The Island – Castaway™ HD (Free) by G5 Entertainment is a casual quest-based simulation game where the main character is stranded on an island. It’s your job to adapt to remote life with the rest of the survivors and the locals.
The main character in the story is Tom Allison, and who is stranded on the island after a shipwreck. There are a number of other passengers, but unfortunately, they’re essentially only on the island to boss poor Tom around.
Tom (and you) will have to do all the gathering, fishing, hunting, and cooking while the other islanders sit around eating virtual coconuts and devising new tasks for Tom to complete.
This means that The Island: Castaway is a task-oriented game, where you will be fulfilling objectives like gathering wood for a fire, snagging crabs in traps, or hunting down bait for fishing. Your character is controlled with taps on the screen – tap on the ground and he walks forward; tap on an item and he will pick it up or use it.
You will be provided with a variety of tools, so there are quite a few different survivor-type actions to perform, such as coconut gathering, raft construction, farming, and boar hunting, among other things.
The island that Tom is stranded on happens to have a cornucopia of fruit trees, from orange and apple to pineapple, kiwi, and banana. There are also quite a few vegetables and spices, so Tom is able to whip up some gourmet meals.
Discovering and cooking new recipes is just one of the many tasks you’ll complete on the island. Food is used to restore Tom’s energy, which is depleted by walking around and performing actions. If his energy ever reaches zero, he will black out and wake up at the campsite, short a few items.
Since you will often have several tasks in your queue, there’s a task manager at the bottom of the screen that identifies exactly which items each islander wants. Items are stored in a backpack, which can also be accessed using the bottom menu bar. You do have a limited inventory, which is frustrating, because there is a lot of stuff that Tom has to carry around.
This game is primarily about item collection, which quickly becomes tedious. After the first hour, I was pretty tired of picking up sticks and coconuts, so I wish there were more survivor-oriented elements to the game.
There is an underlying mystery theme involving mysterious runes and statues found around the area, which spices up the content a bit, and 12 different game areas to explore so you’re not stuck in a single place.
The Island: Castaway has both an iPhone version and an iPad version, which are free to download. You’ll have to pay to unlock each one – $4.99 for the iPhone and $6.99 for the iPad, which is actually quite pricy for the content.
While this is a decent simulation game, it does get repetitive. I’d recommend this for fans of G5’s other games, but I do suggest waiting until it goes on sale before buying.