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Island Time VR Review (PSVR)

Have you ever wanted to be stranded on an Island? Neither have I, but it does make for a pretty interesting video game. Survive on a tiny island for as long as you can. You probably won't be saved, but that doesn't mean you can't live for as long as you possibly can. Try to survive as long as possible.

Island Time VR Review

Introduction

Island Time VR is a humble little game just trying to offer players a unique way to enjoy their expensive headwear hardware purchase. The premise is simple, but survival can be anything but simple at first. You wash up on an island after wrecking your ship on a small bundle of rocks nearby it. Was it a really bad storm that caused you to crash? No, it was a talking crab that was calling for you to come over. There is no other sign of life for as far as the eye can see, but he will succeed in filling the whole lonely void you'll develop. Death is unavoidable, but it can be prolonged. How long you can prolong it is the nature of the game. 


You can buy the game for PC or PSVR for $14.99.

Island Time VR – Gameplay Trailer | PS VR

Gameplay

On the island, you'll find very few resources, but they are there if you look for them. It may take a try or two before you begin to understand how the game intends for you to craft things together. I don't mean to spoil what little puzzle mechanics it has in regards to figuring out which resources specifically do what for you on the island, but you can grab one of the sticks of bamboo next to you to reach up high and knock coconuts out of the tree. This is a major discovery early on as throwing the coconuts on the big boulder to your left, and breaking it open, will allow you to eat. Many early deaths will come from a lack of being able to catch coconuts as they fall out of the tree and into the awkwardly deep water. Coconuts will only prolong death for so long before you need to find ways to catch and cook fish or birds. Occasionally you'll have a crate wash up on shore next to you with a few key survival items like cole for the campfire, sticks, and random items that will make you laugh a bit.

Outside of these survival methods I discussed above, there is not much to the game. Sure, you'll find many hidden jokes and gameplay mechanics that make it interesting like when the crab gives you one of his arms to use as a grabbing tool. The gameplay is simple in nature and just offers you a small sandbox of things to do. The joy will not come from endless discoverability but the laughter that comes with dying in different ways and trying to survive the longest. I found the most fun was to bring in my brother on the Share Play and we joke about everything together. 

Island Time VR Survival Time Record

Graphics and performance

The game embraces the cartoonish graphics which is easily the best route to go for current VR experiences. It allows the game to operate smoothly, and prevent players from getting motion sickness. Titles like Farpoint and Skyrim are awesome in their own ways of course, but I've always found myself being limited to an hour or two of VR gaming per session with them. Games like Island Time VR and Job Simulator allow me to experience less straining enjoyment, with the same amount of time per session. The little island is very bright with life, and the beautiful blue waters surrounding you are immersive still. 


My biggest complaint is that the game requires a lot of space to be truly playable. Well, that's actually my second biggest complaint. My biggest complaint is that even if you have a big play area set up, some things are just not reachable. I don't know how many times I dropped something right off the edge of where I am standing, into the water, and there was absolutely no getting it back. Sometimes I would drop something and it only sits halfway in the water and still doesn't allow me to grab it. I wish items dropped in the water would float, but I guess in the end it fits the whole theme that nothing will go right for you on the island. One thing that I would like to see come into the game via an update would be a bit more polish on the hovering grab technique; when you are desperately reaching for something but the game recognizes you're trying hard enough so it highlights the item for you. The game has this, but it could use some extra work.

Island Time VR Talking Crab and Box of Loot

Conclusion

I absolutely love these smaller VR games that take a simplistic and cartoonish design to everything. Of course, realistic experiences would be fun in their own way, the lack of graphical excellence for current VR headsets mean that pixelation is a real problem. Not with these games though. Everything feels very immersing, allowing you to get a quick glimpse at the struggle of surviving a shipwreck out at sea. Some may be turned off by the lack of realistic gameplay, and it might be discouraging that there is no major objective like being rescued, but it serves as a fun and inexpensive changeup in the library of VR titles. 

ProsCons
 + Colorful and fun graphics – No real big objective 
 + Unique VR experience surviving on an island 
 + Relatively low price ($15)
7
Good

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