Take a Break with Island Escape
You’re supposed to keep the tourists happy in Island Escape, but that can be a difficult task as they wander from tiki hut to tiki hut in this tropical resort simulation.
Players begin with a small island adorned with a stretch of beach, some grassland and a dock where fun-hungry tourists take port, ready for a trip to their own version of Fantasy Island. You must create paths and roadways, build homes, shops, diversions and keep the mai tais flowing in order to keep the guests happy.
The happier the guests, the more money they spend and things you can build. The tourists come at regular intervals with one group leaving as another is coming ashore. They spend their time wandering around your island, sitting in the deck chairs, grabbing an ice cream cone and providing money that the player can collect.
If you don’t have the services they want or they have to wait too long, then the tourists become unhappy and tighten their pocketbooks.
There are a variety of items available to keep them in good spirits, and many more to be developed in the coming weeks, as Island Escape goes through its paces. Initially, you start out with the standard tiki hut and a bar, which is really all most people need. As the player gains experience and increases his level, he gains access to more buildings, such as the ice cream and gift shops, as well as recreational items, like a volleyball court and hula show.
There are also more static decorations, such as plants and trees and even a message in a bottle.
Tourists can be messy, especially after a few trips to the bar, so they will leave trash on the paths and it’s the player’s duty to clean it up. Customers don’t like it when they have to step over trash to get to the ice cream stand. They are sooooo picky.
One of the aspects of the game that really stood out to me was, all items could be purchased using in-game money. Players may have to wait until a certain level to get it, but at least it was an option. While there is currency that can be bought with real-world money to purchase access to the items sooner, no items are excluded if you don’t want to spend real-world money on the game.
The tourists are also fun to watch and actually will interact with your items, such as sitting in a chair or standing in line at the bar, rather than just walk around aimlessly. A floating thought bubble helps the player to understand a guest’s mood, as well as what they’re looking for.
It’s still early in development, so Island Escape is expected to have a few bugs. One glitch, however, needs to get fixed right away, as it had a severe impact on game play. When playing, there were times when certain parts of the game would freeze. The construction would go on endlessly and I could move my buildings, but couldn’t collect cash. For a moment, it seemed like I was on “Lost,” because I was stuck in a moment of time. When I finally realized what had happened, I hit refresh on my browser, which brought me back, but I had lost a large amount of happiness from the tourists. This kept happening over and over again as I played.
I hope the game continues using in-game currency for items. It was a refreshing twist that I wasn’t expecting. There are a decent amount of items available for purchase in the beginning and more than enough to keep a player busy until the next update. The only negative quality is that bug, but it’s a big enough glitch to put a serious dampener on game play.
Island Escape is a fun and unique take on the sim genre and will provide an escape for the tourists and players alike.