Castaway Paradise Complete Edition: Impressions

Castaway Paradise is an interesting take on the Animal House Crossing formula. Much like it's inspiration, you go around your island home, doing various tasks, such as gardening, clean up, fishing, and quests for your friends. Through these activities you'll gain XP and currency to help progress, and customize both your character and your island home. It's a pretty simple premise and should be pretty easy to grasp for all gamers of all age and level.

The game isn't hard to learn, and it's not one I would say it's focused on player skill. Rather, it's fairly relaxing, and could be argued as mindless, but I'd like to call it simple. The controls are all through mouse clicks, from moving your character to watering your plants. Accessibility is one of the game's biggest strengths and the learning curve is very easy going and should be able to be enjoyed by even the youngest of audience. 

Though the game is simple, I do feel it to be fairly satisfying. Earning xp to unlock the next set of things to customize my island and character with, purchasable with the ingame currency earned, there's something really addictive about this formula. I found myself endlessly checking on all my plants, constantly chasing the next quest, and doing it over and over again, Castaway Paradise has mastered the endless loop design of Animal Crossing. Because of this, it's arguable that the game can start feeling grindy after a while, but I don't think it was designed for long stretches of play, rather, like it's inspiration Animal Crossing, really meant to be visited for an hour or just a few minutes each day.

In Animal Crossing there is a pile of incentive to keep playing, or at least to visit each day. You can unlock mini-games, trigger events in game during real time holidays and celebrations. In Castaway Paradise I've yet to see any of these elements. I've only played for about 3 hours on the game's launch, so since this genre requires real world, time commitment over months, if not years, it's difficult for me to say if these elements are apart of the game. I'm of course hoping that these interesting tidbits spearheaded by Animal Crossing is also included into Castaway Paradise in some way. If there is a lack of mini-games to be unlocked, or if it isn't real world holiday sensitive I feel the game would be lacking some of the most charming elements that made Animal Crossing so memorable. Again, these are elements that I simply can not comment on for Castaway Paradise, as I do understand will require time to full flesh out, if it's there at all.

Overall Castaway Paradise is a charming little Animal Crossing-like, that seem to be doing a pretty good job at emulating it's inspiration. Only time can tell the true quality of the game, as this genre is really meant to be played over long periods of real work dates. But speaking solely from the 3 hours I've experience, it won me over. 

Pros:
- Charming visuals
- Addictive gameplay
- Lots to unlock
- (so far) does a good job at emulating it's inspiration (Animal Crossing)

Cons:
- Can be considered grindy
- Might be too simple for some




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Castaway Paradise Complete Edition on Steam
http://store.steampowered.com/app/304950/

Castaway Paradise Complete Edition official web site
http://stolencouchgames.com/castawayparadise/

Castaway Paradise Complete Edition hours played: 3

Completion Status on Castaway Paradise Complete Edition: N/A

This copy of Castaway Paradise Complete Edition was given by the developers for review.

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