5 Minute Review: Adventure Bay for iPadApril 25, 2011
Adventure Bay is a surprisingly addictive, yet at times frustratingly slow, world building game with a bit of a twist to try and keep it interesting…
When you first start out you have a small island with a building (your keep or cabin) in the middle. As with all world building games you buy and build various things which improve in ‘payback’ as you level up. You can start by building plantations for crops and shacks for your residents, and these provide you with gold and exp. As you level up, more buildings and crops become available, which in turn provide you with larger amounts of gold and exp.
The added twist to this game is that you also start off with a boat which allows you to head off and explore the seven seas. Your captain is the first character who can head out, and he has 8 missions of varying lengths which all take you to islands for you to explore and gather booty, gold and exp. As you level up you can improve your ship, and even purchase 2 more, allowing you to send out three inhabitants at once to find you more goodies and help you level up (which becomes a very slow process once you pass level 20). The booty you find goes into your treasure chest, and once you have the right number and combination of items, you get free stuff! Free stuff good!! Particularly because this free stuff can generate yet more gold and exp to help with the levelling up process – have I mentioned it’s pretty slow yet…?
So the good things about this game – it’s cute, and they release regular updates to stop it from getting stale. There are also a lot of different options for how to lay out and build up your island, so people who are into world-building games can really make their island unique. There are lots of opportunities to increase your gold and exp, including trading with other people in the game, and getting them to provide you with the necessary booty for your next freebie from the treasure chest.
The bad – the exp provided is too small for the levelling up requirements, and once you’ve built all you can at level 32, you’re weeks before hitting level 35 where the next new item is available. If you don’t gather in your crops or send your inhabitants onto their island after sending them out to explore the seas, they ‘go off’ or become too depressed to explore, so you get nothing, and there’s no ‘holiday’ setting, so if you can’t log on every day, expect to come back to a lot of sad faces. There aren’t enough island space upgrades, so it becomes very crowded as you try to build what you need for leveling up. Sometimes it’s impossible to get what you need for treasure collections. If you are scrolling through the building menu, but not actually building anything, it closes the menu after a minute and you have to start again from the top.
Overall, if you’re into this sort of game and are willing to put in the time and build relationships with other people on other islands, this is fun. The exploring adds a new twist to the traditional world-building genre which stops it from getting too stale too quickly, but it still requires a level of dedication that I’m just not sure I’m willing to give it for much longer…