Being alone on a desert island is something that scares most of us. We are fascinated by shows like Survivor, and Robinson Crusoe is still one of the most well-known classics in literature. If I had to be stranded on an island I would like to have quite a few items of luxury that I am used to, and some electricity. Otherwise some godly powers to control rain, animals and machinery would suffice nicely. In Youda Survivors the tale is told from that kind of perspective, but there are other survivors as well. These are passive though, and obey your commands when needed to fulfil a need.
Youda Survivors is a time management game that closely resembles the Farm Frenzy series from Alawar. This is evident in perspective, tasks, graphics and controls. Thankfully Youda Survivors brings enough new to the table to avoid me writing an indignant message to the developer saying I won’t review copies. What it brings is health for the deity/manager that is used extensively as the in level currency.
The gameplay is classic Farm Frenzy time management where you can’t queue actions. Instead you tap in real time, and the management side of things focus more on what upgrade or processing of raw materials you do when. Eggs is the first raw material you encounter, and with upgrades it can be processes into a wide array of products. Depending on what the level goals are you have to decide when to convert eggs into health for example. Besides having a health meter there is also a water meter for the deity. Once empty life starts to drain, and to refill you have to scoop up water and have it processed to be absorbed by the deity. Soon there are quite a few actions to plan ahead, and that is when the game starts to shine.
Crabs and other animals attack your domestic animals, and by tapping them you gain life points. There are also pirates that take a hell of a tap beating to escape, and leave some eggs behind. This is almost identical to the carnivore attacks in Farm Frenzy.
One thing that I really like about Youda Survivors is the level progression map, extensive upgrades and achievements. Having a map where you can go back and replay levels to gain money is excellent. You also get to unlock levels, and upgrade your facilities using money. Some branching paths with challenge levels further enhance the motivation to explore the map further. Local achievements are stored in a chest found from the map screen. Overall the game is built to be replayed, and hence last for quite a long time. To gain gold medals on all levels I personally would need more than 16 hours, and my time management talented wife would need about 12 hours. Within 8 hours she had completed all levels with bronze or better. Game Center high scores are available, but to me high scores in time management games are kind of out of place.
The presentation in Youda Survivors is great, and follows the same cartoon inspired style found in all G5 games. It is slightly more polished than I am used to though, and it runs along quite well on my iPhone 4S. There are some annoying delays when a menu option is tapped, and at times also a bit unresponsive tap controls. At least that is how I perceive it, but perhaps there is general delays in all tap controls within the game. It isn’t spoiling the actual game, but I still hope it will be tighter in future updates. On a dual core device it should behave snappier, and even on the iPhone 4/3GS it should be quite quick.
The music is something I associate to my childhood when grandpa played some calypso music on the stereo. It has some cool grooves to it, but in the end it is more sleep inducing than anything else. Thankfully the game allows for own music, and works so much better with some heavy metal pounding away.
Youda Survivors is an action time management game with a surprising amount of depth due to the many upgrades, and inclusion of a deity using health to power the world. It might look a bit too similar to Farm Frenzy, but in my opinion it has enough own personality to be worth getting even if you are already a Farm Frenzy fan. The occasional slow responses to tapping are another concern of mine. The long gamelife, challenging level goals and level map with optional routes still makes it an easy game to recommend.
Youda Survivor Free with $4.99 IAP to unlock full version.
Seller: G5 Entertainment AB
Youda Survivor HD Free with $6.99 IAP to unlock full version.