Viveport Review: Island Time VR
This time-trial survival game dazzles and engrosses you with great gameplay and immersive environments.
By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content
In Island Time VR, after crashing your boat, you find yourself lost at sea on a tiny island and must survive for as long as possible. This isn’t going to be easy. In fact, you're going to die, a lot. Which is actually kind of the point.
Island Time VR isn't so much a survival simulation, as a 'survive as long as possible, but let's face it, you're gonna die eventually' simulator. It's you vs the elements, but those elements are capricious and very unforgiving.
Survival itself isn’t hard. The basics are simple. You catch fish using a makeshift spear, cook them over the fire, or crack open and eat a coconut—all while keeping a pesky seagull from stealing any of your items. While you do this, you'll be listening to helpful tips and, let's just say 'colorful' commentary from Carl the Crab, voiced by Greg Miller of Kinda Funny. Unlike many games, the quirkiness of Carl doesn’t get in your way, as he allows you to just continue doing your own thing.
While the mechanics of Island Time VR might feel a bit rinse-and-repeat, it's a fun learning experience. Before long you'll stretch out your survival time and start to get into the 'one more go' mentality that is the hallmark of a great game. As the challenge to staying alive increases, you'll be forced to learn from your mistakes if you want to increase your time on the island.
Ultimately it was the chaos that really kept me driving forward in Island Time VR, as my survival times slowly grew from a few minutes, to five, then upwards of ten and fifteen minutes. I learned new things with each survival attempt, and I was able to use that knowledge to help push my survival forward.
I honestly wasn’t sure what to think when I first launched Island Time VR. The experience seemed far too simple to hold my attention for very long, but the developers quickly proved me wrong, and before I knew it I had logged around four hours on the game. I wish there was more of a sense of presence in the game (your spear and other items only collide with certain objects, for example), but aside from this the experience itself was very positive. It still felt pretty immersive despite the lack of collision, which is part of what made it so easy to sink time into the game.
If you want a challenging, frantic, and fun VR experience, then Island Time VR is a great place to start. It’s not too expensive to pick up, so you’re going to get more than your money’s worth out of this title. Project Flight School has done a great job bringing the tiny island together. As you collect new pieces and work to survive, you’re sure to come to love Island Time VR as much as I have. In fact, it’s earned a permanent place in my virtual reality library, and I look forward to revisiting it time and again to see what has changed and how long I can survive.