Island Tribe 2 does what any good sequel should do: improves on the first game
As rare as real cliffhangers are within the casual gaming market, developer Realore did exactly that with Island Tribe by leaving the future of the tribe open. Island Tribe 2 allows the player again to follow the story of this tribe, who is now trying to relocate by the help of a pathfinder. The result is a sequel that is even better than its predecessor.
Island Tribe 2 features 30 levels and two different modes: casual and arcade mode. The balance here is way better than in the predecessor for both newcomers and experienced players, particularly because arcade mode is very demanding from the beginning, while you cannot fail at all in casual mode.
For the most part gameplay is very similar to the first part of this series, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Workers can be trained at the camp to complete a varying number of actions for the player to reach any level’s goals, which mostly include repairing certain structures and totems or collecting a specific resource. Island Tribe 2 features a wide array of resources, such as water, wood, stone, honey or milk among others. Each of them has a number of benefits, water for example is used to quench fires or to keep farms running, while wood is used to construct and upgrade all sorts of buildings and bridges.
What is absolutely great about Island Tribe 2 is how important it is to think strategically. In this regard, the game even slightly surpasses the benchmark series in the genre, My Kingdom for the Princess. To upgrade buildings you always need wood, to produce milk you need grain, to produce grain you need water, and so on. Furthermore you will encounter animals all the time, for example bears, lynx and bees, who will only let you pass if you deliver their preferred products, such as fish, honey, or milk. This means it is not just enough to click everywhere as quickly as possible (fortunately it is still possible to chain actions), but you really have to think about priorities with regards to spending resources in an effective way. When we played the game we never got really stuck, which is a good thing, but if you make the wrong choices early on in a level things will get complicated pretty quickly.
Two very entertaining and welcome additions to Island Tribe 2 include the appearance of pirates and artifacts throughout every level. The pirate can be paid if you have collected enough diamonds, and if you don’t do this, the pirate will go berserk and might destroy a bridge or set a building on fire. This feature both puts more pressure on the player and finally makes it worthwhile to collect diamonds and treasure chests. The artifacts on the other hand simply add a touch of hide-and-seek flair to the game, and serve as support for the pathfinder. They also determinate, along with score and expert ratings, your position on the leaderboard, another very motivating feature which invites replaying and an optimized performance.
What we also liked about Island Tribe 2 are the colorful and lively graphics, the changing scenery (you will visit both snowy landscapes in the mountains and dark caves where you have to light fires permanently), and the small but lovely details, such as frozen workers who you have to free with firewood and warm clothes, a hospital that heals workers who were hurt from an animal, and beautiful monuments that you have to rebuild to finish levels and find more artifacts.
The only real problem with Island Tribe 2 is the short playing time, which is all the more a pity considering the game’s complexity and potential, since all those features would have easily justified more and longer levels without getting repetitive. Furthermore the tutorial lacks some depth once again. Fans of the first part will certainly have no problem to get into it, but beginners in this genre might face some difficulties at the outset.
Altogether we can easily recommend Island Tribe 2 without any doubt. While the number of levels is not highly impressive, the complexity of the game and the innovative and diverse level structure absolutely make up for that shortcoming. The core of the game is still very addictive and enhanced with some small but welcome additions. All in all another very satisfying sequel which really fulfills any resource management expectations.