There’s no shortage of games out there with survival elements, but they tend to be less prevalent on PlayStation VR. Island Time VR is here to fill in that gap with a virtual reality game that tasks you with surviving as long as you can on a tiny island with nothing but your wits and Carl the crab to keep you alive.
Don’t let the colorful exterior fool you, this game offers more depth than many will realize. Let’s find out if this ocean is deep, or if you’ll find yourself wading in shallow waters.
Cope by Crafting
Island Time VR begins with your ship crashing into a small island. The island is about the size of your play space, so you won’t need to go anywhere, which makes the game very accessible. Motion sickness is practically impossible here since you’ll be standing or sitting in place for the duration of your time playing.
Using PlayStation Move controllers, you can reach out and interact with the environment around you. Carl the crab sits beside you and offers hilarious quips and one-sided conversation without ever being intrusive or annoying. Having a small companion that speaks a lot is an easy way to irritate the player, but I really liked having Carl around.
He sometimes offers tips, but the majority of his dialogue consists of witty jokes and commentary on your progress. Every so often, I box will wash up beside you that contains much-needed supplies you can use.
Beyond this occasional help, the rest of your survival depends on how you manage the supplies around you. Coconuts grow from a palm tree on the island, while fish swim in the waters in front of you.
Crafting is simple and intuitive. For example, grabbing a stone and a bamboo stick will let you create a spear. Simply hold the two together and you’ll hear a sound indicating they are compatible. After a few seconds, you have a spear.
Starting a fire, cooking fish, and cracking coconuts are all done with interactions that make sense. For example, you can throw a coconut on the ground to crack it open. The fun of Island Time VR is discovering all the ways you can interact with the world, so I’m being intentionally vague with these descriptions.
A typical stint on the island will last anywhere from a few minutes, up to twenty minutes or more if you’re really good. Your mileage with the game will vary, but it does offer the ability to play in quick sessions as you continue to hone your skills.
A watch on your in-game wrist tracks your current health and once it runs out you’ll be sent back to the main menu to try again. It’s a simple gameplay loop, but you’ll find that getting all the trophies and discovering all the secrets requires a lot more thinking than you may expect.
Most importantly, the game is just plain fun. This is thanks to the variety of things you can do to survive, and the excellent tracking on the motion controls. I did have a few situations where something fell outside of my play range and I had trouble picking them back up, but these were fairly isolated incidents.
A Vibrant and Beautiful World
I played Island Time VR on a PS4 Pro using a standard PlayStation VR headset and the visuals were absolutely gorgeous. The relatively smooth and simple art style allows for very clean and crisp graphics across the board.
The colors were especially wonderful, with very lush and vibrant hues all around you. The voice acting is limited to Carl, but I loved his jokes and the little eulogies he provides when you get a game over.
While it could have offered deeper and more complex survival mechanics, Island Time VR has a surprising amount of depth already. It’s a fun and accessible VR title that anyone, of any skill level, can enjoy.
Final Score: 8.0/10
A copy of Island Time VR was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 6/19/18