Top Critic Average
ISLANDERS Launch Trailer - Minimalist City Builder
ISLANDERS - Reveal Trailer
Critic Reviews for Islanders
A breezy and relaxing puzzle game hidden within the veneer of a city builder which just happens to be highly addictive and rewarding despite the lack of visible Islanders. Easy to pick up and hard to put down, Islanders will appeal to anyone who enjoys meditative gaming.
For best results, pick up Islanders: Console Edition for shorter sessions; calm yourself down and escape from the stress of life. Don’t look for it to satisfy your Napoleonic yearnings for military glory. And if you’ve been looking for the next “Civ-on-the-go,” keep looking. Islanders: Console Edition is a small game that knows what it is — and isn’t. And that’s just fine.
Meanwhile, if you're just here to relax and create detailed island dioramas, Sandbox Mode is the way to go. Here, you can build to your heart's content without having to worry about score modifiers, switching islands at will. And it helps that Islanders is very aesthetically pleasing; there's real satisfaction to be found in the simplistic art style as you decorate each landscape.
Islanders: Console Edition trims every bit of fat from the city-building genre, stripping it down to the core mechanic of plunking down buildings for points. While the controls are a bit fidgety, the chill gameplay and focused mechanics more than make up for it. Play for a few minutes or a few hours, either way, Islanders delivers.
Islanders is an elucidation of how games build meaning from abstract systems. However, more than that elucidation, Islanders gave us the time to ponder. It’s a repetitive, extended, calming experience that uses just enough power of just narrow enough a collection of faculties to induce a half-aware presence in reality. Which is when you think up all the dumbest questions: could it be that contemplating the meaning of life is the meaning of life? Woah.
Islanders is simple and straight-forward but still manages to make each of its city-building runs engrossing with a high-score to chase and procedurally-generated spaces to explore. It's the charming visuals and meditative soundtrack that make your brief stays worth it, enrapturing you in a relaxing aesthetic as you try to survive as long as you can.