There’s a very good chance you have a game or three of King’s installed on your phone. From Candy Crush Saga to Bubble Witch Saga, their games have reached a level of name recognition that most developers only dream of. So when King launches something new, it’s hard not to get excited as a market watcher.
Much to our surprise, though, their next game doesn’t have the word “Saga” in the title at all. And breaking from their past releases, it’s not even a puzzle game. Instead, their next project is Paradise Bay: a game of trading and island building.
We stumbled across Paradise Bay this weekend on the Canadian App Store, where the game quietly soft-launched on March 24th. It’s bright, colorful, and well-polished, much like you’d expect from King’s past releases.
Yet while it’s not like anything King has done before, that doesn’t mean it’s not familiar.
In fact, the experience feels a lot like Zynga’s CastleVille Legends. You’ll collect resources to build other resources and items that you’ll then trade with the locals, merchants, neighboring islands and, according to the game’s iTunes description, friends (though I haven’t personally unlocked that feature yet.)
To give you an idea of what this looks like in practice, let me walk you through making grilled fish – a very early in-game item. You’ll need to start by growing cotton in a farm plot, which you’ll turn into a fishing net at the tool bench, which you’ll then give to a friendly turtle who handles your fishing duties. After you collect the fish from the turtle, you’ll need to grill, and then it will be available to satisfy the demands of the villagers at the trading post.
If this sounds like tedious busywork, that’s only because you haven’t actually tried it. That reward center of your brain gets tickled every time another step in the process is completed, making Paradise Bay a game that could easily get its hooks into a certain type of mobile gamer.
And to be clear, I’m probably that gamer. I spent an obscene amount of time with CastleVille Legends when it first launched (despite not really caring for the original CastleVille all that much), and now that I’ve started with Paradise Bay, I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.