This thoughtful spin on strategy is a classic on PC and a delight on Switch.
A breath of fresh air in my game rotation.
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: VR Edition has a good amount of fun to be had, but actually playing it requires a lot of unnecessary input. It needs a little streamlining to make it easier to pick up and play.
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 a uniquely-designed city builder that offers a relaxed experience even if you only have ten minutes to spare.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Islanders is a really interesting, serene city-building experience that reduces stress instead of adding onto it. Its clean-cut visual style and pickup-and-play mechanics fit the Switch like a glove.
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.
Islanders: Console Edition is a very good addition to the Nintendo Switch's library. It is the the perfect game to take on the go, to play in short bursts or for longer spells. For this price you can't really go wrong.
Islanders: Console Edition, while not a game for everyone, is exactly the game for people looking for what Grizzly Games (and most actual islands) can offer you; an escape from the everyday.
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 a relaxing little builder more concerned with letting you get right to making the town than bogging you down with the details.
Islanders is the perfect strategy game for people who love that genre or gamers who are just getting into it. It's a simple game that is incredibly addictive and is very hard to master! I hope more industry and building packs become available as time goes on!
Islanders doesn't necessarily reinvent the wheel and may have a few control issues, but it still provides a hugely enjoyable time that's always there to dive into between other games. It also has a very enticing price point of £4.19 / $4.99. The game has quickly become a perfect title to wind down with when extended sessions of Splitgate have aggravated us or the intense subject matter of Lost Judgment has become too much. If you’re looking for something to break up your gaming life, Islanders: Console Edition is a fantastic choice.
Islanders truly is a relaxing, immersive experience that’s so easy to get lost into. The challenge of working out the best location to place a building is endlessly enjoyable, and for puzzle fans there’s even a hint of Tetris as you rotate differently-shaped buildings in order to make them fit perfectly within a space. For players looking for something a little lighter to play, I can’t recommend it highly enough – Islanders is the perfect way to switch off and unwind from the stresses of real life.
I wish the controls were a bit more refined and that some buildings came with a few more tips on where to place them. But for this small package, it has quite a lot of content that kept me satisfied. If you were to send me off to a deserted island and I could only bring one game, this one would certainly be on my list of choices.