Top Critic Average
Unfortunately, Castaway Paradise is a disappointment. It simply doesn't capture interest like Animal Crossing does, whether it's due to the broken economy, the endless repetition of quests, or perpetual fruit gathering.
A charming and quirky simulation game in the spirit of Animal Crossing. Castaway Paradise is the virtual vacation that will end the summer gaming drought.
Castaway Paradise is one of PS4's more pleasant experiences, offering a tropical vacation that'll keep you busy for hours on end. Although the game's addictive qualities do wane over time, the process of steadily expanding and improving your island is both relaxing and satisfying.
Castaway Paradise is hardly the first game to take inspiration from Animal Crossing, and it certainly won't be the last - but its unoriginal adherence to the Animal Crossing formula is bad enough, without the added veneer of in-app purchases, hastily reskinned and demonetised for a full-price release. It began life as a Facebook game back in 2014, and it still feels like one seven years later.
Castaway Paradise has potential, and it'll be interesting to see if the developer updates it with new content in the future. While it's nowhere near as in-depth as Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing, it is still a very relaxing and entertaining little adventure. Its unique visuals are simplistic but colorful, and the characters you get to meet are entertaining. If you don't happen to have a Nintendo console with which to play Animal Crossing, then Castaway Paradise makes a reasonable substitute.
Castaway Paradise is best played for small chunks of time on a daily occurrence. You'll want to keep checking in on your island paradise to clear out weeds, plant new trees, run errands, and decorate to your heart's content. However, more dynamic elements are needed to keep players wanting to come back after they have upgraded most or all of the island. The lack of day and night cycle stings, especially since the villagers seem to wander, instead of focusing on a set schedule. While Castaway Paradise doesn't reach the true Animal Crossing experience, it is adequate for those looking for something relaxation on non-Nintendo platforms and is relatively cheap as a digital only title.
A few minor issues aside, this is one paradise worth getting shipwrecked on.
Castaway Paradise is a title that tries to live up to other genre defining hits like Blue Harvest and Animal Crossing, but merely comes across as a cheap knock-off of the two. A life simulator that doesn't look very lively, your money is better spent else where.
Castaway Paradise is a super relaxing and creative experience. And one of those violent free games that I would really like to see even more of.
Review in German | Read full review
Castaway Paradise is a great time sink, it is very easy to spend an hour or two just mulling around the islands. Catching a few fish, pulling out some weeds or just tending to your crops. Gameplay that will appeal to most gamers, especially those that have played Animal Crossing. The Switch is a good home for the game as the portability of the switch would be great for checking in for the daily rewards in Castaway Paradise on a commute to work.