Top Critic Average
It’s all ever so tranquil on the surface, and never once made my cortisone levels spike, but there’s a fierce brain throbbing away beneath those sedate low-poly models.
Islanders is a deceptively simple puzzle game where you build little cities to score points. More importantly, it's the absolutely perfect game for making beautiful picturesque villages you can fall asleep and dream about.
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.
In a few hours of play, you will see almost everything this game has to offer you, but I doubt you’ll be done with it. It’s easy to boot the game and temper your stresses for anywhere between minutes and hours. ISLANDERS is a wonderful excursion into a simple world of city building, puzzle fitting, and high scores.
At five dollars, ISLANDERS is a steal. What it lacks in permanence, it more than makes up for in replayability thanks to its point system for score chasers and procedurally generated landscapes. I only wish I could zoom in to get a better look at what I’ve made, but that’s a quibble against something really fantastic and cool. Beyond that, this is a game I keep coming back to for how laid back it is, for it relaxes me between games I’m playing. ISLANDERS is simply wonderful, a micro game for macro enjoyment.
Islanders looks like an idyllic snowglobe, but it belies gears of efficiency and competition. Its islands are fun to tinker with, before you inevitably throw them away and start over.