Today I bring you my review of one of the latest indie games to hit the PlayStation 5, Islanders Console Edition. This game was originally released on PC in April 2019 under the name of Islanders. It’s brought to us by developers and self-publishers GrizzlyGames, who you may know from another hit game of theirs, Superflight.
Islanders – More Relaxed Than Chuck Noland Sunbathing At Home
The idea of Islanders Console Edition is for the player to build up a civilisation on procedurally-generated islands. Can I gain enough points to progress to the next island? or will I be throwing my beach ball into the sea? Continue reading to find out. Check out my previous review here where I played the retro-inspired shooter, KUR.
At first, we choose which game mode we want to play. High Score Mode or Sandbox mode. High Score Mode is the more challenging mode of the two, where you have to use your noggin a bit to plan ahead and make sure you can score enough points to progress to the next bundle of items, eventually being offered to travel to the next island.
Naturally, I wanted the more challenging of the two options on Islanders Console Edition, so I choose the High Score Mode. We start with a random choice and on each play through my choices varied quite a lot. This choice is between two options, for example, do we want a city pack or a farmer’s pack? My advice at this point is to take a quick look around your island first, I seemed to do better focusing on the agriculture side of things at first. Farming, fishing, seaweed farming, brewing. Choose these first and you’re off to a great start.
There are many different types of buildings in Islanders Console Edition which is refreshing to the eyes. Even though you may unlock a Mansion, it appears that there are 3 or 4 different types of mansion for you to place, at random. I quite like this myself.
As you can see in the below screenshot, this was a bit later on in a run of mine. The game offered me a Brewing Pack and a Fisher bundle. Depending on what you choose could bring an end to your run as you may not earn enough points to continue to unlock the next offering of bundles.
One thing you may notice is your island can fill rather quickly. Not to worry, as you can get extra space through a land plateau and water plateau. These help you extend your island somewhat, allowing you to build extra buildings on them. The land plateau has grass on top, so you can build farming buildings on it, as well as housing. The water plateau is random, some are just made of wood which only allows housing-type buildings, others have a grass covering on them, allowing farm buildings to be built on them as well as housing.
These are very useful in allowing you to extend, getting more points before being kind of forced in moving onto the next island. Can you beat your own high score? Only you can find out.
Sandbox mode effectively offers the same style of gameplay. The game places you onto a random island, the main difference is you have all of the buildings already at your disposal. Think a little like what we’ve come to know of Minecraft Creative Mode. This really is a relaxing mode which can serve you a couple of purposes, you can learn about buildings, their sizes and how they fit best with other buildings. Or you can just play Sandbox mode to zone right out, helping you de-stress and wind down after a hard day at work, for example.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics are pretty basic. But that doesn’t really matter on a game like this in my opinion. I feel that the graphics suit this style of game so well, it also ran very well on the PlayStation 5, of course. The game doesn’t appear to have any enhancements on the PlayStation 5 so I imagine this would be exactly the same on the PS4.
The audio in Islanders Console Edition is very relaxing. The music is so laid back you could use it to help you sleep, that’s not a bad thing. Sound effects are basic, but, fit the style of the game perfectly. I simply can not fault the graphics or audio here. Great work GrizzlyGames.
The game took me approx 10 hours on High Score Mode to unlock every trophy on the PlayStation, the game offers 27 trophies including the platinum trophy. None of them are really difficult but I think that’s the point. It’s just something to add to an already relaxing game. Of course, you can play this game forever thanks to the procedurally generated islands. It’s certainly one to play to help you zone out and forget any troubles you may have in real life.
I played a bit of Islanders when it was first released on PC a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. When I saw the opportunity came up to review Islanders Console Edition I jumped at the chance. I am glad I did because it is such a chilled-out game, even on the more challenging high score mode. It gets you scratching your head at times whilst trying to plan out your building layout properly, without potentially messing yourself up later on.
I will add that I experienced one continuous bug which caused a building to constantly appear in my inventory. The game also crashed on me once. These are very minor issues and did not affect my enjoyment of this game, at all.
I give Islanders Console Edition a very much deserved Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.