Building a serene city on a low budget
Islands, especially deserted ones, are often described as those paradisiacal wonderland that lie in the middle of beautiful azure waters and have all the resources to survive in ideal conditions. I was born in an island nation and have lived here most of my life, and I can promise you it’s not as amazing as the media has made it seem. But sometimes it can actually be quite tranquil and incredibly calming. It is this atmosphere of peace and escape that Islanders seeks to replicate on Nintendo Switch by means of its clean, low-poly aesthetic and subdued ambient soundtrack. Really, he does a good job too.
Islanders is one of those titles that started out as a mobile version and has been ported to consoles seemingly for fun. Thankfully, that doesn’t sound like an outlier, nor does it feel like it’s just been implemented on the Switch eShop. On the contrary, it feels right at home with its pick-up-and-play style of play that suits the hybrid system perfectly.
The goal is simple. When you start a session, you receive a freshly procedurally generated island to conquer peacefully. That is, you are building a city on the earth. Each island is different; some are more tropical and have expanses of greenery and beaches. Others are more rocky and a little more arid. They all come in different shapes and sizes and therefore have different amounts of usable landscape for building purposes. You can choose from a random set of structures, such as a farm set and a town set. The buildings of each set complement each other. For example, the farm fields benefit from being right next to a windmill as well as other fields. Some structures in other sets will also have a positive effect on other structures, such as a fisherman’s hut benefiting from the proximity of houses throughout the city.
On the other hand, some structures can have negative effects on each other. For example, having two fishermen’s huts side by side is not efficient. All of these positive and negative “effects” are displayed as dots. Before placing a new structure, you are shown how many points you will receive. Sometimes moving it one tile can get you a fair amount of extra points. So, just like in the real world, the phrase “Location! Site! Location! “Is very important here in Islanders.
You will need to accumulate a certain number of points to advance the session. If you do not get the required number of points, the session will end and you will have to start over. The overall goal is to efficiently build as many islands as possible in one session.
While you have this consistent goal, you can always ditch the “work” aspect of it all altogether and play in sandbox mode. It allows you to become completely zen and just enjoy the calm and cool atmosphere that Islanders on Nintendo Switch has to offer, building your islands however you see fit.
Since there is never really a huge penalty or reward for anything you do, Islanders for Nintendo Switch is definitely an easier-going mogul-type title. It doesn’t require the full set of strategy skills than a more complex tycoon title like Cities: horizons Is. So, while it shares similar mechanics, they’re extremely streamlined here. Thereby, Islanders is best suited for those moments of relaxation which simply allow you to get lost in a mood and clear your mind as you pass the time.
Release Date: August 11, 2021
Number of players: 1 player
Category: Indie, Strategy
Publisher: Coatsink Software
Developer: Grizzly Games
A Nintendo Switch review code for Islanders was provided by the publisher.
Our review policy.