ISLANDERS

The Game

ISLANDERS by GrizzlyGames is a beautiful city builder for PC. It’s minimalist in its approach to the whole city building genre but the options and combinations will challenge you to think about layout and efficiency.

The game starts you off on an empty island and begins by giving you a choice of 2 building types. The one you choose will give you a collection of buildings, in the late game collections include some of your previous choices. You’re then tasked with laying those buildings out in a way to accumulate points based on their position in the world and their surroundings – some buildings boost each other while others can incur a penalty from being near others. Collect enough points and you level up and be given another choice if two building types. As you progress you’ll get new building types, eventually you’ll run our of space and you can pack it all up and move on to a new island to start all over.

The game is done in a beautiful low poly style and along with the chilled out music it’s a perfect relaxing experience. The game is easy to play and sucks you in as you keep plopping down buildings and before you know it you’ve spent a few hours creating the perfect island settlements and hopping from island to island.

Worth it?

The game is available on Steam for £4.79 and it’s even on sale occasionally. The game is worth it. While it’s not necessarily something you’ll be racking up hundreds of hours on it still offers and amazing escape for a few hours as you’re engulfed into creating the perfect island society. It would be amazing to see this game on mobile and with the fairly simple gameplay it feels like it would work amazingly (provided the game doesn’t get bogged down with gatchas, rather just a free and an add free paid version).

Overall it’s a very relaxing and aesthetically pleasing experience. Trying out different building options and combinations gives the game a decent amount of replay value especially as you get to the late game buildings – you keep wanting to have designed your island a bit better so you can now accommodate all these buildings – nothing to do but start over if that’s the case. It makes for great casual or even medium length play and is a must for any city builder fans.

Tips

  • You don’t need to use all your buildings before getting new ones and vice versa – you can use all your buildings before getting new ones
  • Some buildings benefit from houses, others from mansions, some from both – plan your city and neighbourhood layout accordingly.
  • Sometimes the order in which you place things will allow you to maximise points gained – for example if you place a lumberjack who gains from surrounding trees first, then build something that replaces the trees.

Useful Links

Micro RPG

The Game

Micro RPG is an early access game by Dominic Hamelin-Blais with a unique and simple mechanic. The game is focused around fighting off hoards of monsters with your selection of weapons – short, mid and long range. The actual combat mechanic itself is based on a circle, which you are at the centre of, your weapons will have specific hit patters and you need to tap at the right time to execute the move and slay the incoming enemies. Each hit adds to your combo – constantly increasing the damage with each subsequent hit. This make is really fun hitting a huge amount of enemies and in general is what gives this game its uniqueness.

Each battle has a main and side quests, these give you points towards unlocking chests, which is where you get new cards for your weapons and characters from – this is quite a standard card collection type of mechanic where multiple duplicates will allow you to upgrade weapons and characters. There’s a lot of potential for expansion here with new characters with unique traits, more special and rare weapons – hopefully we see more added as the game moves out of early access.

Each world will challenge you to complete it without healing (or you can pay to heal). Each world ends with a boss fight that can be particularly challenging as each boss has unique powers and can deal some serious damage.

Worth it?

The game is free to play and a very fun casual game. It can get a bit repetitive after a while and the limited amount of weapons means that once you unlock most there’s not that much more to play for other than upgrading your existing weapons. Each world has unique enemies and you can go for quite a while before you hit your first wall.

Premium currency is available to unlock chests with more cards, you can also watch ads for chests. The premium aspect isn’t intrusive at all, which is nice, but overall I would say the game gets a bit monotonous after while, up until then though it’s a great casual game to kill 5-10 mins on.

Tips

  • Make sure your weapons are effective against your enemies
  • The sword is very useful as it pushes close enemies a step back – preventing them from hitting you
  • You can heal for cash between fights

Useful Links

#DRIVE

The Game

Looking for a relaxing drive and a great collection of cars? #DRIVE by Pixel Perfect Dude is a beautiful arcade driving game. Dodge through oncoming traffic, collect bottle caps, buy and upgrade new vehicles and unlock new regions to drive through.

The game has simple controls and even has 3 different control configurations if you’re not happy with them. The controls allow you to steer, break and drift around corners although you’ll find this isn’t needed in most of the early maps. The game gives you challenges to complete and rewards toy with new vehicles, of course you can also buy them yourself and the collection is definitely worth noting. Choose from various wacky vehicles, vans and cars. You can also upgrade them, recolour then and even apply a “coolness” mod, just because you can.

#DRIVE also features a zen mode in which you don’t have to worry about refueling and repairing your vehicle. There’s also less traffic and you can really enjoy the scenery and that scenery is worth mentioning – the game features 6 magnificent and unique locations that you can unlock with postcards that you collect for every town you visit.

Worth it?

The game is free to play and has an add free version for £3.49. Overall the ads aren’t very intrusive, you’ll get the occasional one after a drive but you can usually skip them. You can also watch an ad to double your caps collected, I tend to only use that after a very good run.

A great game for a quick session, but be careful because you may find yourself playing for ages trying to collect caps for new vehicles and upgrades. Awesome for any arcade fans. The game is also regularly updated with new cars and improvements.

Tips

  • Play in zen mode when you need to cover distance
  • You can break before you pass the police to avoid a chase
  • Hold off buying cars as you will have quests for specific ones, you’re better off upgrading what you have

Useful Links

Tap Craft: Mine Survival Sim

The Game

A simple but effective idle clicker game by Iron Horse Games. In this beautiful clicker game your objective is to collect resources and claim all the surrounding islands. You can mine and harvest various resources and once you start automating this process you can create more complex supply chains – for example harvesting wheat to make beer to sell at the tavern for serious profit. The game has 3 different biomes – snow, grass and sand with unique resources available in each. The game has quests and objectives for you to meet from building certain things to delivering resources.

An ok amount of stuff to build and resources to acquire.

Worth it?

One thing is immediately apparent when you start playing the game – the potential of it is great. It is just a clicker game, but well paced in the beginning to keep you quite active after which you will start to rely on longer idle times and 2x videos.

Overall I felt it was a bit short – within 3 days I had built everything and had more resources than I knew what to do with. I definitely think the game can be taken further and expanded on massively. I would recommend it as a great time killer, but not much replay value after acquiring most buildings.

Tips

  • Focus on grass farms early on, so you can get shovels.
  • Shovels are useful to unlock extra islands and extra people through digging up treasures.
  • Completing quests can also give you extra people.
  • Getting multiple workers in a mine (or any work place) will increase the output to equal the number of workers.

Useful Links

Sadly not much there in terms of a wiki and guides, but also not much to explain about the game either. Nothing a quick google can’t answer.

Random Dice: PvP Defence

The Game

Imagine Hearthstone meets a tower defense game completely reliant on RNG. Random Dice: PvP Defence by 111% is exactly that. The objective of the game is spawn, merge and upgrade dice in order to defend against waves of enemy dice. It features two primary modes – PvP and Co-Op and is based around collecting new dice with different power ups. There are various types and tiers of dice all with unique abilities.

As it’s a mobile game there is obviously the gatcha element, but very subtle it’s not very intrusive. Playing co-op mode allows you to collect cards to open chests which will give you new cards. The game also features an arena mode in which you have a random deck and 3 lives to go as far as you can. There is also a 1 game version of the arena that allows you to risk your gems for more.

Worth it?

Definitely a great time killer, although sometimes Co-Op games can go on for a while (I’ve had 25min games), but PvP is usually around 3-5 mins. The collection element is good and kept me coming back a lot, wanting to grind quests and co-op to get more dice.

They are still updating the game regularly with new dice and Crews are being added as well now. It’s a simple but effective game and can get pretty mental. There are some occasional minor performance issues, but nothing game breaking.

Overall would recommend as a casual mobile game.

There’s a huge collection of unique dice, with new ones being added regularly.

Tips

  • There are daily quests you can complete to collect gold and gems (the premium currency).
  • Once you complete a quest you can reset it (you can do this once).
  • Try and fill the whole board with dice before merging them.
  • Save up 40k gold because the shop occasionally has Legendary dice, you can also reset the shop more often by watching videos.
  • Spend gems on arena – the win potential if you go beyond 7 is maddive.

Useful Links

Wiki: https://random-dice.fandom.com/wiki/Random_Dice_Wiki

Discord: https://discord.com/invite/zQj6tCM

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/randomdice/