for decorating with belongings that aren’t my own and I don’t have to deal with the chaos of breaking down cardboard boxes and storing them, unpacking is much more fun. 

What I loved most about the demo of Camper Van: Make it Home is how each collection of items is separated into groups. So, you don’t have to unpack and organise certain sections in one go before moving on to the next. At first, I really loved this feature because it meant you could see what sort of items you were dealing with. Places like the wardrobe were significantly easier to unpack since you had the option to hang clothes or fold them for shelves, whereas your backpack seems to produce several bulkier belongings that take a little more care to position. 

However, as convenient as this is for those who like to complete tasks in portions, it actually became a bit of a problem when it came to sorting the kitchen. You have to operate with incredibly limited kitchen space. After all, you are only in a caravan. But I like to make sure everything is tucked away to keep counter space clear, and with the number of items you are responsible for within the kitchen section— that feels like an impossible feat. You can stack glasses and pans, and even bags of non-perishable items can be forced into neat lines in your cupboard. But that doesn’t stop there from being an outlier that throws a spanner in the works. For Camper Van: Make it Home, this outlier—and my new mortal nemesis—is the paella pan. 

It feels ridiculous to be so upset about an inanimate object, but this pan is genuinely the bane of my existence. It’s consumed my thoughts to the point where I’ve had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to see if I could squeeze it into a cupboard if I just twisted it to the left. But no matter which rotation I use or how many cupboards I empty, this pan doesn’t fit anywhere comfortably. 

The only place I felt somewhat happy was leaving it on the stove by the door, but that meant I had to move my Moka pot. Like a domino effect, deciding to move one single item meant that I ended up re-doing the entire room. Before I knew it, hours had passed and I was only a fraction closer to completing one of the sections of unpacking. Eventually, I ended up settling with placing the pan as far away from the camper van as I could just so I didn’t have to look or think about it anymore. 

Maybe it’s a me problem. After all, Camper Van: Make it Home is intended to be a relaxing game, and one pan definitely doesn’t offset the laid-back atmosphere. For the most part, I was quite happy to re-jig sections I’d already decorated to create the optimal camper setup. Being able to freely rotate items also helped the decorating side of things feel less rigid, and in a way helped the space feel more lived-in. You can even leave coffee mugs or glasses on the floor for that particularly immersive atmosphere. It’s just when the unnecessarily large paella pan came out that my rage started to bubble. 

Once Camper Van: Make it Home releases in full, I’m sure I can overcome my anger over this one item in favour of completing my venture into van life. It looks to be a fantastic addition to the trend of unpacking simulators going off its demo, and I can’t wait to find the next item to be unreasonably angry about when I’m challenged to decorate another vehicle. 

Source: PC Gamer

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