“The Island Castaway: Lost World” is an iOS game developed by Sampad Games and published by G5 Entertainment. This title is a survival adventure game, where the player is tasked with surviving on a mysterious island. The player plays the role of Tom, one of the many characters who have been stranded on the island. The player is tasked with making the island comfortable for the castaways and, ultimately, finding a way to escape the island.
Story: “The Island Castaway: Lost World’s” story begins with the protagonist on a cruise ship. He is talking with another character just before a massive storm hits, throwing the passengers of the ship overboard. After Tom passes out, he has an odd dream that shows a few characters having an argument in a strange environment. Before he can figure out what is going on, however, he wakes up on the beach.
Tom meets a number of characters very quickly. The first is Sophia Longtale, a young girl who was on the ship. She asks Tom to find her some food and a doll that she lost. Soon after helping her, Tom encounters Nicoletta Alegri, another survivor from the ship. The three of them decide to work together to survive and hopefully get rescued or escape from the island.
To avoid spoilers, nothing more will be stated about the story here. However, it should be noted that the story is well written, and contains a number of surprises that will keep the player interested. The only real issues with the story are the occasional grammar mistakes, but they aren’t bad enough to confuse the player (it is still easy to understand what the NPCs mean).
Gameplay: As stated before, this “The Island Castaway: Lost World” is a survival adventure game. The majority of gameplay involves the player traveling around the island to collect items and supplies. These items will be used to complete quests, which will lead to more quests and progress the storyline. Many quests also unlock new features, such as new tools, areas, and characters. These will in turn lead to more quests and the ability to complete quests that the player could not complete before.
This title, like many mobile games, uses an energy system to determine what actions the player can do, and how often they can do them. Like other energy systems, once the player gets low on energy they can either wait for their energy to reload, use an in-game item to refill it, or pay with real-money currency to refill it instantly. The passive energy regeneration is relatively slow, but is still faster than most mobile games. Thankfully, the aforementioned in-game energy regeneration items are quite plentiful. The in-game items come in the form of food found on the island and food that is cooked using resources that the player finds. Thanks to these items, the energy system in this game does not become nearly as much of a hindrance as most mobile games.
The in-game real money currency items used in this game are emeralds. These can be used to expand the player’s inventory and storage, refill the player’s energy, or speed up various tasks that the player must perform. They can also be used to purchase items at certain shops in the game. Thankfully, the game is relatively generous with emeralds, and the player receives quite a few of them along their journey. They can be obtained for free by finding certain special items, leveling up, and completing achievements. For players who would prefer to avoid in-app purchases, it is recommended that they use the emeralds to expand their inventory and storage (which is unlocked later in the game) space. These expansions are permanent, and will help the player a great deal during the game.
This author had very few complaints with the gameplay in “The Island Castaway: Lost World.” The tapping controls are very responsive, although players with larger fingers may have some difficulty selecting specific objects. Also, combat with enemies on the island can be a bit of a pain, because the enemies move very quickly and will hit the player when they get close enough. Each hit causes the player to lose ten energy, which is a good portion of the player’s maximum energy until they level up a number of times. Other than these issues, the gameplay for this game is very solid.
Presentation: Sound and graphics will be combined into the presentation category for the purposes of this review. The graphical system used in “The Island Castaway: Lost World” is a cel-shaded system, although without the bold, dark outlines that many games with cel-shaded graphics have. The colors used in the game are very vibrant, and they mesh together well. The character models are also well-drawn, although each character only has one portrait (the characters don’t have different portraits based on their emotional state). The animations of the character’s models in game are also fluid most of the time, though they can seem a little blocky at times. This author also only encountered a few frame rate issues, so that is generally a non-issue.
The in-game interface for this title is intuitive, and it flows very well. The menus are detailed, and show everything the player needs to know. The player’s currently active quests are shown on the left of the screen, and tapping on any of the character’s faces will take the player to that character. The requirements for the player’s current quests will cycle across the bottom of the screen, and the player can tap on an arrow at the bottom of the screen to show the requirements for every active quest. The other various menus, such as tools, inventory, and the map, can be found in the corners of the user interface. These menus all show their details in a clear manner. There are also helpful notifications in the top right and bottom left corner that indicate when the player’s cooking fire or farms are ready to be harvested. One issue with the menus involved deleting items. To delete an item, the player must hold down their finger on the item and drag it to the trash can icon. This normally wouldn’t be hard, but the item will sometimes drop, forcing the player to start the process over. Also, the item for some reason doesn’t seem to line up properly with the player’s finger, forcing them to drag their finger to a little below the trash can to delete the item. It’s not terribly annoying, but it can be if the player is trying to collect an item while being pursued by an enemy or if the player carries a full inventory most of the time and has to delete items frequently.
The game’s sound is rather limited. There are a few music tracks that play during the game, such as the main menu and the general “island” theme. The “island” theme is pretty typical for tropical island music, and it is not anything that really stands out. Some of the sound tracks that play later in the game are better, so that is something for players to look forward to. The sound effects are also somewhat limited. A single sound plays every time the player picks up an item, which some players may get tired of after a while. It is not an annoying sound though, and shouldn’t bother most people. Beyond that, the sound effects are limited to a many generic sounds, such as digging sounds when using a shovel, grunting sounds of boars, and the sound of pulling on a fishing rod. Overall, the music works well for the game, but none of it stands out in a way that it will “wow” most players.
Value: “The Island Castaway: Lost World” is a very lengthy adventure, especially for a free-to-play title. This is not because of the energy system limiting the player though, as it does not usually get in the way of the player’s progress. Unlike many energy based games, this game is a legitimately lengthy adventure, rather than one that is artificially lengthened by energy. Of course, this can be sped up by in-app purchases, but they are hardly necessary. That being said, the length of the adventure does diminish the game’s replay value somewhat, as most players will likely not want to play through the same early game tasks again. However, this game still receives a very good value rating from this reviewer due to its sheer length.
Final Score: “The Island Castaway: Lost World” is a well-done free-to-play game that does not try to force in-app purchases on players like many free-to-play titles do. The game’s story is intriguing, though the gameplay is rather simple. Simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing though, and it does not hurt this title.
“The Island Castaway: Lost World” receives an 8.3 from this reviewer.
To learn more about “The Island Castaway: Lost World,” visit either of the links below:
“The Island Castaway: Lost World” on G5 Entertainment’s website
“The Island Castaway: Lost World” on the iTunes App Store