Get us off this island. Island Time VR – The FInger Guns Review;
We all fear being trapped on a desert island. But I think we would all dread that thought if the island was no bigger than your front room. This is the case with Island Time, the latest game from Flight School. You see, you are trapped on the worlds smallest island which just so happens to be the size of the PSVR’s camera limits. So no you can’t move.
In island time the only goal is to stay alive for as long as possible. You don’t move, you can just turn around. While rooted to the spot on our island you can interact with a couple of things. Sticks, coconuts, logs and flint. It’s up to you to use these items to survive. For example, you can combine a stick and some flint to create a spear, this spear can then be used to fish. Or you can use two pieces of flint, strike them together and set one of the logs on fire. You can now catch fish and cook them. You get the idea.
The trouble is, that is literally all there is to do. And once you’ve played for about 5 minutes you’ve seen everything the game has to offer. I mean everything. It’s almost more like a demo than it is a full-blown game. It all feels like such a let down given the bright cartoony graphics and great voice work from your only ally, a crab, voiced by Greg Miller. Imagine if Pixar made Cast Away and you’ll get a fair idea of how it all feels.
But nothing could hide my disappointment, not even the cumbersome PSVR. The lack of any movement means there is no exploration to be had. Turn around a few times and you’ve seen everything. I wouldn’t mind this so much if there was at least some kind of upgrade progression path. Like create a spear, then collect more stuff to make a fishing rod and so on. But there is nothing. To make matters worse there are regular care packages that float your way containing wood and flint so there is never really any peril.
It’s such a shame really as this game had the potential to be an entertaining, cartoon take on being stranded on an island. It would have been nice to forage for food, build shelters and write HELP out of stones for a passing plane to see. Instead, you’re left to just cook and eat fish, knock coconuts from a tree to eat and scare away a seagull, STEVEN SEAGULL as the game keeps telling you a million times over. I GET IT, IT’S A JOKE. YOU CAN STOP NOW. You have to do this over and over again in a bid to beat your last best time. But you won’t really want to bother as there is nothing new on offer if you last five minutes or five hours.
For a game that is so simple, it isn’t without its technical flaws either. For one, you need a huge amount of space to play this game. Ironic really considering how small the game world is. So many times I had knocked coconuts of trees only for them to land in water and be unable to reach them because they were outside the zone of the PSVR camera, which then rendered them items useless. Another thing that sucks is that because the island is so small there is not a lot of space to put things down. So you may want to spear a fish and then put the spear down to pick up flint to light a fire. But, as everything is all so close together you end up picking up the spear again, or another stick that’s nearby. Or conversely, the items are out of reach meaning you have to stretch beyond the zone of the PSVR camera so you can’t actually use them thanks. Yep, the physics in Island time are wonky – frustrating flaws indeed, considering time is of the essence.
Island Time VR has some terrific bright visuals and peppy voice acting, and you can see that there is a fair bit of charm about the game. It’s just a shame that the entire game is just too limited.
Island Time is available now on PS4 (reviewed on PS4 Pro), Steam and Vive
Developer: Flight School
Publisher: Flight School
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review we were provided with a review code by the publishers. For our full review policy please go here.