Ikonei Island is a joyful, co-operative island adventure

Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure is the latest game in Snowcastle Games’ Earthlock series.

Within Ikonei Island, you are encouraged to explore the titular tropical island in its entirety and restore the shrines you discover along the way. Meeting new characters, taming the wildlife, farming and decorating the island are just a handful of examples of what it has to offer, and with all of this on a colourful tropical island, you’re sure to find yourself naturally drawn to exploring the island to the fullest.

The island exploration within Ikonei Island is by far the most enjoyable aspect of this game. Whether you’re taking down pirate camps and freeing the animals trapped within, finding new animals to tame or discovering buildings to restore, there’s always something to find around every corner, which makes exploration so rewarding. Restoring buildings will encourage NPCs that specialise in certain skills to set up shop, and give them a place to sell their wares, which really helps the feeling that your actions matter in this game, and your presence is shaping the island in a beneficial way.

And this is one element the game does fabulously.

Along with restoring the buildings and ruins scattered across the island, you can really make the island feel like your own unique place by decorating it as you wish. With an extensive amount of furniture and the ability to place it around the island as you please, it’s easy to create a version of the island unique to you. Whether it be setting up make-shift camps around the island, building treehouses, or creating farms, the choice really is up to you and your own taste.

Another really strong gameplay mechanic that Ikonei Island boasts is animal taming. With their cute animations and individual skill sets, animal taming is one feature you’ll find hard to ignore! As you play the game, you can expect to find it a rewarding experience, as through taking care of them and utilising their abilities, you’ll find that their power grows over time to become bigger and better. Having the ability to name your pets really helps strengthen your bond with them, and can create some laughs between friends when playing online! You may think that taking care of each pet would be a hassle, however Ikonei Island handles this in a way that makes it flow as smoothly as you could hope. If you find yourself surrounded by too many pets getting in the way, you have the ability to simply send them back home until you need to summon them again, this even comes with the added benefit of their needs not deteriorating when not in use.

Ikonei Island

Another thing that Ikonei Island really excels at is creating a colourful and vibrant environment that is perfect for younger children who are entering the world of gaming for the first time. The cartoony aesthetic of the game, paired with the unique design of each creature, NPC’s, and even the playable characters is sure to engage any young child. The game has fully leaned into this nursery-story/fantasy setting with cutscenes that are very reminiscent of a children’s book, done in a wonderful “chibi-esque” artstyle. With the option to also revisit useful in-game tips in the form of talking frogs, the game truly is accessible to people of all ages.

However, throughout my time playing Ikonei Island, there were some downsides to the game that I couldn’t help but notice. One such example being the amount of bugs that are in the game. Multiple times, after teleporting around the island, chests would randomly disappear taking my stuff with them. However, this was only a temporary issue and would resolve itself in time. Another thing that the game could really improve on is the fluidity of combat. As much as the game nicely flows together for the most part, combat can be difficult to navigate due to the combination of a fixed camera and no ‘lock-on’ feature to enemies, meaning that a lot of the time that could be spent taking down enemies is replaced with trying to align your character to the enemy, whilst avoiding any attacks.

Overall though, it has to be said that Ikonei Island is an absolute blast to play. With its vast array of gameplay mechanics and stunning visuals, it’s clear that Snowcastle Games have spent a lot of time listening to the community and perfecting the game. Any fans of exploration/single-player games are sure to find something here to captivate their interest.

Ikonei Island is available now on Xbox One, Playstation 5 as well as Windows PCs.

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