cast away par­adise

Washed up Face­book game drifts onto Xbox One

XBox: The Official Magazine - - START - Daniella Lu­cas

Tout­ing your game as be­ing ‘like An­i­mal

Cross­ing’ is a bold claim, es­pe­cially when slower, more re­lax­ing games are more pop­u­lar than ever thanks to the likes of Stardew Val­ley and No Man’s

Sky, but that’s ex­actly what this is­land man­age­ment game claims to be. It’s a shame then that it isn’t even re­motely true. Sure, there are an­i­mal vil­lagers you do quests for and a net to catch bugs with, but if you were look­ing for some­thing cute and re­lax­ing, turn back now – Cast­away Par­adise is not the game you’re look­ing for.

Your life as a slave of labour starts when you wash up on the shore of an is­land in­hab­ited by a hand­ful of an­i­mals and bump into a lit­eral pig of a mayor who forces you into work. There’s no time for con­cern when there are trees to plant and rub­bish to clear. Also you live here now, there’s no help to get you home to wher­ever it is you came from and no es­cape from the mind­less chores the res­i­dents need do­ing.

You can farm, fish, catch in­sects, place items, de­stroy rocks and trees, but none of it is par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing. There’s no joy in the process like in

An­i­mal Cross­ing, it’s a more a case of hol­low click­ing. Cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions al­low you to dec­o­rate the is­land how you see fit by buy­ing things with the gems you earn from ev­ery task.

Clock watcher

You can clearly see its Face­book/ mo­bile ori­gins – there’s a timer on ev­ery­thing. From wait­ing for build­ings to com­plete, to watch­ing corn grow you’ll have to wait for it to be ready. It’s not a great look for a con­sole game where you ex­pect longer ses­sions, es­pe­cially if you find your­self stuck hav­ing to wait eight

hours for some cab­bages to grow just to make some progress. We found our­selves in this predica­ment be­cause two of our quests were ask­ing us to re­move weeds – some­thing we’d al­ready done so there were none left to re­move, but we also couldn’t re­move the quest. If we could un­lock more is­lands then we could reach more weeds, but to do that we needed to do more quests – one of which was wait­ing for the of­fend­ing vegetable to grow. Backed into a cor­ner there was no choice but to shut the whole game down and check back in the morn­ing to see if the crop was ready. When we did we dis­cov­ered it was just the first evo­lu­tion – there were still an­other two to go be­fore it would be fin­ished, each turn tak­ing an­other eight hours each. You’re pun­ished for be­ing tidy.

It’s an aw­ful piece of de­sign that com­pletely dis­re­spects a player’s time, and that wasn’t even the only bug. Fish ran­domly swim on land, there are loads of gram­mar mis­takes, doors only ac­ti­vate if you stand just so, and the bug net doesn’t grab bugs any­where near the spot you’d ex­pect it to. The game is also too stupid to know where you put things, so if you’re asked to plant some flow­ers near the beach it re­ally doesn’t mat­ter where you do it, the game only reg­is­ters the fact that you’ve planted it. It makes any con­text given to cer­tain quests com­pletely mean­ing­less. It also doesn’t help that the Mayor com­pletely flip-flops on her needs: “Plant two trees… now chop them down… okay, now plant some more… nope, chop ’em.” It’s in­fu­ri­at­ing.

It re­ally feels like Stolen Couch Games has ballsed up what should be a strong, sim­ple con­cept – es­pe­cially when it’s en­ter­ing a mar­ket with so many much bet­ter com­peti­tors. Feel free to ig­nore this mon­stros­ity and re­play Stardew Val­ley again, you’ll be so much hap­pier for it.

“There’s no joy in the process like in An­i­mal Cross­ing”

right Don’t be fooled by the cute looks, this game is a night­mare to ac­tu­ally play.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.