Welcome everyone! For I finally bring you that nice little snack that keeps you busy for a bit but tastes great! Yes, you guessed it, it is another Quickie Review! This time we have something - how do I say it? - different, when yo think about games in general for home consoles. You see, there are a few specific things that easily help you notice the difference between console games and... mobile games. But more how that a little bit below! This time Stolen Couch Games brings us an open invitation to spend some time on a seemingly paradise in a town building, . A game that has been on other (mobile) platforms before but now makes way to the Xbox One, launching today actually! So how about the game? Well then, it's up to you to find out because I tell you all about it if you just keep reading! Welcome, to:
Castaway Paradise is a "town building do anything you like simulator" where you, as a castaway, end up ashore a storm tornt paradise set of islands and are welcome to stay and not only enjoy your stay but help the islanders and get everything back up and running and even more: to beautify, decorate and make it thrive yourself to build your own personal paradise. HUndreds of options gradually open up at our disposal for you to build your own escape island so the game incentivates the player to come back every day as rewards are given for consecutive logins and leveling up. As the player levels his character up, as mentioned, plenty of options also open up for more diverse customization: be it everyday household objects or packs of seeds for plants, fruits or vegetables. Oh yes, you can have your own farm too. So the game progresses more or less at your own pace in your ultimate goal of... well, have money and do whatever you feel like!
The game is played of a symetrical top-down perspective with your character in the middle. You move him/her about, after starting (every single time) inside your tent/house, deciding whatever you want to do. The main source of stuff to do is basically the other villagers which have plenty of quest for you. You see, besides being a paradise you didn't think you would enjoy it easily, did you? There are tons of things to do and the very first few quests kind of act like tutorials so you can get a hang of raking land and planting and watering seeds, harvesting and selling for profit, buying and selling things and plenty of silly quests like giving a bonsai tree to one of the islanders or simply removing a few rocks from the sandy beach. As you complete quests you can get gems (money), gifts and even question mark pieces which are used to unlock and expand to other inaccessible parts of the islands. As you do, more quests are made available and more items become available to you. Eventually this partially destroyed island where you ended up will become your own customized holiday paradise. There are other activities besides farming, like bug catching and collecting and also fishing and seashell collecting - all can be donated to the museum once you unlock and rebuild it.
This is a nifty little trick, put an object under tree so you get the fruit right away when you shake it
Visuals and Sound
Very bright and colorful. Very pleasing and kind of blocky. The simplistic visuals do not even try to hide the game's mobile origins and even if looking a bit blocky on a big screen TV, everything is the game is cute and pleasing. There is not night and day cicle so whenever you play it's a bright sunny day constantly. Everything looks clear enough but I wouldn't mind some smoothing and upgrade in the visuals for the Xbox One, to be honest, which is a bit of a let down because the game looks almost exctly like its mobile counterpart. In terms of sound, you get a constant island holiday-like music playing that is pleasing but can get just a little annoying if played for too long. Sound effects are simple bleeps when you get experience points and the usual fishing splashes, watering crops, cleaning and any work stuff we do.
Value for money
If you take into account the amount of things you unlock and options to decorate your house, your character and many aspects of the island like flowers, trees and other decorative items - and the time it takes for you to unlock the best stuff then we are looking at quite some hours of game time. The game also, as I've mentioned before, has a few mechanics that reward you for not playing continuously, as many of the produce you plant can take from 5 minutes to hours or even a day to be fully grown. So it is a clever game that requires you to basically come back to it from time to time to get the best out of it. It would be nice to have a second player join in by inviting our friends to visit our island, or even locally but this is a single player game only. The only "social" interaction we have is in leaderboards that pop up comparing some things we do to other people's like the size of a fish we caught or the level of pretiness of a seashell.
2nd largest ant found! At least for this week...
What can I say? The game is actually quite fun, besides some annoying quests by the islanders. And the way the game rather requests shorts to medium bursts of gameplay instead of long sessions is a way to keep things a bit fresh. It has that "something" factor that makes us want to come back and rack up more money and get more things. At start the little bit of money we have makes chores a little tedious but quickly you find out the best ways to easily amount large masses and buy the things you want and do whatever you feel like. When you unlock all of the islands the game basically "ends" because there's not much else to "do" but you can simply keep playing and shaping up everything to your image and personal tastes. Let's say it has that "addictiveness" of mobile games that eventually after quite some time and when there is nothing more new to discover it can get stale. There are promissed special events though, on Holiday times or Halloween, for example, surely to add even more variety to the game. There were a few bugs and glitches I found, one in particular being somewhat annoying that whenever I left mu house as I went outside my character would simply not move and I had to restart the game. I have been told that most of these glitches will get a day-one fix.
Castaway Paradise is a game that makes you want to stick with it. It has that "I need to check on my things" factor that prevents you from playing for too long sessions but makes you come back several times. It is cute and fun, perfect for the young ones but also strangely appealing to older gamers. It will not win many hardcore gamers' hearts though, that's for sure. It is the perfect game to spend some time while that AAA game finishes downloading or updating. There is a huge amount of stuff to collect for your character, for your house and for everywhere around the islands to make it your own holiday resort. Strangely enough, you do a LOT of working for a supposedly paradise island! No matter, collecting stuff by leveling up is one of the most addictive mechanics known in gaming and to be honest you are free to do whatever you feel like. Want to just stay near water and fish until you want no more? Just do it. Want to dress your male character like a woman? Do it! Seriously, there's even an achievement for it! All in all, besides its simple nature and mobile-like visuals it is a fun game to play every once in a while for some time off from more hardcore games.
Soon you will have a thriving island
Final Score - 7.5
- Simple, relaxing fun
- Tremendous amounts of items to unlock
- Has fishing!
- Good "I have to login the game" additiveness.
- Some glitches and bugs
- There is about only one music through all the game
- Starts off a bit slow
- No multiplayer