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Review: Islanders: Console Edition (Nintendo Switch)

Islanders was originally released on Steam in 2019. Now, after two years, the Console Edition has been released on the Switch, the perfect home for this type of game. Islanders is a city building game that is similar to the Tropico series. Being able to take games like this with you on the go is always welcome. Islanders: Console Edition doesn’t seem as complicated, at least on the surface, as other games in the genre. The game design feels very minimal and low key, as does its art style, which makes it perfect for newbies to the genre while still offering the depth for long-time fans.

When Islanders starts you start with a small and simple island, a blank canvas that you can build whatever you want on. Islanders is interesting in that it gives you a choice of themed buildings and you need to arrange them to get the most points. If you build everything and haven’t got the score, you fail, but if you complete it you’ll move to a new island that’s bigger and empty again. The way the game decides which buildings should go where is geared towards what would make the most sense for a real city. Certain buildings require the right resources and materials to function optimally. Islanders may disguise themselves as a city building game, but it is actually a puzzle game with city building mechanics.

What makes the islanders so great is how soft and cool the entire package is. It’s not overly demanding, there is no rush, you just soften up and have a good time. That’s why it may be the perfect game for the Switch. You can simply choose the challenge you will be faced with next. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the train for twenty minutes or in front of the phone for hours, Islanders will take care of both. Aside from how relaxing the game is to play, it is accompanied by a soundtrack that only compliments your experience.

Islanders: Console Edition not only offers the above puzzles, but also a sandbox mode. It is very exactly what it says on the can and what you would expect. This is your chance to let off steam with no restrictions or points, just your chance to do what you want. It is certainly a necessary game mode in any game of this style, and it also allows you to get every last drop out of this game. Even so, the puzzles and what they have to offer are Islanders’ real strength.

Islanders offers a lot to the player including: decent mechanics, good puzzles, and a great relaxing experience, to the point where they should maybe let you play at a spa. It will only eat away at your worries figuring out where to put a windmill. City builders may not be for everyone, but Islanders: Console Edition is possibly one of the most easily accessible.

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