Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure is a relaxing, top-down casual game full of exploration and adventure. It hit PC Early Access on Steam in mid-August. Snowcastle Games (Earthlock) is responsible for both development and publishing. Though currently only available on PC, Snowcastle is planning to release Ikonei Island for Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4/5, and Xbox One/Series X/S at a later date. It will also eventually be multiplayer.
Explore, Adventure, Farm, and Decorate to make Ikonei Island your own!
There are plenty of farm/life sim games out there. Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing are two of my favorites. Though Ikonei Island isn’t necessarily a farm sim game, it definitely scratches the same itch as those others seem to. There seem like so many things you can do that there is not enough time in a day to do all you want. Is there a similar game that keeps you coming back or pulling long hours? Be sure to share!
Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure places your group of adventurers on the run from some no-good pirates. Though the main characters seem to be from Earthlock, this story stands apart. You find your characters washed ashore on an island that has become wrought with what I would best describe as a curse. Your primary objective is the explore the island and restore shrines throughout to help clear out the curse. Restoring shrines requires gathering materials and opens up the map further as you progress. The shrines also act as fast travel points to make getting around a lot easier too.
Gathering and exploring start out simple in Ikonei Island. When you pick up new items you learn new recipes for crafting. Then as you restore shrines and various frog stations that act as both guides and miniature quests you unlock more advancements, such as crafting stations. Building out your base also makes available some vendors to further learn recipes and obtain items that you can’t otherwise easily find.
Forming bonds with some of the creatures on Ikonei Island becomes a key mechanic as well. Certain items are only gatherable with the assistance of these creatures. The stronger your bond becomes with them also allows for gathering more difficult items. An example of this is with the Longhorn seen below – at first it is only able to break copper veins but forming a stronger bonds allows it to break harder veins such as iron.
Another mechanic I found very unique to other games similar to Ikonei Island are the player characters. Though it may change with the inclusion of multiplayer, you will find that the player is able to play as any of the four characters at any given time. This was at first a bit confusing to me because I didn’t understand the full purpose. I found later, however, that being able to swap between the characters made moving items from place to place much less of a chore – especially if I forgot something and would otherwise have to run back.
Graphics & Audio
Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure is a truly beautiful game. The graphics are pleasantly smooth and very much the appropriate aesthetic for the genre. They give off a warm and relaxing, casual atmosphere that blends well with the gameplay. For early access, I love seeing how much work has already been put into development of the game. If it does release on the other platforms they hope to I’m sure it could easily become a staple game for the casual player.
The background soundtrack provides a wonderful ambiance to Ikonei Island too. Changes to the music that come during different situations are unobtrusive and subtle. The sound effects throughout the game also fit very well with the game type and setting.
After version 1.0 comes along, I imagine Ikonei Island could consume a great amount of any casual player’s time. The game plays out in a way that is not as restrictive in-game as others such as Stardew Valley. It is also not restricted to real life time constraints such as in Animal Crossing. This allows for easy pick up and go at any time (given you are able to put it down in the first place). Even with it only being in version 0.2.0, there is a large amount of content available already.
Overall, Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure is worth checking out. The game is beautiful, plays smoothly, and is already full of content. If you enjoy casual sim games that allow for decorations and playing around with things so they area just the way you like it, you will enjoy this game for sure.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.