Islanders: Casual town builder brings holiday spirit to VR

By | August 8, 2023

Image: Coatsink

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Colorful islands, idyllic towns and no stressful resource management: this is the kind of mix that Islanders VR wants you to relax with.

Islanders: VR Edition looks like the ideal contrast to gray summer days. In the VR implementation of the laid-back city-building game from Coatsink, Stage Clear and GrizzlyGames, you float over idyllic, exotic islands to build a little paradise with your own hands.

In Quest 2 and Quest Pro this is meant literally as you can move the marker, buildings and other details directly via hand tracking. The similarly designed VR game Little Cities by Purple Yonder and Ndreams has already proven how well this can work in practice.

Relaxed city builder in VR

Alternatively, you can use a controller, which is also used in SteamVR version. A procedural generation ensures an endless supply of minimalist yet colorful islands.

Islanders VR Edition's hand tracking in action.

The Quest version also supports hand tracking. | Image: Coatsink

The relaxed one gameplay is deliberately different from more complex construction games with their “stressful resource management”. Here, it costs no resources to build anything. Instead, you have a limited number of buildings in your inventory, and you earn points for building them.

The goal is to place buildings wisely on the islands and unlock new buildings by earning a maximum score. Points are awarded for careful placement, for example not blocking access to natural resources. The more you build, the higher the score and the bigger the city.

The original game, released in 2019 (Steam reviews: very positive), was created as a studio project by three Berlin game designers, who later developed it further and implemented it for different consoles. Coatsink, an experienced VR producer (Jurassic World: Aftermath, Onward) is on board for the VR edition.

Islanders is inspired by games such as Anno, The Settlers and Sim City. A release date has not yet been set.

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Sources: Quest Store, Steam (1 | 2)

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