Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Islanders by developer Grizzly Games.


Islanders: (The Explanation)

Islanders jumps onto Nintendo Switch after first being released on Steam in 2019. With the latest Nintendo Indie World showcaseand a shadow drop, we take a look at the procedurally generated wholesome world-building simulation game. 

Each run of Islanders is unique as you will be set upon varied islands with terrain that mixes mountains, sandy shores, grassy fields, and rocky plateaus. Once you land on your island you will get to choose between building types from packs to start out with. The packs include themes of farming, fishing, mining, and more.

Buildings need to be placed within the island to gain points. Certain buildings will get bonus points if placed within a set area (your translucent orb) and touching other building types. One thing you need to be mindful of is negative affects buildings can have as well. You level up by gaining enough points from your building placement and filling up your island. 

Once your island is full and you have fulfilled your point needs, you can move on to another procedurally generated island to do it all over again but with a different order of building types. Islanders is mostly a chill experience, the sandbox mode allows you to play around. There is a high score mode which will force you to do better with each play through and be mindful of building placement.

I played Islanders on PC first using a mouse and keyboard. The move to Switch uses a unique control scheme. You can pan with the left control stick, and move your current building selection with the right stick. You can rotate the camera with the L and R buttons, and rotate buildings with the shoulder buttons. I found the controls to be a bit finicky with how the buildings would move around on the island, and rotating the camera. Once you get the hang of it though, Islanders, is a great indie title with a chill soundtrack and slow-burn pace that beckons to be played.


Islanders: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

IslandersDeveloper: Grizzly Games
Publisher: Coatsink Software
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Strategy, Indie
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: August 11, 2021 (EU & NA)
File Size: 154 MB Listing

By jonathanober

Jonathan is a husband to Leigh, father to Morgyn and Bailey, an avid WordPress user, a website designer/developer, Eagles football fan, and a video gamer. Jonathan cut his teeth on the Commodore 64, NES, and Gameboy and hasn't looked back since. Jonathan has owned nearly ever Nintendo system and handheld to date. His favorite series include: Legend of Zelda, Mario, and Donkey Kong.

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