Island Tribe is a good-looking and sophisticated resource management game.
In Island Tribe, a new resource management game by Realore, a small tribe is in for a rude surprise when a silent volcano suddenly erupts and forces the people to flee the island. While the title shares some similarities with other resource management, there are enough changes to the core gameplay for it to stand on its own.
Island Tribe features 30 levels, scattered throughout beautiful jungle, swamp, and mountain sceneries. While the game is timed, this shouldn’t bother players who dislike pressure, because the timer is actually really generous except for the last three or four levels. All in all the game feels a bit short, and the features would definitely have been a good base for more locations. The replayability is also rather limited since one of the key elements of the game is to explore the levels, which is not that exciting for the second time.
While Island Tribe seems quite similar to My Kingdom for the Princess and Roads of Rome superficially, the core of the game is entirely different. The main objective not to build a road, but rather to recreate totems, collect certain ingredients, or pick up special items. With this in mind Island Tribe probably comes closer to the resource management genre than any title before, because here you really have to manage the production of the numerous resources more strategically than in the aforementioned role models. Resources are no longer just a means to an end, but the end itself.
What makes Island Tribe more interesting immediately is the fog that covers nearly the whole scene in the beginning of each level. In that way you are forced to explore the level step by step, mainly by collecting resources, restoring totems, and removing obstacles, which will provide you with new resources. This feature makes the game more exciting, since it is always a sort of gamble whether you just chose the right direction, or if it might have been wiser to go the other way. Nevertheless you will rarely really get stuck, which shows that the developer put a lot of thought into creating balanced levels and to avoid unnecessary frustration on the player’s end.
But back to the resources: while those are mainly used to create your path to the next level and do not depend on each other in similar titles, the production of resources and their connection to each other is way more complicated in Island Tribe, which is definitely welcome. Some farms require water from the well to continue production, while animal farms also need food. Apart from that buildings can also be damaged or start burning, and you will have to keep water and wood in stock to deal with those unexpected, but regular accidents. Besides basic resources such as wood, stone, and water you can also produce wool, honey, or grain, which not only is part of your level objectives most of the time, but also helps to drive away animals such as snakes or bees.
Another commendable aspect to this game are the controls. I never noticed any wrongly registered clicks, and what is even more important, the actions of your workers can finally be chained. The lack of this option really has been a point of criticism we had with similar titles, and it is nice to see that it has been finally worked out for a game like this and makes the pace even more hectic and entertaining.
However, one small problem I have is that the setting of those resource management games is always the same and thus tends to get boring, which also applies to Island Tribe. Why does it always have to be a primitive island with the same type of sceneries? I can easily imagine a similar title in our modern world, in which players have to restore rundown villages and cities through different resources and tasks. But this is a point of criticism that applies to this whole genre and cannot be blamed on this title alone.
All in all though Island Tribe is without a doubt a nice addition to the resource management genre. If you can overlook the rather short playing time the game will keep you busy with challenging and complicated levels along with interesting and unique tweaks. It will especially please players that some of the most annoying flaws of similar titles have been removed in this game, and the beautiful graphics only make it more appealing.