Well-crafted building simulation with some minor flaws
Nothing is more annoying than spending a holiday in which nothing turns out to be as you expected. In Paradise Beach 2 (the follow-up to Paradise Beach) your goal is to create the perfect beach resort for others by proving your knack for micro-management and eye for beauty. A lot of improvements over its predecessor make this game an entertaining experience, in spite of the fact that a few minor flaws still haven’t been resolved.
In 40 levels you will accompany Mr. Gates and his granddaughter Emmy, who is now running the family business, to eight different islands. After finishing the story mode, which will easy take you up to seven hours, you can also enjoy the sandbox mode, or try to replay levels for a better rating, while obtaining all possible awards. Each of the eight islands varies in landscape, individual restrictions, and bonus objects that you can unlock by completing it.
The heart of your business in Paradise Beach 2 are your customers, who demand services, buildings, a clean island, and sometimes have to be protected from themselves. To create any type of resort, no matter how tiny, you need money. This money you can earn by constructing ice cream and fruit stands, restaurants, volleyball courts, clothing stores, and a large number of other entertainment facilities. You can even upgrade buildings to maximize profit. On top of that, your customers also expect plants and decorations, which are even more diversified and make it possible to create absolutely individual resorts. Decorations vary from basic benches to sophisticated fountains or stone gardens.
The loveliest feature of Paradise Beach 2 is without a doubt your resort’s visitors, who vary in appearance, and let you immediately know what they like or dislike. A green smiley indicates that they are happy, and each of those smileys will be counted as a positive review. Earning a certain number of positive reviews is one of your goals in nearly every level, so satisfying needs of visitors is the key to success.
More interesting are orange smileys, which indicate that something’s wrong on the resort. Perhaps the lines at a certain building are too long, or a facility is missing, on other times your island may be simply to dirty. You also have to help visitors to find stuff they lost on the beach, save them from drowning, save them from a heat stroke, or throw bullies out of your resort.
If all those tasks sound overwhelming, fortunately you’re able to hire workers such as engineers, custodians, nurses, security guards, or life preservers. Those workers can be assigned to a restricted area on your resort, and will attend to tasks in that area automatically when needed, which is a huge relief to the players sometimes, while slightly annoying and ineffective on other times. Engineers will maintain buildings, custodians will clean the island and empty bins, and the other workers will help visitors in danger.
Paradise Beach 2 is probably one of the most complex building simulations currently available, due to the demanding visitors, the vast number of strategies that can be applied to any level, and all those small features that will keep you on your toes, not to speak of the wonderful graphics and animations which make it even entertaining to simply watch your growing resort.
Some of the negative aspects of the first Paradise Beach have also been improved, such as zoning workers, which can now be changed afterwards easily. The tutorial works much better, and new features and tasks are introduced at a slower rate, which makes the game friendlier for newcomers. In general it is more obvious why customers are unhappy, and the addition of new buildings, decorations, and features only enhance the gaming experience.
But some minor issues from the first game still have not been resolved. You aren’t able to rotate buildings or the island as a whole, which not only restricts individualizing the look of your resort, but more importantly makes it difficult to navigate or find lost items later on. Furthermore, the workers you hire tend to be inefficient. Except for the engineers, the whole staff is slow, or does not react at all to problems in their designated areas. This becomes a significant problem when your resort reaches a certain size and becomes crowded; it would be nice if zones with staff would work without the player’s help.
However, in the end we can safely recommend Paradise Beach 2 to all fans of building simulations. Minor issues aside, the game features a highly entertaining and diverse story mode, which serves players who love challenge and those who prefer a relaxed pace at the same time. The latter ones can disregard the timer and develop their resorts at personal leisure, while the former ones will welcome the high pressure that ensues the effort to beat any level in gold time. Give it a shot and see if you are a born resort developer.