Islanders is one of those games that when it comes along you wonder where it was all your life. I’ve reviewed the PC version previously (check that out here) and have found it be a simply superb relaxing puzzler. To hear about the port of a game you love to play when your mind just won’t shut up is an odd sensation but I was very pleased to see Islanders announced on the Nintendo Indie World Showcase. As with most Switch ports I was a little hesitant about it and the knowledge it was coming out on PS4 and Xbox1 meant I was in no particular rush (as I can technically play it anytime on my PC) but when I was offered review code for the PS4? Sure! Why not dive back in and see if the port has picked up the vibe?
Islanders Console Edition is just that. It’s a very basic conversion of the PC game to the PS4 with some minor adjustments for controls and the steam achievements replaced with trophies. If you have never played the original (or read the PC review) Islanders is a randomised puzzle game where you’re given a few buildings to place on a procedurally generated island and you are awarded points per building based on their placement. If you place a sawmill next to trees you’ll gain more points but if you place a circus next to mansions you’ll lose them. It sounds complicated at first but each building tells you the points scores before placing it and everything gets easier as you go on. The buildings become pieces to a puzzle that need to fit in a space that gets smaller as you progress. There are no worries about which direction they face and you’ll need to focus more on planning ahead to earn enough points to jump to the next bigger island.
The beautiful minimalistic style of Islanders has remained intact in Islanders Console Edition. Menus are easy to read and simple to navigate with the options all clearly here and as well presented as they were in the original. The PS4 version isn’t as crisp as the PC original but I’m no digital foundry expert and for the most part it looks like for like. The controls are a little more fiddly than I expected; You move the camera with the left stick, position with the right, rotate the camera with the back buttons and rotate the buildings with the top front buttons. It takes a fair bit of getting used to but the looping nature of Islanders Console Edition encourages you to play in bursts. There is no time limit which means you won’t be rushed and the slow soft music and effects encourage you to take your time. Islanders Console Edition is a game to be enjoyed at leisure.
What more is there left to say? Islanders Console Edition is still as enjoyable as the original Islanders, a short little looping puzzle with the only end goals being to better your score, reach a better place on the leaderboard, get all of the trophies or just relax and enjoy. It can be a little buggy at times but these tend to result in an infinite loop of points and pieces and resulted in a few laughs. Islanders Console Edition does autosave between each piece so closing and restarting (with almost no loading times) makes this a hard issue to fault. Essentially Islanders Console Edition is a port of a fantastic game that you really don’t want to sleep on, it’s a beautiful relaxing game that demands a quick look and just one more go.
8/10 – sailing into port to find the same Islanders
Review code provided by Coatsink
You can check them out here
Islanders Console Edition on PS4, Switch and Xbox1 is out now
You can see more of those ports here
Islanders is out now on Steam
Check out my previous review here