Tinker Island is a fascinating blend of a text-based RPG and a card game about trying to make it in the wilderness. The story is that the characters in the game have been stranded on a remote island in the middle of nowhere and must now explore the island and survive until they can make their escape.
The game brings to mind the book ‘The Mysterious Island’ by Jules Verne because of how you are supposed to solve certain puzzles and make decisions about what to do with the resources you collect. For those who have not come across this piece of Verne’s work, it is essentially a guide combining lessons in alchemy, biology, construction, hunting, mining and a host of other skills which will make you a worthy contender to Bear Grylls.
There are several decisions to be taken at every step in the game. For example, on coming across a pile of rocks that you can kick or examine, you’ll discover another survivor who lost a bit of his health because you kicked him. The interface is neat and the map is displayed on a tab on top whereas resources appear to the sides. The main camp is the backdrop and the different things you create will be shown in this area.
To send your survivors to a resource or a particular location on the map, you simply have to drag their card there and wait for a certain time. The missions are time-based and thus will have you returning to check-in on the game quite often. Each survivor has a set of skills that can be upgraded by practicing them and earning points.
The graphics are brilliant and even though they are pixelated, it is the best kind of pixelated there is which somehow manages to fit in plenty of details as well. Tinker Island is like a better version of ‘Virtual Villagers’ and deserves to be tried out at least once.
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