A lot of potential, but slow and boring.
➕ Custom buildings.
➕ Gorgeous graphics and atmosphere.
➖ Very slow, a lot of waiting.
➖ Limited tutorial.
➖ Ultimately no goal except to fill your island.
The game is pretty straight forward: build things, collect money and energy, build more things, fill your island.
Despite that being the tried and true concept of every city builder out there, it doesn’t work well for this game.
The Islander: Town Architect, just like its predecessor The Islander, is incredibly slow and just plain boring. Building houses adds islanders to your island, but they don’t really do anything. They just walk around, mostly into things. There were so many opportunities to encourage players to add houses with islanders: maybe they could be needed to work your fields, or maybe you need them to work in the stores you build. But as it stands, you just plop down structures that generate things automatically, whether that’s money or energy. There are little to no requirements to unlock things, except waiting. And you can’t even speed it up, no ⏩ button to go 3x faster until your next level up.
Ironically, I’d describe the game as an idle that you need to be actively involved in.
There is a tutorial, but it only takes you up to the “here’s an islander” part and then it’s just… gone? No further explanation about some core elements, for example: what is energy? How do I get it? How do I get food? The first bit is explicit: build a town hall, build a house, get a villeger – from there on out, you’re on your own.
The graphics are gorgeous, though. Not gorgeous enough to redeem the whole game, but enough to make me want to look at it some more. I have a weakness for pixel graphics and this game definitely hits me right there.
Especially the custom buildings are pretty cool, mix and match a roof, a wall, an awning and a door to create very visually satisfying and varied buildings for your island. This mechanic and the overall cosy feel of the graphics are the only reason I’m giving the game 2 stars.
The interface is pretty straight-forward.
In addition to the custom building interface, there’s a catalogue with all the different types of structures to build.
👎 Nah. Honestly, it’s not a bad game, but it’s not a good game, either. It’s just boring. I like relaxing city builders as much as the next guy, but there has to be something to do aside from just waiting for money to drop and level you up.