Put down Dark Souls: Remastered. Put down Nioh. Put down Overwatch. Put down everything that normally makes you effuse blood, sweat, tears, or a combination of all three. Why? Because it’s summertime. And if you aren’t already on vacation somewhere tropical, there exists a title that’ll happily whisk you there. That title? Castaway Paradise, the charmingly Animal Crossing-stylized town builder that plops you into the tropics and never asks you to leave.
Originally released in 2014 for Smartphones and in 2015 for Steam, Castaway Paradise is now enjoying a console launch for the PS4 and the Xbox One. Frankly, we’re delighted. As developer Stolen Couch Games said of the console release in an interview with Game Pilgrim:
“A console version of Castaway Paradise had been on our minds for some time, but we were busy with many other projects. When we finally had some free time coming up, we looked at the Xbox and PS4 stores, and were surprised to see that there still weren’t many options for games offering an Animal Crossing type experience! That’s when we decided to make the move.”
Suffice to say, it was a good move. Castaway Paradise plays equally well on the PS4, proffering eye-candy graphics with compulsive task-based gameplay that never causes you to want to throw your controller at the wall. Begin by drifting ashore on an island full of cheerful townspeople and planting some corn. From there — construct your own paradise. Water your way to your ideal tropical town, and engage in the multitude of activities your inhabitants will send you out scurrying to do.
Don’t worry — even if you do ultimately build your perfect paradise, Stolen Couch Games won’t let you get bored. Seasonal events, online leaderboards, and continued support are par for the course with this studio. Catch bugs, go fishing, grow your garden, decorate your home… you know, whatever you want.
In a world where the gaming industry seems to be convinced that the more masochistic the gameplay, the better the gamer reception, it’s refreshing to spend a little time in the sunshine. Even if that sunshine is emanating from our TV screens.