We all need a little bit of vacation time now and then, and ‘little’ definitely seems to be the keyword for Island Time VR developers Flight School Studio. Who decided that they’re not going the route of Owlchemy Labs ala Vacation Simulator because who needs to relax, right? So instead we have a tiny island survival adventure. With evil thieving seagulls, a Wilson-like companion in the form of a talking crab, and rocks that will set the whole tiny piece of sandbank on fire.
Island Time VR just released for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR – and brings a lot of hectic kookiness to the virtual realm. I got to try the game using a Vive and appreciated the laid-back charm of the game, it puts a hilarious spin on the man versus nature genre. Island Time VR also does a good job of exploring room-scale survival and a little bit of resourcefulness goes a long way.
Here’s a quick look at the gameplay in Island Time:
The premise of Island Time VR is quite simple: you’re stranded on an island and you have to use whatever resources you can find to survive. In fact, simplicity seems to be a key concept for Island Time VR since most of its crafting mechanics and progression follow a very linear train of thought. While that’s not a bad thing, necessarily, the game does feel like it’s doggy paddling in the shallow waters around the island.
The entire island can almost fit into a large room-scale space and once I had suffered through the banging and groaning noises of the black screen ship sinking, I found myself on the island next to Carl the crab (voiced by Greg Miller from Kinda Funny). The friendly creature wasted no time to share some friendly anecdotes interspersed with a few tips here and there. Unfortunately, though, his lines start to get frustratingly stale after a while. Especially since the aim of the game doesn’t seem to be survival as such, but rather to see how long you can last before dying in a creative new way.
Just Do Something
Hunger is indicated on a wristwatch that constantly deteriorates. So to that effect, the game keeps the pace going at a frantic rate by keeping you almost constantly hungry. Meaning that fishing or banging coconuts off of the lone tree consists of most the action in-game. That’s interspersed with some crafting and a little bit of spear-waving at unfriendly seagulls.
Island Time VR ReviewThere are a few things to find on the island as well, like rocks, bamboo sticks, and seashells – all of which help you survive by either letting you create spears or make fire. Then the game also periodically gives you new items through a floating crate that just pops out of nowhere and floats onto the island. This game will definitely not be praised for its realism, but it does offer something a little more lighthearted and fun.
It’s Hilariously Simple To Die
Just because it’s simple in premise and presentation, doesn’t mean Island Time VR is boring though. Instead, it keeps you going by encouraging staunch tenacity by death after death. Personally, my playthroughs didn’t last very long, but each brought a new discovery and a mindfulness of what not to do. And that’s the biggest thing this game teaches you – what not to do.
Unfortunately, though, not everyone is up for spending hours doing the same thing over and over again. Which is augmented by the beautiful scenery, funny dialogue from the crab, and the hope of discovering new things to craft, true, but you need a certain sense of determination to keep at it.
If this sounds like something that you’d love to play then make sure to check Island Time VR out. The game is available now on Viveport and Steam for HTC Vive and the Oculus Store for Oculus Rift, as well as for PSVR on the Playstation Store at $14.99. Though Steam does have a 15% launch sale going, putting the game at $12.74 until April 10.
- Beautifully crafted environment
- Hilarious dialogue
- Unique gameplay
- Fosters a sense of resourcefulness and discovery
- Gets repetitive
- Some aspects can be frustrating
- Gameplay feels shallow after a while
Average Score: 7.0
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