When this game was first revealed on the PS Blog, I was immediately intrigued because of my love of Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Wii. I loved Animal Crossing so much that at the time I actually pleaded with my local Blockbuster, when there was a Blockbuster, to sell me the copy that I was constantly renting. It all worked out for the best and I had myself Animal Crossing which I sunk hundreds and hundreds of hours into. This game looked very much similar, which was why it was a day one buy for me. It also took a few weeks, but I was able to get all of the trophies including the platinum which means that it’s time for a review.
In Castaway Paradise, you play as some random human who becomes shipwrecked on an island that has been destroyed by a storm. There you will meet some funky animal creatures who all need help restoring the island and will have you do various different tasks in order to do so. While you’ll basically play errand girl or boy, you’ll also do other things like fish, collect bugs, and collect shells which you can sell for profit or you can donate to the local museum in order to build it back up to what it used to be. The choice is yours on how you play this game and why you play in this weird little version of an Animal Crossing type game.
I have to start off by saying that I was a little let down by this game. Coming from a game like Animal Crossing, which is just huge and always changing, I didn’t like that this game never changed. It didn’t matter if I played at night or during the day because it was always day time. I played in the summer so it was always summer, so I’m not sure if the seasons change like they do in Animal Crossing. All bugs and fish are available all the time no matter what so there’s no real strategy on how and where to catch them and the shells are random. The animals of Castaway Paradise are a constant and they don’t change. You’ll interact with the same characters over and over again without someone threatening or debating to move away. Sadly, while this game was fun for the two weeks that I played it, it just wasn’t Animal Crossing. While that’s fine if you’ve never played Animal Crossing and you just want a cute little game where you run around and hunt for bugs, hunt for fish, farm, and help out the poor little creatures of Castaway Paradise, it’s kind of a letdown if you’ve played Animal Crossing and then go to this poor man’s version.
While the mechanics for this game for the most part worked perfectly, there were some random glitches in there that caused the game to freeze when talking to some of the characters for no reason. This made the game have to be shut off and restarted. The only good thing that came out of this is that the game was constantly saving so nothing was ever lost. While the having to restart the game isn’t good, the part that I didn’t lose any of my data was also good. This made something good out of a bad situation. The controls are a bit awkward at first and take some time getting used to, but once you finally do you’ll be playing like a pro as you fish, hunt for bugs, farm, and help out random animals for hours on end. The only new thing that this game added that Animal Crossing doesn’t have is a leveling up system. I don’t really see what this did other than unlock certain objects, plants, trees, and vegetables. Anyway, it was there and I guess it added to the game in a way where it made you strive for something.
The graphics for this game are basically the same as they are for Animal Crossing. This is OK, but coming from the PS4 I was expecting something just a little bit better in the graphics department. I thought your character could have been designed just a little bit better, but other than that there’s not much to complain about because it was almost an exact replica of Animal Crossing.
Trophies, there are trophies for this game! There are a total of 41 trophies for this game and all of them are super easy to get. They just require a lot of time and dedication in order to get them along with a lot of farming. The trophies range from collecting things for the museum to rebuilding the whole island, to doing quests for the animals, and to planting each and every thing that Castaway Paradise has to offer. This means that you have to level up your character to at least level 34 which means you’ll spend your last days playing this game constantly farming Tomatoes.
There is no multiplayer for this game. It kind of makes sense because you’re supposed to be some random person who just washes up ashore on a deserted island that has been destroyed, but I did like the multiplayer in Animal Crossing. It would have been nice to be able to invite a friend over to my island and have someone else run around with me and do random tasks or do the normal hunt for bugs, fish, and farm. Anyway, it worked fine as a single player game and I’m sure if it was a multiplayer game there would have been a bunch of obscure trophies for it that would have made this game annoying.
Overall I give this game a 3 out of 5.
+ This is a cute little game that for the money spent ($14.99) it gives you a lot of value and replay time.
+ There are a bunch of things to do so you can basically do whatever you want.
+ The graphics are nice and even though there were some game breaking bugs, they didn’t ruin the save file for the game.
What’s Not So Great:
– While this is supposed to basically serve as the PS4 version of Animal Crossing, it really doesn’t deliver on that front as things that makes Animal Crossing unique are not at all utilized in this game.
– After a while the game becomes very repetitive and loses its charm over time as you do the same thing day in and day out.
I know that I’ve spent a lot of time comparing this game to Animal Crossing, but it’s because that’s basically what this game was supposed to be like just for the PS4. If you want to look at it in terms of did it live up to the legacy that is Animal Crossing, then the answer is no. If you’re looking for an Animal Crossing port onto your PS4 then you’ll want to skip this one as you’ll quickly see that this is a poor mans version of Animal Crossing. If you go into this game with no expectations and have never even played Animal Crossing, then I think you’ll truly enjoy this game as it lets you free roam a devastated island and help the animals of the destroyed island rebuild and basically do whatever you want. If you want to play this game, while the value is good, I would still recommend waiting for a sale on this game since it seems like one of those games that will quickly go on sale.