ISLANDERS: VR Edition – A Review on the City Building Game
Few demands, lots of enthusiasm
ISLANDERS: VR Edition is a city building game that offers a casual and enjoyable experience for players. It combines strategy and minimalism to create a relaxing gameplay. The game involves colonizing an island with different types of buildings in order to create a village. Players start from the city center and expand by placing various structures. Each tile placed on land and water yields points, and reaching a certain threshold unlocks additional buildings. The game offers a simple yet engaging experience that guarantees relaxation even in virtual reality.
Problematic use of hands
ISLANDERS: VR Edition attempts to take advantage of the Meta Quest 2 headset’s capabilities by offering a controller-free experience with hand tracking. However, the hand tracking feature is still immature and comes with several issues. Selecting and placing buildings using hand tracking is imprecise and frustrating. Even with the use of a controller, navigating the island and menus is annoying due to the exclusive use of triggers. These underlying issues negatively impact the overall gameplay experience and need to be addressed in future patches.
ISLANDERS is a gem in need of some work.
Despite its flaws, ISLANDERS: VR Edition can still be an enjoyable game once players accept and adapt to its critical issues. The arcade and sandbox modes offer different gameplay experiences. The sandbox mode allows players to freely build on any island without restrictions, providing a creative and relaxing experience. The arcade mode follows the scoring and strategic placement mechanics seen earlier, gradually increasing in difficulty. However, the problematic controls undermine the relaxation aspect of the game. Despite this, ISLANDERS: VR Edition is still an enjoyable VR translation of the original game.
Other characterizing elements
ISLANDERS: VR Edition excels in its graphics and audio design. The simplistic and charming graphics remain visually appealing even after hours of play. The audio consists of natural sounds, instrumental harmonies, and soft sound effects that enhance the gameplay experience. The variability of the virtual reality experience adds to the desire to explore and fill new islands. The user interface is discreet and doesn’t detract from the essence of the game. Overall, ISLANDERS: VR Edition offers a linear and true gaming package.
Review at a glance
ISLANDERS: VR Edition is a good transfer of the original project into virtual reality. It captures the simple yet sophisticated dynamics of the game well, providing a satisfying experience in both arcade and sandbox modes. Despite the occasional issues with hand and gesture tracking, as well as UI bugs, the game manages to entertain players in moderate sessions. The gaming experience rating for ISLANDERS: VR Edition is 6.5.
Gaming experience rating: 6.5