Island Time VR Review

Island Time VR Review

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Synopsis:
If you’ve ever wondered what being stranded on an island might be like, this VR game is for you, buddy. Using the advice of a new friend, Carl the Crab, you’ve gotta find a way to keep yourself from starving and survive as long as possible.


Island Time was on the back foot with me from the offset - it was the first time I put on my VR helmet since playing Moss (a game I adore). However, after a couple of hiccoughs up front and a little experimentation, I’ve grown pretty fond of the (relatively simple) survival game. So much so that I went back again and again. 

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And again.

As Island Time begins you find yourself stranded you on a small island and gives very little context for what to do or how - where my first issue came - to do anything. I  presumptively loaded the game with my DualShock 4 in hand and expected to get stuck in to the game, but soon learnt two Move controllers are required (one for each hand - FYI). It would have been nice to have been told so somewhere other than that PlayStation Store listing. 

Once we were up and running, a Move controller in each hand, I took my place on the couch - my usual VR spot, and second mistake. The game is undeniably best played standing. You’re welcome. Where most games I've previously played announced it was best played standing, this information was sorely missed anywhere. The tracking is good - not great - although I suspect limited by the PSVR hardware, as opposed to the execution of the game. 

Those issues aside, Island Time is a fantastic concept that has been executed well by the Flight School Studio team. Hunger is what kills you on the island, and your goal is to stave it off and hence survive as long as possible. Insofar as I can tell, there is no “winning” - only getting better. And better I did get. Each death felt as though it was my own mistake, and taught me something I could do better next time, as opposed to any imbalance or unfairness in the game. Carl the Crab is a fun and endearing castaway mate who provides light comic relief and is well acted by Kinda Funny's Greg Miller, though in later playthroughs his repeated lines gets a little repetitive.

As of my most recent session, I’m desperately trying to figure out how to acquire the phone I’ve seen in promo shots and trailers, in case that will be of any help on my island plight… (escape is proving hard.)

Island Time was great fun (eventually) and I would certainly recommend it, though I can’t help but think it would be a little more enjoyable given the prompt to stand at the start and a little more accuracy in it’s tracking. I want you to play it, and on a system with better tracking if possible, like the HTC Vive.  Regardless, I do suspect I will be back attempting to survive the treacherous VR island with my crab companion very soon. 


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Developer: Flight School Studio
Publisher: Project Flight School Studio Inc
Platforms: PSVR (Reviewed, on PS4 Pro), Oculus Rift, HTC Vive
(Island Time code provided by the developer)

Review by  Thomas Marshall

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