After crash-landing on an island and being tasked with finding your crew and bringing them back together, you will be doing a combination of tasks like farming, crafting, building, cooking and fishing - all while discovering the mysterious story of the islands.
As mentioned above, this game starts with you trying to find all your crew members and bring them together to setup camp. Each crew member has a certain skill that they will teach you to use, which include things such as fishing, farming, etc. What I don't like about this system is that it tends to make the game feel like one really long tutorial. I would probably like it better if you already had most of these skills, but you only knew the basics of that skill and the crew could teach you more advanced techniques. Throughout the game as you learn more of these skills, you will put them to work by collecting materials like wood, food, and other items by searching the island or farming. But before we dig deeper into these skills we first need to talk about a few of the core components:
If you look at the top middle of this screenshot you can see there is an energy bar (blue) and a day and night cycle (in the colors of a sunset), all housed in what looks like the bottom half of a compass. There are two ways to restore your energy: one is with sleep, and the other is with food (which we will talk about below). It is crucial that you keep your energy up, or you will pass out and go back to your bed/starting point. You will also notice in this screenshot that you have objectives listed in the top right corner. This game is driven by different objectives to progress in the game and story, which is part of the reason it feels like a big tutorial at times.
Cooking is a very important part of this game. It is something that takes time to figure out - all the different recipes you can make are discovered by trial and error. Once a recipe is discovered, it is added to your recipe panel. Each recipe will replenish a certain amount of energy; the more complex the recipe, the more energy it restores. You can either find food items around the island, or grow them yourself and farm your own crops. One of the components of cooking is stew making - when making stew you assign certain ingredients to crew members and if they like them you get a heart from them, once you have so many hearts you get an upgraded item from a crew member. This is how you upgrade items in this game.
Farming is something that takes a lot of maintenance and care; you can easily find yourself digging, watering and harvesting consistently. There are a good variety of crops in this game, and each new crop you discover opens up the possibility of more recipes.
Fishing in this game is simple in concept; cast the line, wait for a bite (a red exclamation point will appear above your lure to indicate this), and then press "A" when the outer circle matches the inner circle (see circles the photo above). You can catch a variety of different fish, which can be used for both cooking and stew making.
Building & Crafting
Building and crafting is something that was a little disappointing in this game. In order to build something you need a blueprint, which is given to you from another crew member. When you progress in the game you get better and more advanced items to build, and can upgrade existing buildings. I wish you could discover or find blueprints on your own instead of waiting for a crew member to give you one.
Exploring is a huge aspect of this game and is something that you do a lot of, especially later on in the game. You find crew members, discover story pieces, and more. To get around you can use a row boat - rowing can take a lot of energy depending on the wave sizes, so make sure to take a lot of food with you on your journey.
Later on in the game you experience a little bit of combat, which I will not go into details about, simply for spoilers' sake. The combat is very simple and adds a little to the gameplay. I do wish there were some other weapons available, or that you could craft some.
This is a good game for someone who wants to sit down for a while and play and then put the game down - it is a very casual game where you can go at your own pace. Some fans of open world formats might be frustrated with this game because your exploration can be limited - certain areas of the game only become available as you complete certain tasks from the main story. I also feel it is a little too limiting in the ability to craft, and that progression of the game can be slow. However, overall, this would be great for a casual gamer or someone who doesn't have a time for long gaming sessions.
Price: $34.99 Can be found at GameStop here
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
+ Engaging tasks
- Feels like a tutorial at times
- Crafting limitations
Family approved:+ Age 7 and up