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The Island: Castaway (Mac) Review


At a Glance...

Formats: Mac
Final Score
7.5/ 10

User Rating
2 total ratings


We liked?

Colorful environments
Interesting story

Not so much?

Lots of repetition

Final Fiendish Findings?

The Island: Castaway is an adventure game that will have you doing everything from hunting and gathering to well, mostly hunting and gathering.

Posted October 25, 2012 by

Full Fiendish Findings...

It’s like Survivor, only interesting.

Oh, dear. Your tropical cruise has suddenly turned into a nightmare when your ship sinks in a storm, leaving you marooned on a mysterious island with a strange cast of characters. So what to you do? Everything, apparently, as no one else seems to be doing anything around here.

The Island: Castaway is an adventure game that will have you doing everything from hunting and gathering to well, mostly hunting and gathering. But there is a lot of story and character interactions thrown in there to make the whole thing a lot more fun. You play as a nice young man who just wants to help everyone out – so they let you. You’ll start out on just a small portion of the island, and the other characters will send you off to find everything from bananas and sticks for the fire to other survivors. As you advance in the game, you’ll uncover more and more of the island, as well as learning new skills to make your time as a castaway a bit more comfortable.

The way The Island: Castaway works is you point and click wherever you want your character to go. At first, you have a relatively small area to work with, so just wandering around aimlessly is actually a benefit. You’ll need to forage for food, like fruit that has fallen from trees, because your character needs to be fed pretty regular or he passes out – sending you back to the camp with an admonishment to take better care of yourself. As you work your way through the tasks given to you, you’ll learn recipes that will allow you to go for longer periods without eating, and even how to grow your own plants.

Now, you can just wander around, picking up stuff and talking to anyone with an exclamation point over their head, but it’s nice to have a focus. You are given goals by other characters, more and more as you advance in the game. And as you start to achieve those goals, you’ll uncover both more of the island, and more of the mysterious story that goes along with it. The natives aren’t generally all that friendly to outsiders, your fellow passengers aren’t always what they seem, and things can get interesting when those two things clash. It’s your job to keep on top of everything that is needed by your fellow passengers, go on quests to appease the hostile natives, and hopefully find yourself a way off the island – all at the same time.

You are given a map of the island that shows where you are, all the areas you have uncovered (the rest are covered in clouds) and the location of the other characters in the game. If you are told another character wishes to speak to you, or you finish one of their quests, or you simply want to go to the village store to pick up more potatoes – you can click on a character on the map and the game will walk you to them on autopilot. this can save a lot of time, but it also means you won’t have the opportunity to pick up sticks and fruit along the way, so you’ll have to keep an eye on your supplies if you use that often.

As you make friends with the other passengers, and even some of the natives, you’ll learn new skills like fishing, crab catching, planting, and hunting. You’ll need these to accomplish goals given to you, of course, but they also help you to prepare ever more complicated dishes that will allow you to travel far from the fire without fear of running out of food. Tasks like hunting and cutting down trees require a lot of energy, and running out of food near a pack of boars could mean the end of you. In addition to that, using the skills will also get you nice achievement trophies in bronze, gold, and silver for your virtual wall.

The Island: Castaway is a pretty well done game. The environment is bright and cheerful, and the items you need to hunt and gather are clearly distinguishable. Collecting pearls even offers the opportunity for a little customization of your tools, if you’re into that sort of thing. While the endless stopping and gathering can get a little tedious after a while, it’s no more so than any other game of this genre. It’s just another aspect of the game that needs to be managed, and the story serves pretty well to add meaning to your actions. Everything is also pretty child friendly, and kids will love the repetition of it, as well as the forgiving nature of the game.


U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)