Want a carefree game with none of the intricacies of city-building? Then Islanders is your jam. Or mine, since I have quite a “stressful” day job of managing content and playing/watching pop culture stuff on a daily basis.

But I digress; turning your hobby into a job can get hectic and crazy, so why not get something you can faff about with all day that isn’t completely brain-dead like a clicker game?

We’ll be playin’ & havin’ fun…

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Your objective in Islanders is to max out the required points needed to advance to the next section. You earn said points by building and placing stuff on your map. Depending on where you place them, you can either get more points or get a fraction of it docked.

For example, building a sawmill next to a patch of trees will earn you more points than putting it far away at the edge on an island. Certain buildings will have a negative influence over others, so you’ll end up losing points if you place a cluster of buildings in the same spot. It’ll be unwise place circuses close to mansions or residential buildings.

The game’s pacing eases you to bigger and better plots of land as you progress. The challenge is essentially taking your sweet time figuring out which part of the island should have buildings. Racking up triple points mean you have to be creative with your building placements. The more thresholds you break, the more advanced buildings you get to unlock like breweries and taverns. The higher your score, the more advanced your civilization becomes, which means more islands to place your creations onto.

We’ll never feel bad anymore…

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The best part? The game doesn’t rush you. You get to enjoy the serene aesthetics, the simple-yet-pleasant eye candy that is the fledging and growing island populated with your own man-made creations.

The serene sandbox nature of Islanders makes its entire gameplay routine seem more like meditation than actual gaming. Kudos to GrizzlyGames for taking out the fuss in most city-management games.

Will Islanders make you feel so fine it’ll melt your brain? It will. The game doesn’t force you to advance unless you want to. In which case, you just move on to the next plot of land. By ditching resource management, Islanders ends up becoming a more serene if less-than-challenging affair. It may not be for every gamer, but it’s the perfect antidote for many wanting to take a break from titles like Sekiro and Devil May Cry 5.

Pros

  • Very chillax atmosphere & theme.
  • A pleasant city sim title; a rarity these days.
  • Pleasing aesthetics & music.

Cons

  • Not that challenging in the long run.

Final Score: 70/100

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