Castaway Paradise – Review
If you love your Animal Crossing/Harvest Moon type games, then Castaway Paradise is going to be for you. You get swept ashore after a huge store hits the island and it is your job to try and bring the island back up to speed and looking brilliant.
After starting the game and taking on the tutorial the mayor of the town entrusts you to rebuild and design it how you wish. There are different buildings to fix up, one of which is your own and the others are of the residents there, or the lighthouse on the west island.
One of the things that I loved about this game is how open it is and how you’re free to do whatever you wished. Want to collect the fruit from the trees? No problem go ahead, want to spend your time fishing and building up that collection, not a problem either. You can crack on and do whatever floats your boat.
There’s plenty for you to do in each sitting and each of the residents will keep you busy by giving you missions to complete. Usually these consist of a go and get or fixer up type of quest, which are easy enough. I found that getting missions from everyone I could and then going through them kept me on my toes with also doing a spot of fishing and collecting the differing fruits from the trees.
Money is quite important in the game, especially when it comes to rebuilding the houses and bridges within the game. Money can be quite easy to come by with various fruits from the trees fetching a tidy sum and then being able to sell any fish, shells and other items you find on the island. You will have a decent amount of money in no time, and planting more fruit for more trees means more money.
Bridges within the game need puzzles pieces to unlock/rebuild them (you need 9 in total), which you can get via purchasing from the shop or you can earn them by doing quests. I found getting them from quests to be few and far between so I opted to buy what I needed (for the first bridge anyway, you can upgrade the bridge from a wooden to stone) just to get me started and on the other parts of the island. I’ll go back later and upgrade the bridges.
There is also a farming aspect to the game, although basic, it also helps to bring in funding. Any crops that grow go automatically into the silo that is situated next to the patch you use. Once the Silo is full you can sell on any crops that you have, this seems to be the only use for the crops that I can see. Also, depending on what you grow will depend on the amount of time it takes to grow and mature.
I really like the design of the game, the colours that have been used are bright and vibrant and the level of customisation that is available is amazing. You can customise anything from your house to the clothes that you wear. As you level up more and more items will become available to you to buy, and also as you level up you will be gifted some items too, which if they’re not to your taste you can easily sell on. Wallpapers and flooring can be bought, different furniture so you can really go all out with the design of your house. Some items are only available for a certain time, such as at the moment, the summer set is only available for a limited time.
One thing that annoyed with the game was that the camera was fixed, so you couldn’t swing around to different angles, this made it hard if you put a few trees together and when you shook the tree to get the fruit from it, it would fall in the middle of them, causing the trees to obscure where it was, so you would either give up or endlessly walk around trying to find it. However, if the camera could have been moved around, you would have been able to see it and collect with ease.
Also when completing a quest it takes you to the quest page to show you what you have earned from it. Surely it would better to just have the coin count you earn or whatever items flash up on the screen and allow you to just continue on, it feels a bit overkill to have it take you to another screen, which then requires you to go back into the menu before being back in the game.
Castaway Paradise is a thoroughly enjoyable experience and one that I know I will keep returning to, it’s lively with plenty of things to do that will keep you entertained for a while, my only issue is that once the full island has been opened and cleared up etc, how much left there will be to do outside of fishing, collecting fruit etc? Will new quests become available? Will more content be added over time to the game? Time will tell, however, I thoroughly recommend it.