What a lovely little game Islanders: Console Edition is. It’s the kind of game that you can boot up for five minutes of fun, or you can spend hours zoning out with. The goal is to populate procedurally generated islands with homes and facilities, creating miniature pockets of civilisation. In High Score mode, everything that you build adds to a score total, and hitting specific score thresholds opens up islands that are usually bigger, or more complex. Chasing higher and higher scores quickly becomes addictive.
The beauty of Islanders is how simple it all is. Unlike most building-based strategy titles, you’re not scrolling through endless menus looking for the right bits and pieces. Instead, the game presents you with two different building sets every ‘turn’. You pick the one that you want, and then you place each piece on your island(s), with thoughtful placement earning you more points. For example, throwing all of your lumber mills together will net you negative points, while properly spacing them out, and putting them alongside trees, bags you bonuses. It’s really easy to find your rhythm, and watching your score steadily increase is satisfying.
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