Review Skull Island:Stranded in Paradise
A game that will keep you waiting
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 30 Jun 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Lots of tasks, a revolving door of challenges
Generic aesthetic, ludicrous timers, nagging quest pop-ups
Explorers: Skull Island for Android is one of those games that you can safely judge upon first glance. It features a terribly generic name, along with generic artwork, and repetitive quests. It’s a city builder that wants you to think it’s all about exploration, but it’s really about coining you for money.
That may sound like a harsh critique, but it’s absolutely true. Right off the bat you’re thrown into one of those endless tutorial scenarios where the screen is always screaming at you to press the task icon so the game can guide you from one money-grabbing task to the next.
The story revolves around some survivors who wash ashore an island, and you’re tasked with building a flourishing camp while “exploring” the island. Exploring is just another word for expanding, though. You won’t be cave spelunky or doing any of the exploring yourself. Instead, you’ll send characters to do it for you, which will usually take half the day or longer.
About fifteen minutes into the game I hit a snag where one of my characters was held up with a two hour task, which is completely unacceptable. Especially when mundane tasks only take about three seconds. It’s like the game can’t make up its mind. Do I need to constantly be on my phone switching from one task to the next while scraping resources, or will I only be logging on once a day?
The subject matter is another issue. Exploring Skull Island isn’t any fun. Completing tasks gives you resources and experience points that allow you to level up. Leveling up allows you to build more things in your camp. Skull island eventually becomes a thriving metropolis if you spend enough time building it up, so why lead on with all the fluff about adventures and exploration?
In the end, Explorers: Skull Island is just another city builder, and a poor one at that. Timers aren’t balanced, artwork is drab, and the game is constantly trying to get you to do everything the way the developers want you to do things.