If you’re in the mood for a resource management game that delivers all the satisfaction of the genre without feeling like another clone, Moai 5: New Generation is the game for you. The follow-up to the long lasting series continues the traditions of variety and enthusiasm to create an honestly engaging and thoroughly enjoyable experience. It’s the most fun you’ll have with a time management game without wanting to rip your hair out.
Every couple hundred years, a comet appears in the sky above the lost tropical island of Tapa-Tui. The priests hold the Great Ceremony during this rare event, asking the spirits for peace and prosperity in the years to come. One of the priests has fallen ill, however, and is unable to perform the ritual. Two young members of the tribe step forward to help, kicking off an epic journey across the island that’s filled with new friends and new challenges.
Each level in Moai 5: New Generation starts with a bunch of blocked roads and an eager worker standing at the ready. Click to send workers out along the path to collect resources, shaking down bread trees for food or chopping up fallen trees for wood. In fact, you’ll have a lot of different resources to manage, including things like stone, ore, mana, and everybody’s favorite, coconut oil! Each one can be found in piles scattered across the stage, but you’ll also be able to set up farms and sawmills to generate resources every few seconds.
Moai 5 focuses on the give and take aspect of resource management games, then takes it a few steps further. Every action costs resources but also gives resources, meaning you’re always looking for a way to keep things balanced, even while you press forward. Trading posts let you swap piles of one resource for another. Many levels rely on these convenient fixtures to provide the necessary materials to win. You’ll also find yourself bumping into traders who want loads of resources in exchange for rare items. Every level has a set of goals, and in order to meet said goals, you’ll be doing a lot of swapping and searching.
One of the more unusual aspects of Moai 5 are the main characters’ ability to equip items and use spells. You’ll come across each on regular occasions and be able to switch them on for some really nice boosts. How does increased stone production sound? Or faster workers? Or… both?!
Moai 5 is a peach of a game. Really, it is. It pulls in just the right amount of familiar aspects from the time management genre and gives you plenty of excuses to stay and play just one more level. There are tons of things to find and unlock, loads of levels, plenty of surprises, and some perfectly balanced stages that feel intense without being frustrating. And when the workers smile at you when they finish their jobs, you’ll get that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.