The Island: Castaway 2 is a fine sequel with a bit too much eating
Awem Studio is back with The Island: Castaway 2, although the title is only half appropriate for this sequel. In contrast to the first part of this adventure/simulation-series you are now playing as a young member of a native tribe on the already familiar island. The player takes control of Yati, an orphan who has been brought up by the whole tribe. Yati has lived a sheltered life until things begin to change when strangers enter the small village. Haunted by hallucinations, Yati has to decide what to make of his life.
If you have already played the predecessor, The Island: Castaway 2 will feel absolutely familiar from beginning to end. You will fulfill a variety of quests for different characters, some from Yati’s tribe, some for other people who will be introduced later on. In general the quests are pretty easy – you have to talk to other people, collect certain fruits or materials, or prepare certain recipes. The addition of new features and objects is closely connected to advancing with the plot, which definitely motivates to fulfill any quest rather quickly.
The island is really big and features very distinct areas that offer different fruits, materials, and also vary in how dangerous they are for Yati. The common currency in The Island: Castaway 2 are pearls, which can be exchanged for every available object or improved tools, weapons or a larger bag at the different shops. Of course you can also earn pearls by selling all the meals you have prepared or items that you have collected during your adventure. Besides recipes that require herbs, fish, meat, fruits or vegetables (which can be sowed and harvested) you are also able to prepare potions that offer substantial advantages for Yati, such as light-speed running.
The most helpful and fortunately smoothly working feature is the map. It displays not only which parts of the island you have already explored and how they are called, but also each character is represented by a star, so that it is no problem to find people quickly when they are needed for a quest. But not all is well and peaceful, despite the holiday-evoking atmosphere and the appealing beaches. There are numerous animals you can hunt, some of them just being quick and shy, others potentially attacking Yati. If Yati loses too much energy he will faint and lose some items from his bag, which can be pretty frustrating depending on what is lost.
Apart from the variety of quests, recipes and features the production values of The Island: Castaway 2 deserve the highest praises. The colorful and inviting graphics along with very smooth animations easily surpass any similar title, and the story-telling is without a doubt up on par with that. The background information for each character is distinct and interesting, the dialogue is not too contrived and it’s certainly a blast to learn more about the fate of Yati’s parents, the intentions of the strangers and the other goings-on of the island.
There are two major issues though that really limit the fun players might have with The Island: Castaway 2. For one thing the constant hunger of Yati gets annoying pretty quickly. A slower decline would have been very beneficial for the flow of the game. For another thing the game might feel too easy for a lot of players, some mysteries that are actually hard to solve or a few complicated puzzles are sorely missing. Just collecting items, fruits or searching for rarities and people is not interesting enough for a game that long.
All in all The Island: Castaway 2 is a game for players who appreciate marvellous graphics, high production values, good story-telling and a rather open gaming experience. It’s not without a few flaws, but if you enjoyed the first part of this charming series and can accept the constant need to cook meals and eat (which is necessary in real life but not exactly entertaining in a game) you are definitely in for an exciting adventure.